Joel Edgerton: “I don't know anyone who is happy all the time”

If, as the Australian Joel Edgerton confessed decades ago to the writer of this, he had not been interested in theater because he wanted to travel the world, perhaps he would never have participated in the series The secret life of us, which in 2001 led him to try your luck in Hollywood and jump to stardom alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor with Stomping.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 May 2024 Saturday 05:52
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Joel Edgerton: “I don't know anyone who is happy all the time”

If, as the Australian Joel Edgerton confessed decades ago to the writer of this, he had not been interested in theater because he wanted to travel the world, perhaps he would never have participated in the series The secret life of us, which in 2001 led him to try your luck in Hollywood and jump to stardom alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor with Stomping. Luckily he took the path that led him to star and be the executive producer of Dark Materials, the new Apple TV series based on the novel by Blake Crouch. There he plays a scientist who abandons his dream of transforming the world to give himself over to love and start a family, until his own invention forces him to confront a version of himself that 15 years ago chose a different path.

Were you a fan of the book before you became involved as star and executive producer of the series?

Yes, I read it and I loved it. When I found out that they were making a miniseries adaptation, I took the initiative to try to get involved in some way. And then Blake Crouch, the author of the book, who was also our screenwriter and showrunner, invited me to participate in the process of finding which parts of the novel could be in the series, and to help him expand certain aspects of the character and his story. staff.

What would you say was the biggest challenge of acting on the series?

Having to film a scene where I fight with myself. I didn't realize how complex it was going to be to shoot very physical moments and even have dialogue that required me to fight or talk to a double, and then change locations and repeat it all. It was difficult having to educate the other person on the rhythm at which I move so that they can imitate it.

What was it like to build two characters who, deep down, are the same person who has had two different lives?

Too complex. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had made that decision instead of the one I chose. I think we all do it. We look back at our lives and ask ourselves how different paths we could have taken would have impacted who we are today, how we present ourselves to others, and how confident or anxious we might be if we had chosen those options we never chose. Many facets of our personality are a combination of what one brings in one's genes with what one has acquired through life experience. Between Jason one and Jason two there are 15 years of different experiences. On the one hand you have a person who has taken care of his family, and who chose not to try to make his dreams come true, in addition to having to deal with a very hard loss. These experiences have changed his way of being. And on the other hand, you have a Jason who preferred not to take on the responsibility of being a father in order to follow those dreams, and he became very successful. Ironically, neither of them are happy. It is a good example that success and money do not bring happiness. But they've given this Jason an arrogance and self-confidence that the other one doesn't have. It is also curious how this Jason who pretends to act as a father without being one ends up giving very different advice to his supposed son than the one who has raised him since he was born. The truth is that there are very subtle differences, because these characters essentially look the same and move in the same way. What changes are their intentions.

And are you happy in your life? Do you think that if you had not continued down this path everything could have been different?

I am very happy, although I have some worries. I don't know anyone who is happy all the time. And it seems to me that it is good that it is like that. I also get anxious from time to time. There are things that worry me. I have two young children and I am constantly concerned about their well-being. But I'm happy and I wouldn't change this life I have for anything in the world. Of course I always wonder what it would have been like if I had done this or that. I also question what would have happened if certain things had not happened at certain key moments in my life. One has to do with my own well-being and my lifestyle. And the other has to do with my career. Either of those two things that would have happened differently would have resulted in us not being having this conversation right now.

What was the experience of working with Jennifer Connelly like?

Wonderful. I have been a big fan of Jennifer for a long time. Being able to have a front row seat from her to watch her work and also be able to interact with her was truly amazing. She is a woman as intelligent as she is organized. Every time we had to do a scene together she was very instinctive, and she was very present. There are many things that happen to us together in the series. So I was able to watch her from that front row seat for a long time and have a very diverse experience with her.

What do I enjoy most about telling a story set in the multiverse?

Being able to look at different aspects of the same character. But at the same time it implied a great challenge, which was trying to be sure that everything coincided and that we didn't miss anything. Telling a story with linear narration has its own complications. But when you talk about multiple parallel universes, it's something that challenges your own intellect and forces you to be very, very attentive.

The series touches on the fear that we all have of losing everything...

That's how it is. I used to have a relationship with my own life in which every time I got on a plane I told myself that if that was my last day on Earth, I had had a great time. I had made peace with my own mortality. But now that I have a family, that outlook has changed. I can't even think about the thought of not being on this planet anymore. So I totally understand that fear. It's a fear that I didn't have 5 years ago.

How do you feel about not being chosen for a role that could perhaps change the course of your career?

I'm at a point where I fully trust my instincts and I don't want to have to regret it. There are people who tell you that things happen for a reason, so that you don't feel bad about disappointments. I believe that it is not about avoiding them but about accepting them. Before I looked at certain things that happened in my life and felt bad, but now I know that those things that didn't happen also influence who I am today. In that sense, is it worth looking back? I think the series helps you not question past decisions. The next time you reach a key moment in your life, you are going to focus on what you have to decide knowing that this is the way to reach your own parallel universe. If fear is what stops you, maybe you have to listen to your instinct, which is the one that always tells you which option you truly want.