If 2011 saw Joel Edgerton getting his feet wet in Hollywood with roles in "Warrior" and "The Thing," 2012 will see the Aussie actor fully diving into those waters. He'll feature prominently in two films slated to be major awards season players, Baz Luhrmann's 3D adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" and Kathryn Bigelow's untitled Osama Bin Laden/Seal Team 6 pic. And not only that, he's giving family films a try, starring opposite Jennifer Garner in Disney's "The Odd Life Of Timothy Green." But Edgerton isn't content to wait for opportunities to fall into his lap, and just before he headed to Sundance to premiere his latest Aussie effort "Wish You Were Here," he sold a script to New Regency titled "One Night Stand."
The project will see Edgerton taking an executive producer position on a film that he doesn't plan to star in, but which will pay tribute to an American filmmaker whose work made a mark on an entire generation. "It's literally a movie set in one day and evening and the following day after a one night stand. [It's] about two very damaged people who happen to find each other for all the right and the wrong reasons, and it's kind of a love story in a way, but it's not shellac-ed with schmaltz…it's a comedy," Edgerton explained. "I wanted to make a movie that was kind of a tribute to the way I feel when I watch a John Hughes movie. Or Jason Reitman is the latest kind of guy [with that sensibility]. You can laugh throughout, but at the end of the movie you're also left with some resonance of human feeling, some empathy, some kind of pathos."
But no matter how much his stock may rise in Hollywood, Edgerton is keeping one foot planted on his native soil, and should he be able to pull all the pieces together, he's got a gritty script he hopes to get in front of cameras this year. "I wrote a movie which we want to make in Australia…It's a crime drama that's kind of 'Rashomon' style, but it's set within the police force, and we'll hopefully make that this year," Edgerton revealed.
With nods to John Hughes and Akira Kurosawa within the course of our brief conversation with Edgerton, it's the clear the actor has high aspirations (and influences) for his work, and he continues to create and develop an exciting slate of projects that makes him one of the most interesting talents around. "Wish You Were Here" has premiered at Sundance and is currently seeking U.S. distribution. More from our chat with with Joel Edgerton soon. —interview by John Lichman