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‘Memento’ Was Partially Spoiled for Guy Pearce Before He’d Even Read the Script

A key detail was revealed when he was first told about Christopher Nolan's thriller.



By now we all know the big reveal at the end of “Memento,” as well as its unique structural conceit; if you don’t, perhaps it’s best not to read on. It turns out that for Guy Pearce, the star of Christopher Nolan’s breakout drama, the twist was ruined before he’d even picked up the script: “When he sent it to me, my agent had written at the bottom of the letter, ‘By the way, it all goes backwards,’” the actor told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview. “So I was prepared to be confused by it to some degree.”

“What was interesting is that in a normal film, you’re aware of where you’ve been 10 scenes before and how that affects where you might be now and where you’re going,” Pearce added. “This character clearly doesn’t remember any of that. So really he was just sort of turning up in every moment. I had to let go of what you as an actor you would normally hang onto. It was a freeing kind of process, really.”

Pearce will next be seen opposite Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie in “Mary Queen of Scots,” which is scheduled for release via Fox Searchlight on December 7.

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