Guy Pearce

  1. Kevin Bacon, Hollow Man, 1999.  Various projects of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven collapsed, so he accepted this pot-boiler, selected Bacon over Guy Pearce and Edward Norton for the increasingly mad (and invisible) scientist Sebastian, and then regretted it.  “This is the first movie that I made that… I should not have made.  Many other people could have done that. I don’t think many people could have made RoboCop  or Starship Troopers.” Bacon said he really wanted to portray an invisible man whose morality decreases. Ah, so not about the money and the chance of a Hollywoodf-pension  franchise, fhen…

  2. Joaquin Phoenix, Quills, 2000. Pearce and fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman, plus Billy Crudup and Jude Law were in the mix for the Abbé de Coulmier, boss of the Charenton insane asylum where the Marquis de Sade was incarcerated in 1789. But the enlightened abbott went to co-star Kate Winslet’s choice. (Scenarist Doug Wright called her the film’s patron saint). None of them was right. Coulmier was a 4ft hunchback!

  3. Russell Crowe, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   The choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital.  Which had me wondering why Keanu Reeves, Charlie Sheen, John Travolta and  Bruce Willis   were on the short-list!   Then again they might have proved as surprising as Crowe. Director Ron Howard’s other candidates included  Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, Ralph Fiennes, Mel Gibson, Jared Leto, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt. Nash liked the six-Oscar-winner. “But it wasn’t me.”

  4. Ben Affleck, Daredevil, 2002.  Six guys were up for Marvel’s bind hero, Matt Murdock: Matt Damon (who had little faith in what became his mate Affleck’s film), Vin Diesel (he preferred The Chronicles of Riddick), Colin Farrell (took over Bullseye from Affleck), Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk in 2007), Guy Pearce.  As DD, aka MM, Affleck (a future Batman) proved more dumb than blind. Playing Elektra, Jennifer Garner reportedly KOed Affleck accidentally in one scene – he still married her three years later! Pearce felt comic books guys weren’t his thing. Or not until, the money was right for Dr Aldrich Killian opposite Iron Man 3, in 2012.
  5. James Caviezel, The Count of Monte Cristo, 2002.       First choice for the 20th screen Edmond Dantes – from Hobart Bosworth, 1912, to Gérard Depardieu, 1998. Pearce preferred Dantes’ treacherous friend, Mondego.
  6. Robert Carlyle, Eragon, 2005.      On the list forDurza the Shade from Christopher Paolini’s fantasy novel, Carlylehad co-starred with Pearce in Ravenous, 1998.
  7. Clive Owen, Shadow Dancer, UK-Ireland, 2011.      Owen said he was too busy to be the MI5 man, Mac.The impeccable Pearce was contacted.Then,Owenwas free.Works every time.
  8. Kyle Chandler, Zero Dark Thirty, 2012.      Until called up for the re-startedLawless in Georgia,Pearce was up for various roles when Kathleen Bigelow cast her first film since being the first woman to win a Best DirectorOscar for The Hurt Locker on March 7, 2010. (Pearce had been in that cast). Her new subject: tracking and killing America’s Public Enemy #1: Osama bin Laden in 2011.
  9. Benedict Cumberbatch, Black Mass, 2014.    Pearce changed his mind about being Billy Bulger, the Democratic President of the Massachusetts Senate… and brother of Jonny Depp’s Boston crime boss and FBI informant, Whitey Bulger, on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for 12 years with a $2m price on his head (second only to Osama bin Laden). Whitey was finally arrested  at age 81, and found guilty of 31 counts  of racketeering and involvement in eleven murders and sentenced to two life life terms in the Tuscon penitentiary. 
  10. Mark Strong, The Brothers Grimsby, 2014.    The pitch perfect was…  James Bond is lumbered with a gormless brother… Sacha Baron Cohen!  But who could be  super spy Commander  Sebastian Graves? “We wanted someone who could actually be in a real action franchise,” said Cohen. The team  looked at Farrell and Clive Owen (both rumoured for 007 in their prime) and Australian Guy Pearce.  Mark was strongest. He came from from various forms of espionage from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to the Kingsman series and his pals included Daniel Craig! . “Mark’s incredibly tough,” added Cohen. “He does all his own stunts. He’s a brilliant fighter. And he’s totally real – you completely believe him.”  And he stole the entire gig. Which is perhaps why SBC’ later chose drama in 2019 as The Spy – real life Israeli hero, Eli Cohen.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  10