Guy Pearce

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Guy Pearce
Pearce in 2012
Born (1967-10-05) 5 October 1967 (age 56)
  • Actor
  • musician
Years active1985–present
Kate Mestitz
(m. 1997; div. 2015)
PartnerCarice van Houten (2015–present)

Guy Edward Pearce (born 5 October 1967) is an Australian[1] actor. He started his career portraying Mike Young in the Australian television series Neighbours. Pearce received international attention for his breakout role in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) and subsequently took starring roles in Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential (1997), Christopher Nolan's Memento (2000) and Simon Wells's The Time Machine (2002). He is also known for his performances in the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road (2009), Kathryn Bigelow's war drama The Hurt Locker (2009) and Tom Hooper's historical drama The King's Speech (2010). He has appeared in TED 2023, Prometheus (both 2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017) as Peter Weyland, the Marvel action film Iron Man 3 (2013) as Aldrich Killian, and the historical biopic Mary Queen of Scots (2018) as William Cecil.

In Australian cinema, Pearce has appeared in The Proposition (2005), Animal Kingdom (2010), 33 Postcards (2011), The Rover (2014), Holding the Man (2015) and The Wizards of Aus (2016). Since 2012, he has played the title role in the TV adaptations of the Jack Irish stories by Australian crime writer Peter Temple. Pearce starred in Todd Haynes' limited series Mildred Pierce (2011) and the HBO crime miniseries Mare of Easttown. He won a Primetime Emmy Award for Mildred Pierce and has received numerous award nominations including for a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and an Australian Academy Film Award.

IndieWire named him one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination.[2]

Early life[edit]

Pearce was born on 5 October 1967 in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.[3][4] His father, Stuart Pearce, was a Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot and RAF test pilot, and his mother, Anne Cocking (née Pickering), was an English schoolteacher.[5] He has an elder sister, Tracy.[6] When Pearce was three years old, the family relocated to Geelong, Victoria, Australia. When he was eight years old, Pearce's father died in an aircraft accident.[4][7][8][9]

Pearce attended Geelong College, and was a member of the Geelong Society of Operatic and Dramatic Arts (GSODA) Junior Players. At the age of 16, he was a competitive amateur bodybuilder, leading to the title of Junior Mr. Victoria. He lived in Box Hill North, Victoria in the late 1980s while working on the Australian drama series Neighbours. His first film appearance, while still at Geelong College, was in a Victorian Vice Chancellors-funded film Life and Study at University, produced and directed by Peter Lane of Deakin University. Pearce was 17 years old and played a 21-year-old student.[citation needed]


Film and television[edit]

Pearce transitioned to television when he was cast in the Australian soap opera Neighbours in 1986, playing the role of Mike Young for three years, a role which he reprised in 2022 for the show's final episode. Pearce also found roles in other television series such as Home and Away (1988) and Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1993).

Pearce at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival

The director/producer/writer Frank Howson cast Pearce in his first three films, Heaven Tonight, Hunting and Flynn, and paid for him to go to the Cannes Film Festival in 1991 for the premiere of the Howson-directed Hunting. The accompanying Howson-funded publicity campaign brought Pearce to the attention of the international film industry. He made his first major film breakthrough shortly after, with his role as a drag queen in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994. Since then, he has appeared in several US productions including L.A. Confidential, Ravenous, Rules of Engagement, Memento, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Time Machine.

Pearce portrayed pop artist Andy Warhol in Factory Girl and Harry Houdini in Death Defying Acts. He also appeared in The Road and in Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler.[10] Pearce continued to perform in Australian films, such as The Hard Word (2002) and The Proposition (2005), written by fellow Australian Nick Cave.

In January 2009, Pearce returned to the stage after a seven-year absence.[11] He performed in the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Poor Boy, a play with music, co-written by Matt Cameron and Tim Finn.[11]

In 2009, he portrayed Staff Sergeant Matthew Thompson in The Hurt Locker. In 2010, he appeared as David, Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VIII, in The King's Speech. Both films won the Academy Award for Best Picture, making Pearce the first actor to appear in back-to-back Best Picture winners since Michael Peña (who appeared in Million Dollar Baby and Crash).

Pearce starred as the eponymous lead in the Australian TV miniseries Jack Irish, an adaptation of the detective novels of author Peter Temple broadcast on the ABC network in 2012. In May 2012, Pearce was cast to star in David Michôd's The Rover. In 2013, Pearce played the villain character Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3.

Pearce appeared in a documentary special celebrating Neighbours' 30th anniversary, Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015.[12][13] Pearce had a supporting role in Neil Armfield's 2015 romantic-drama film Holding the Man, as Dick Conigrave.


Pearce appeared in Australian band Silverchair's music video for "Across the Night" and in Razorlight's video for "Before I Fall to Pieces." He recorded the soundtrack for A Slipping-Down Life, singing and playing guitar on cover versions of songs by Ron Sexsmith, Vic Chesnutt and Robyn Hitchcock.

Pearce released his first album, Broken Bones, in November 2014.[14] Pearce released his second studio album, The Nomad, in 2018.[15]

He appeared in the video for the song "Follow Me Around" by Radiohead.

Personal life[edit]

Pearce married his childhood sweetheart, psychologist Kate Mestitz, in March 1997.[16][17] In October 2015, Pearce announced their divorce.[18] Pearce is in a relationship with Dutch actress Carice van Houten; they had a son in August 2016.[19][20][21][22]

As an Australian rules football fan who supports the Geelong Football Club in the Australian Football League, Pearce has done media work with the club, including a documentary narration.[citation needed]

Pearce supports charitable organisations for causes, especially those related to animal conservation and habitat preservation.[23]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Heaven Tonight Paul Dysart
1991 Hunting Sharp
1994 The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Adam Whitely / Felicia Jollygoodfellow
1996 Dating the Enemy Brett/Tash
1997 Flynn Errol Flynn
L.A. Confidential Detective Lieutenant Ed "Shotgun Ed" Exley
1998 Brand New World Jimmy Compton aka Woundings
1999 Ravenous Captain John Boyd
A Slipping-Down Life "Drumstrings" Casey
2000 Rules of Engagement Major Mark Biggs
Memento Leonard Shelby
2002 The Hard Word Dale
The Time Machine Alexander Hartdegen
The Count of Monte Cristo Fernand Mondego
Till Human Voices Wake Us Dr. Sam Franks
2004 Two Brothers Aidan McRory
2005 The Proposition Charlie Burns
2006 First Snow Jimmy Starks
Factory Girl Andy Warhol
2008 Death Defying Acts Harry Houdini
Winged Creatures Dr. Bruce Laraby
Traitor FBI Agent Roy Clayton
Bedtime Stories Kendall
2009 In Her Skin Mr. Barber aka I Am You
The Road The Veteran
The Hurt Locker Staff Sergeant Matt Thompson
2010 The King's Speech King Edward VIII
Animal Kingdom Detective Nathan Leckie
2011 33 Postcards Dean Randall
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Alex Hirst
Seeking Justice Simon
2012 Lockout Marion Snow
TED 2023 Peter Weyland Short film
Lawless Special Deputy Charley Rakes
2013 Breathe In Keith Reynolds
Iron Man 3 Aldrich Killian
Hateship, Loveship Ken Gaudette
2014 The Rover Eric
2015 Results Trevor
Holding the Man Dick Conigrave
Lorne Lorne Short film
Equals Jonas
2016 Genius F. Scott Fitzgerald
Brimstone Reverend
2017 Alien: Covenant Peter Weyland Uncredited
2018 Swinging Safari Keith Hall
The Catcher Was a Spy Robert Furman
Spinning Man Evan Birch
Mary Queen of Scots William Cecil
2019 Domino Joe Martin
The Last Vermeer Han van Meegeren
2020 Disturbing the Peace Jim Dillon
Bloodshot Dr. Emil Harting
2021 The Seventh Day Peter Costello
Without Remorse Secretary Thomas Clay
Zone 414 David Carmichael
Back to the Outback Frank (voice)
2022 Memory Vincent Serra
The Infernal Machine Bruce Cogburn
2023 The Convert Thomas Munro
TBA Sunrise Reynolds Post-production[24]
The Brutalist Harrison Lee Van Buren Post-production
The Shrouds Post-production[25]


Year Title Role Notes
1986–89, 2022–present Neighbours Mike Young
1991 Home and Away David Croft 12 episodes
1994–96 Snowy River: The McGregor Saga Rob McGregor 65 episodes
1997 The Devil Game Michael Movie
1997 Halifax f.p: Deja Vu Daniel & Richard Viney Movie
2009 Spicks and Specks Himself Quiz Show: 1 episode
2011 Mildred Pierce Monty Beragon HBO miniseries
2012 Jack Irish: Bad Debts Jack Irish Movie
2012 Jack Irish: Black Tide Jack Irish Movie
2014 Sean Saves the World Liam Stone Episode: "The Dark Sean Rises"
2014 Jack Irish: Dead Point Jack Irish Movie
2015 Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite Himself Documentary
2015 Between a Frock and a Hard Place Himself Documentary
2016–2021 Jack Irish Jack Irish 3 series
2016 The Wizards of Aus Morgan Wright TV series/web series
2017 When We Rise Cleve Jones ABC miniseries
2018 The Innocents Halvorson Netflix series
2019 A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge Miniseries
2021 Advancing Australia Himself Documentary series
2021 Mare of Easttown Richard Ryan HBO miniseries
2022 A Spy Among Friends Kim Philby 6 episodes
2023 The Clearing Bryce Latham 8 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role Artist
2002 Across the Night Man Silverchair
2021 Follow Me Around The Man Radiohead

Awards and nominations[edit]

On 18 September 2011, Pearce won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his work in Todd Haynes' limited series Mildred Pierce as Monty Beragon.[26] Pearce received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance. Pearce has been nominated for three Screen Actors Guild Awards winning for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture along with the cast of The King's Speech (2010).[27] Pearce was nominated with the cast of L.A. Confidential (1997) and Mildred Pierce (2011).[28]


  • Broken Bones (2014)
  • The Nomad (2018)


  1. ^ Dretzka, Gary (1 June 2003). "An Interview With Guy Pearce". Movie City News. Archived from the original on 15 November 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  2. ^ Kiang, Jessica (1 January 2016). "30 Great Actors Who've Never Been Oscar Nominated". Indiewire. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  3. ^ "In profile: Iron Man actor Guy Pearce". 19 April 2013. Archived from the original on 22 May 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013. Ely-born actor Guy Pearce...
  4. ^ a b "Guy Pearce Biography (1967–)". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  5. ^ "Topic: Guy Pearce". Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  6. ^ "'Everybody feels fragile': Guy Pearce on fame, family pressures and fatherhood at 50". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  7. ^ Aviation Safety Network. Archived 12 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  8. ^ Iley, Chrissy (4 March 2007). "Portrait of the artist". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Guy Pearce biography". Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  10. ^ Phillips, Michael (2008). "'Bedtime Stories' stars Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  11. ^ a b Hutchison, Tracee (27 January 2009). "Guy Pearce returns to the stage". The 7.30 Report. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  12. ^ Knox, David (28 February 2015). "Airdate: Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite". TV Tonight. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  13. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (4 March 2015). "Neighbours 30th anniversary schedule confirmed by Channel 5". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  14. ^ "GUY PEARCE IS RELEASING HIS DEBUT ALBUM IN NOVEMBER". 7 August 2014. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Joe Henry Has Produced The Second Guy Pearce Album". noise11. 12 June 2018. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  16. ^ Lytal, Cristy (27 August 2008). "A real details Guy". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  17. ^ Grant, James (15 July 2003). "The Adventures of Guy Pearce". MovieMaker. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012.
  18. ^ Guglielmi, Jodi (13 October 2015). "Guy Pearce Announces Split from Wife Kate Mestitz After 18 Years of Marriage". People. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  19. ^ Saner, Emine (21 August 2018). "'Everybody feels fragile': Guy Pearce on fame, family pressures and fatherhood at 50". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  20. ^ Stone, Natalie (19 March 2016). "Game of Thrones' Star Carice van Houten Is Pregnant". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Guy Pearce and Carice van Houten Welcome Son Monte". People. 29 August 2016. Archived from the original on 30 August 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016. Son Monte arrived last week in Amsterdam, van Houten's rep tells People.
  22. ^ Pearce, Guy (29 August 2016). "A cute little package arrived and told us his name's Monte Pearce". Guy Pearce verified Twitter account. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  23. ^ Pearce, Guy. "Guy Pearce - Cause". Guy Pearce. Archived from the original on 6 February 2022. Retrieved 15 July 2022. Like most of you, I support a number of charitable organisations. ...
  24. ^ Kay, Jeremy (14 February 2023). "Alex Pettyfer, Guy Pearce neo-noir 'Sunrise' heads to EFM (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  25. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (30 March 2023). "David Cronenberg's 'The Shrouds', With Vincent Cassel, Diane Kruger & Guy Pearce, To Begin Filming In May". Deadline. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  26. ^ "Guy Pearce - Emmy Awards". Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  27. ^ "SAG Awards Winners: 'King's Speech' Tops". The Hollywood Reporter. 30 January 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  28. ^ "SAG Awards: Guy Pearce on his 'Mildred Pierce' Nomination". The Hollywood Reporter. 29 January 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2021.

External links[edit]