WRITTEN BY MATTHEW PEJKOVIC
Australian actor Joel Edgerton returned to Sydney for the premiere of his latest movie, the Mixed Martial Arts action drama Warrior.
Edgerton stars as Brendan, a former fighter and family man who steps back into the cage in order to save his family from bankruptcy. Tom Hardy co-stars as Brendan’s estranged brother Tommy, who also enters the same MMA competition leading to a showdown between both men.
Directed by Gavin O’Connor (Miracle) the film successfully blends touching drama with gritty action and features some of the best performances of the year. For Edgerton it was the character rich script which drew his interest.
“It’s definitely the family drama that lured me in” said Edgerton. “If Gavin came to me and said ‘I want you to be in this movie that is just a fighting movie’…sounds cool, but it’s not for me. Drama first and the fighting was just the garnish.”
Edgerton was also a fan of O’Connor’s style, which is largely influenced from the character heavy days of the ‘70s which brought us classics such as Rocky and The Deer Hunter.
“Gavin really is…it’s like he sort of come out of a time capsule of ‘70s movie making” said Edgerton. “When you watch Pride and Glory and the male kind of aspect of all his films, it is very ‘70s and kind of harks back to that kind of Deer Hunter type of movie.”
Warrior comes at a time when Edgerton’s career has reached a new plateau. The last year saw him appear in the acclaimed crime thriller Animal Kingdom, he stars in the sci-fi horror prequel The Thing, and he is currently filming The Great Gatsby which is directed by Baz Luhrman and co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio.
Yet Warrior has proven to be the most valuable and memorable experience Edgerton has had in his 15 year career thus far.
“I have to say with all respect to every other movie I’ve ever done, Warrior was definitely the most valuable experience I’ve had to date as an actor on a movie, because it just demanded so much of us and I learnt so much, and I had such a great time. The product I think speaks for that investment in the process.”
Warrior is currently playing in Australian cinemas through Roadshow Pictures