Australian Story: Aug 10

Australian Story tonight profiles actor, director Joel Edgerton.

This episode, the first of two, is introduced by film critic Margaret Pomeranz

After 25 years in the film industry, actor Joel Edgerton has made it in Hollywood.

With roles in movies such as The Great Gatsby, Zero Dark Thirty and Boy Erased, Joel is wowing critics and audiences alike and has recently turned his hand to directing.

“Joel is incredibly talented,” film critic Margaret Pomeranz says. “What I think Joel has done is make it on his own terms”.

In this unusually candid account of his career filmed largely during lockdown in Sydney, a thoughtful Joel talks about his long road to success, red-carpet anxiety and the psychology of acting.

“I think people seek an audience because they’re looking for affirmation,” Joel says. “I suspect the reason that even begins is because you feel like you’re a bit unlovable and that you’re looking for attention.”

Joel jokes that he’s dropped the normal ‘embargo’ he has on his mother talking to journalists and encouraged family and friends to talk openly about his life and career, including big brother Nash who has been a huge figure in his life.

“The significant thing about this [interview] is I’ve never once invited a journalist or a camera person into my home ever,” Joel says.

“The big theme of this is like, why am I so afraid of anybody getting to know me a little bit better? And I think that’s a bit of a theme in my life as well.”

This two-part Australian Story also focuses on Joel’s work as a global ambassador for Australian eye charity, The Fred Hollows Foundation, a role he says, “balances up the equilibrium of a selfish life”.

Producer: Emily Bissland, Caitlin Shea.

8pm tonight on ABC.

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