In a candid, relaxed and revealing chat with Andrew Denton on Seven’s Interview, actor Guy Pearce, 50, opened up about how writing songs for his album The Nomad helped him come to terms with the ending of his 18-year marriage to Kate Mestitz and welcome life with partner Carice Van Houten and their son. “I’m still, to this day, having little moments where I go, ‘Is it really real?’” Pearce said about being a dad to Monte, who turns 2 in August. “Is it, like, he really is my child. My heart is definitely there but my head sometimes is still back there.”
Here are some of the key revelations from the rare personal interview with the actor:
ON HIS C-LIST STATUS: Andrew Denton prodded Pearce, who returns to Australian screens for a second season of Jack Irish on July 9, on his definition of an A-list actor and Pearce offered a C grade for himself. “When Memento came out, they offered it to Brad Pitt originally and Brad passed and thankfully he did,” Pearce said. “But there are obviously films where they want Johnny Depp or they want Brad Pitt but they just can’t afford them.”
ON HIS FELLOW ACTORS: Pearce considered Kate Winslet, with whom he starred in Mildred Pierce, “divine” and said she had been a fan of his when he was on Neighbours. About LA Confidential co-star Kevin Spacey, Pearce shocked Denton by saying he was “an amazing actor, incredible actor,” but “he’s a handsy guy. Thankfully I was 29 and not 14.” Then about Kylie Minogue, Pearce put his hand on his heart and quipped, “Not as handsy as I’d like her to be.”
ON THE END OF HIS MARRIAGE: Denton noted that Pearce’s album The Nomad was dedicated to Kate, his wife of 18-years, “a woman whom you described as the woman who grounded you. What happened to your marriage?” In a long answer that belied a lingering affection of his ex, Pearce explained how it was Kate who told him, “Our time’s up” and that “it was incredibly strong of her to do it.” He added, “She saw something that sort of blindsided me, a little bit, I guess. We were young, we were kids when we met. We were 12 when we met and, on some level, the way she put it, is we were probably still those little kids when we got married, too. So it was a growing apart.” When Denton pressed if he saw it coming, Pearce said, “No. No. It was really shocking.”
ON FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN: The actor described how in 2015, six months after he and Kate had split, he and Game of Thrones actress Van Houten, 41, fell in love “quickly, messily” and “it all came about in a ramshackle way and before we knew it, we were having a baby.” Denton asked, “Were you careful not doing this as the rebound?” And Pearce replied, “I think there were rebound elements to it, but we’re both mature enough to go, ‘Let’s go back and start again, meanwhile we’re having a baby, but let’s just sort of go back and start again and work out the best way to be mature and responsible about this. I’m glad we’re doing that.” About Van Houten, Pearce said simply, “She’s divine. She’s so sweet and she’s a gorgeous mother.”
ON BECOMING A DAD: Denton reminded Pearce that he had often said he didn’t want a child, and Pearce conceded that losing his father Stuart to a plane accident when he was 8, and then having to help raise Tracy, his sister with an intellectual disability, had all dissuaded him from fatherhood. “The fact that I now have a child,” he said, “I’m madly in love with him and it’s sort of changed everything.” Denton asked, “What are the advantages of being a 50-year-old dad?” To which Pearce said “patience, and having a better understanding of myself. It’s certainly not going to be about kicking the footy in 1 year’s time, that’s for sure.”
Interview with Andrew Denton airs Tuesdays on Seven and past episodes can be screened on 7Plus.
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