The dramatic actor says he owes his career to the Star Wars creator when his appearance in the prequels got him noticed for roles.
Joel Edgerton has had a hell of a career as an actor. He’s been able to work in such films as Zero Dark Thirty, The Great Gatsby, Red Sparrow, Black Mass, and Warrior. He’s worked alongside the likes of Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jason Bateman. If it weren’t for Disney+’s Star Wars prequel spin-off, Obi-Wan Kenobi, people might have forgotten that he got his first break by appearing in one of the biggest franchises of all time.
The Hollywood Reporter is headlining how Joel Edgerton feels he owes much of his career to George Lucas after casting him as the younger version of Owen Lars, aka Uncle Owen, in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones in 2002. According to Edgerton, he’s been able to parlay acting roles from the strength of being in two of the prequels. He tells NME, “I owe so much in my career to George giving me that job. It opened all the doors to Hollywood. It allowed everyone in L.A. to kind of welcome me and go, ‘Oh, he’s in Star Wars. Let’s give him an audition for other things.’”
Edgerton made a surprise reprisal as Luke Skywalker’s uncle in Obi-Wan Kenobi last year, but even though that role was a benchmark for him, he was apprehensive about returning. “I was a little bit… not snobbish but reticent in regards to going, ‘I’ve done this before.’ I’ve always joked that Uncle Owen is the most boring character in Star Wars history because he’s a moisture farmer, and he doesn’t get to wield a lightsaber. [Although] I saw it as a way to complete a circle of some kind.”
The Aussie actor felt he was able to develop more of Owen’s character and give him layers by coming back to the role. “Everybody thinks that Uncle Owen is a grumbly, cantankerous ‘say no’ dude. I was like, ‘This is my opportunity to put a bit more context on that and have people maybe like him a little bit more.’ And I think we did that. My one caveat to them was, ‘I know what you’re planning with the story and how it unfolds, and I’m not asking for more screen time, I just want to do something cool. Can I at least have one fight? Can I at least throw my hessian sleeves up and get into one brawl?’” He would get his request granted as the writers had him go toe-to-toe with the show’s villain, Inquisitor Reva, to which he reacted, “How cool is that?”
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/joel-edgerton-george-lucas/