The softer side of Joel Edgerton

Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton star in “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” with newcomer CJ Adams.

Joel Edgerton is a bit preoccupied with a tan fedora, taking it on and off as we start our interview. “It was a gift from someone, from down in Venice,” the Australian actor says, adding that he would consider himself a “hat person” if it weren’t for one pesky detail: “I’ve got a massive head, so it’s hard to find them. I think this is the Indiana Jones in me trying to get out,” he offers with a laugh. Edgerton is in town to talk about his latest, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” but that’s not all his got coming up.

American audiences are still getting familiar with you, but even so, this is a different kind of role for you. How has it been presenting that?

It’s almost easier, in a way. Playing a role like Jim is kind of almost closer to me than “Warrior” is. You either have the same experiences, family-wise, that your character does or you have to alter them in some way or invent them. … It’s easier to kind of lean on those things like violence and aggression as male emotions, but it’s more interesting to look for the softer elements, you know? 

This seemed a lot like a Frank Capra-style character to me.

I think a lot of the times as an actor, you wonder if you fit into that everyman category and those characters that we hope the best for. It’s hard for me to talk about myself like that, but I can definitely see that in [co-star] Jennifer [Garner]. I hope the best for her onscreen. I relate to her ordinariness.

You’ve described the 3D in your upcoming film, the reboot of “The Great Gatsby,” as “gentle” — can you elaborate on that?

They have the ability to alter how much like a pop-up book it really looks. I remember [director] Baz [Luhrmann] showed 15 minutes of an overview of the movie, and I forgot that I was wearing the glasses.


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