Joel Edgerton talks 'The Great Gatsby': 'Tom Buchanan is a complicated fellow'


Image Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom) is currently in Paris to promote his new film Warriorthe action-packed tearjerking tale co-starring Tom Hardy, written and directed by Gavin O’Connor (Miracle), about estranged brothers who must face each other in a mixed martial arts championship. (It hits theaters Sept. 9.) But EW was also able to ask the 37-year-old actor about his next role: that of Tom Buchanan in the highly anticipated Baz Luhrmann adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

“I can’t wait,” says Edgerton. “Tom Buchanan is a fantastic character … a very complicated fellow. I love Baz and I think the cast he’s got together is just incredible — every single one of them.” Indeed! Edgerton joins Leonardo DiCaprio, who will play the enigmatic Jay Gatsby; Tobey Maguire as narrator Nick Carraway; Carey Mulligan as Gatsby’s object of affection Daisy Buchanan; and Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson, Tom Buchanan’s mistress. Edgerton joined the cast after Ben Affleck — who had been in talks with the director — passed on the role due to scheduling conflicts with his Iran hostage thriller, Argo.

“This is the cool thing about being an actor,” says Edgerton, who has been learning to play polo for his Gatsby role. “All sorts of things become a privilege, you know? Getting to learn different things about different peoples’ lives … getting to live the life of a fighter for a little while and then getting to jump on a horse and play polo. There’s a real childish excitement for me. And one of the other privileges is getting to work with extraordinary people.” He laughs. “The idea of going toe-to-toe with Leonardo… ”

Oh, and there’s one extra benefit for Edgerton: The Great Gatsby will be filming in his native Australia. “The studio is quite close to where I live,” he says. “I love being in Los Angeles, but I particularly love being home.”

Read more:
Joel Edgerton joins ‘Gatsby': Is he Leo’s equal? — EXCLUSIVE PHOTO
‘The Great Gatsby’ could be in 3-D, says Baz Luhrmann
Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Great Gatsby’ update: He’s now casting Jordan, he’ll reveal his research reading list on his website

Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • Terri

    No, Joel. Tom Buchanan is not a complicated character.

    • Marie

      i know he isn’t. the only complex character is jay. and maybe daisy in the flashback bathtub letter in hand having 2nd thoughts. bc she knows where her heart is but denys herself happiness each and every time. but in the end you realize that daisy is in fact selfish and that her and tom are made for one another

  • jets

    He kind of is. Like all the characters he’s smaking up against expectations vs. reality. Even if he doesn’t know it. I’m kind of miffed to find out it’s being filmed in Australia tho. The quintesential American novel should be shot in America. Not that it can’t be good of course, shot wherever, but it just seems like the whole tone will be off, and Baz will just turn it into a psychedelic dream-scape visual spectacle, full of Aussie sun, rather than expose the root themes and complexities of the novel. But we’ll see.

    • Sara

      Well honestly, it can’t be worse than the other remakes. I just watched the Redford/Farrow version. Robert Redford was good as was the guy who played Tom. The movie as a whole sucked, however. It was so cheesy and superficial. And I get it, Daisy is annoying, but she still has a small likability factor, something you’d never be able to know from the movie.

  • Christian

    Animal Kingdom was such a great film. I may just see it because the cast of “AK” are so great & talanted.

  • Lauren

    Tom Buchanan is one of the worst villains in American literature. He is one-dimensional, as he does grow or learn anything over the course of the events in the novel. That whole cast sounds wrong to me. Can you tell I love the book!! I do hope they get it right and will try to keep an open mind. Anything could be better than the Mia Farrow fiasco in the first movie attempt.

    • Lauren

      That should read he doesn’t grow…not the way I wrote it!

  • megan

    Has the discussion of why in the world they’re filming this movie in Australia already happened somewhere else on this site? Because that just seems completely random…

    • Kylie

      That whole hypocritical debate about where it was being filmed happened months ago.

  • dee

    I don’t get why it’s being made in Sydney, the Aussie dollar is actually worth more than the the U.S one for a while now.

  • Megan

    I think Tom’s complex, at least in one respect. His feelings for Myrtle- especially after (uh, spoiler alert?) her death. There are far more other issues to take with this film project… let’s start with it being in 3D *kills self*

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