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Jack Irish star Guy Pearce on becoming a father

TV WEEK logo TV WEEK 12/07/2018 Now To Love
Guy Pearce wearing a suit and tie: Guy in season two of Jack Irish. © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Guy in season two of Jack Irish.

Thirty years ago, Guy Pearce was thrust into the international limelight thanks to the success of Neighbours.

Along with his then co-stars Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue, Guy went on to build a phenomenal career. The three Aussies have achieved longevity in a notoriously ruthless industry.

So it was a special moment in early June when old mates Guy, Jason and Kylie reunited at Kylie's star-studded 50th birthday bash in London.

"It was nice for us to catch up," Guy, 50, tells TV WEEK. "Jason and I have always been great mates."

Guy, who currently features in ABC drama Jack Irish, remembers his Neighbours days fondly.

"I had grown up as a kid doing theatre in Geelong, and I suddenly got this opportunity to go to Melbourne and work on this professional show," he says. "Not only that, but the show took off, as we know."

a group of people posing for the camera: Guy (far left) and Kylie (second from right) during their Neighbours days. © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Guy (far left) and Kylie (second from right) during their Neighbours days.

It was a double whammy for Guy. He was learning on the spot, but also dealing with everything fame brings.

"I wasn't in the spotlight like Kylie and Jason," he recalls. "But it was enough to go, 'Whoa, this is really full-on.' I was hovering behind them, in a way."

Guy is adamant that if Neighbours casting director Jan Russ hadn't cast him back in 1986, he wouldn't be where he is today.

"I feel like I managed to handle the fame stuff pretty well [during Neighbours]," he says. "At least, I felt I was stable enough to continue on and be patient, and look for other work."

a group of people posing for a photo: Guy, Annie Jones, Jason, and Kylie fim Neighbours iconic Charlene and Scott wedding episode. © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Guy, Annie Jones, Jason, and Kylie fim Neighbours iconic Charlene and Scott wedding episode.

Guy has been one of Australia's most prolific actors in the US, thanks to hit films such as The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (1994), L.A. Confidential (1997) and Memento (2000).

Jack Irish has also been a big success locally, with three telemovies and two six-part TV series in the can.

Guy now divides his time between Melbourne, Amsterdam and Los Angeles. His partner, Game Of Thrones star Carice van Houten, is from the Netherlands, and the couple have a son, Monte, who turns two in August.

The Aussie actor reveals Monte has changed his life for the better.

"It's an extraordinary experience – and one I thought I was never going to have," Guy says of fatherhood. "It's an eye-opening experience.

"I'm very aware that having children is a full-on task, but it's also delightful."

Guy says he's enjoying watching Monte grow and learn.

"He's talking a lot," the actor enthuses. "He's talking Dutch, so I have no idea what he's saying! But he's speaking English too.

"It's fascinating watching that little brain absorb everything he can possibly absorb. It's incredible, really."

Monte may be half-Dutch, but Guy is ensuring he's still a little Aussie.

"I'm teaching him to say, 'G'day, mate!'" he laughs.

Considering his many achievements in Hollywood – including an Emmy Award for his performance in 2011 miniseries Mildred Pierce – Guy never needed to return to Australia to work.

But his heart belongs to his hometown of Melbourne. Guy says he'll always have a strong connection to the city because it's where he got his start in the industry – in Neighbours.

Of course, having a home base in Melbourne also allows him to shoot Jack Irish. Guy loves playing the quirky criminal lawyer-turned-investigator, who can't help but get embroiled in complicated cases.

While season two of Jack Irish is filmed mostly in Melbourne, the storyline also takes the actors to India, and it's beautifully shot.

As for the future of the ABC series, Guy says it's yet to be decided.

"I do love it [Jack Irish]," he says. "We're going to have a meeting about it soon, to see what more we've got in us."

He says he's conscious of not wanting to "flog the proverbial dead horse".

"We've done three TV movies and now two TV series," Guy explains. "So, in normal terms, that's four or five seasons of Jack Irish.

"The writers are so clever, so we'll get together and just see what happens."

Jack Irish airs Sunday, 8:30pm on ABC.

Guy Pearce opens up about his incredible series Jack Irish, and his relationship with Neighbours co-stars Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Plus, the actor spills on fatherhood and his love with Carice van Houten.: Jack Irish star Guy Pearce on becoming a father © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Jack Irish star Guy Pearce on becoming a father
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