Not only is Australian born Joel Edgerton a very talented actor (The Warrior, The Great Gatsby) he is also quite a skilled filmmaker. His latest offering is a thriller, THE GIFT in which he explores a very creepy tale of when your past comes back to haunt you. The film stars Jason Bateman, who is wonderful in a dramatic role, as well as British actress Rebecca Hall with Edgerton taking on a very aggressive old high school aquaintance to Bateman.
Bateman and Hall star as Simon and Robyn, a young married couple whose lives are upended when they run into one of Simon's high school chums Gordo (Joel Edgerton). As the obsessive man invades the couple's lives, a dark secret will be revealed from the past that forces Robyn to confront just how well she knows the people around her.
The concept for Edgerton’s directorial debut came from wondering what it would be like twentysomething years after graduation if someone tapped you on the shoulder and said, “Hey, I think I know you. We went to school together.”
“It was such an electrified, potentially terrifying idea, particularly when you look back and ask, ‘Was I really a nice person in high school?’ ” says the 41 year old actor turned director. “I remember I spent some time being a mean kid and had people being mean to me, so I can understand both characters pretty well.” He says he started writing with the intention of creating a character for himself which is a lot of what his writing is about: What does he want to play, what would he like to do, what sort of challenge would he like to have that other people really aren’t offering him?
With The Gift he had plenty of time to explore his dark side as well as Jason Bateman's who we are used to seeing in comedic roles. Audiences will be surprised at Bateman's range and where he goes in this film.
I spoke with writer/actor/director Joel Edgerton about how cathartic it was for him to write this script, casting Jason Bateman in such a dark role and about bullying and how it affects one's life. There are also interviews with Rebecca Hall and Jason Bateman in the attached playlist.