Rush at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival
|Born||Geoffrey Roy Rush
6 July 1951
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
|Residence||Camberwell, Victoria, Australia|
|Other names||Geoff Rush|
|Education||Everton Park State High School|
|Alma mater||University of Queensland|
|Occupation||Actor, film producer|
|Home town||Brisbane, Queensland|
|Spouse(s)||Jane Menelaus (m. 1988)|
|Awards||Academy Award, British Academy Film Award, Golden Globe Award, Primetime Emmy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Tony Award|
I think that Ionesco's greatest weapon is that he's able to make us laugh at the darkest corners of our souls.
You had to be into sport and, sad to say, I'm a traitor to my country because I don't have a sporting bone in my body.
People tend to think of Brisbane as a sleepy, sub-topical place. I don't know. It's like Baltimore or something. I don't know. You would hear the family dramas going on behind closed doors.
I was never a leading man. I've always been in the outer concentric circles in the company, being a character actor, which is a good place to be. It gives you that diversity.
What I appreciated was the fact that the script delved into how Australians were – and still are – condescended to by the English.
Sometimes you do feel a script that glows in your hand the moment you start reading it. By page four of Shakespeare in Love, I said, 'I have to be in this movie.'
I like roles that are on the extreme ends of the spectrum, and there's special appeal in exploring these slightly forgotten plays that people might think of as subjects for academic term papers instead of live theater.
There's four biggies. There was Elizabeth I, George III, Victoria, and the current queen, who really dominated four eras.
I didn't know the Green Lantern comics at all. I was a Superman reader.
I knew all about Edward VIII's abdication, George VI becoming the king and having a stammer, but nothing about how he got rid of it.
Someone told me that there's a connection to Superman, that in an early edition of the Green Lantern comics, Tomar Re was the envoy to Krypton. That was fascinating to me.
This is what happens when you are on the wrong side of 40. Young adults, who could be your children, are now working with you. I was playing their parents or mentor. I started to think: Oh, I am not part of that group any more.
My kids started school, so having a strong base in Melbourne has been a key priority. I'm not daunted by the travel. People say, 'It's so far to Australia,' and I say, 'You get on the plane, you eat well, you sleep, you wake up – and you're there.'
People are intrigued and fascinated, almost obsessed with the private lives of great public personalities.
Nobody ever said that growing old would be easy. Just having to hold the newspaper out in your forties and then hair growing out of unusual parts of your body in your fifties. It's tough on the ego.
I guess I've been fortunate in having an ongoing film career while being based in Melbourne. I'm happy to commute. A day on a plane. Come on. It's easy.
Within our culture, every school has a swimming pool. We lived on the coast. People swam in the surf. It's a very sporty nation and at that particular time anyone who had an artistic bent was very much an outsider. So if you liked reading or ideas or playing the piano then your dad viewed you as a sissy, basically.
But as my voice coach keeps saying, if we actually spoke the way they imagine the Elizabethan voice might have been, we wouldn't be able to understand it.
They were saying, 'Keep this under your hat, but Jack Sparrow's going to die in the second movie.' I went, 'You're kidding me. The fans are going to go berserk.'
I often thought I was in the wrong business. I was pretty seriously thinking of tossing it in before I shot Shine. I do not know why. I was pretty restless, I had been through a bad period of stress induced anxiety – panic attacks – and I was not sure of what I wanted to do.
I did not want to put myself on the line, as an Australian playing Britain's greatest comic actor. The fans of Sellers are obsessive, possessive – and aggressive. I did not want to risk their anger – or my own reputation.
Most films I've worked on have had large casts, but they've been wonderful people. I think the monkey in Pirates of the Caribbean is the most temperamental costar I've had. It would throw tantrums like you wouldn't believe.
I do love perusing the dictionary to find how many words I don't use – words that have specific, sharp, focused meaning. I also love the sound of certain words. I love the sound of the word pom-pom.
I wouldn't mind meeting some of the people I've attempted to portray from the olden, olden days. They probably would all have really terrible skin and horrible bad breath, and I'd have to give them an Altoid.
I asked, 'What is this guy?' They said, he's part-fish, part-bird, maybe a bit of lizard, and you don't have to go through five hours of makeup to play him. That was good enough for me.
It's their story, and I got to be the guy in the back while they were in the foreground.
Yeah, well, the F-bomb – it's become as ubiquitous as the word 'like.' People just throw the word 'like' around as punctuation. And I think in a lot of everyday speech, the F-bomb has become a kind of dash or a comma.
When people come to me and tell me I was terrific in this or that, I do not want to fall flat on my face the next time. But, tough, I have fallen flat before. You just get up and dust yourself off.