Memory’s Guy Pearce Details How ‘Broke the Mold’ Movies Relate

Guy Pearce has embodied a spectrum of characters since his debut in the film industry, going from dark and dramatic turns in films like Explorer to the more bombastic elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man 3. Throughout, Pearce always finds humanity striking at the core of the characters, especially when things prove to be more complex than just the hero vs villain narrative. Now, he’s starring in Martin Campbell’s Storagebrings layers of pain and goodwill to FBI agent Vincent Serra, who finds himself trying to get in the way of assassin Liam Neeson Alex’s mission, even as the full details of his plans may actually put them on a moral footing closer than Vincent realizes.


During an exclusive interview with CBR ahead of the film’s April 29 release, Guy Pearce talked about working with Liam Neeson and Martin Campbell on the film. He dives into how the film’s unique approach to its characters draws him to the project and the inherent tragedy and terror of losing one’s memory.

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CBR: Beginning, congrats on the film! I found finishing a film under ideal conditions was a challenge, and especially lately it must have been very difficult.

Guy Pearce: Yes, I agree with you. I think finishing any film at the best time is quite a task. To finish a good film is certainly a miracle, but you are absolutely right. Finishing a film during COVID is really a pretty tough test. I feel that once things are set up, once the protocol is set up and then followed, of course, it slows things down. Everyone is eager to get back to work. Once people were satisfied with the protocol, we set off.


In the film, you can play opposite Alex, played by Liam Neeson, but you don’t have to be the antagonist, certainly not the villain. Vincent has his own morality and ideas about how to help the world, but they put him at odds with Alex. How does it feel to play a character who is still a hindrance to the character but not necessarily their enemy? How do you approach that?

That’s very interesting, and that’s why I chose to do it. I think, on the one hand, similarities, although these characters are very different, there is some connective tissue. We see a man, in Liam Neeson’s character Alex, just struggling with his own medical problems. In my character, we find a man who tries to do his job right but clearly carries some personal history of tragedy in there.


On the one hand, that [cut] through the usual protocol of bad guys and good guys always trying to keep this kind of world a secret separate from each other. There’s just something in this story where [Alex and Vincent] sort of reach out to each other, I guess, because once Liam’s character realizes what he’s set up for, and what we know in my character I’m trying to work out, really, on some level, they’re after the same thing. .

I really enjoyed it. I really enjoy that it only spoils the mold a bit. I’m not just playing the FBI guy trying to chase the bad guys, and Liam is just playing the bad guy trying to get away from the FBI guys. So it was an interesting experience, I think. Of course, working with Liam: fun, as well as our other players. Works at Martin [Campbell], our director, who is very experienced, is also wonderful. So it was a good experience.


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You’ve worked with some of the great modern filmmakers, and now you can count Martin Campbell among them. What was it like collaborating with him Storage?

Well, he’s awesome because, a bit like me and Liam and our characters, Martin and I hooked up right away because… Not to take anything from the script, but if anything in the script gets overwritten… I find most of it thing overwritten. I always see paragraphs that say, “I could say this in three lines instead of the five that were there. So let’s get this over with.”


Martin was ready for it right away. I think he wanted to try and make things more economical straight away. So he and I immediately pounced on the script to try and… We were right on the same page and found that communicating about it was great, simple, easy. I would say, “How about this?” He’ll say, “Good, fantastic,” or, “Actually, we have to make sure we reinforce this point.” “Fantastic, great.” So we really connected right away.

It was a pleasure working with him. I mean, and the problem is we don’t know each other. Each film is a pretty tough task because you suddenly throw 70 people into a room together and hope you’ll get good enough not to spend all the money and shoot this thing in the amount of time you have. So there’s a lot of pressure. It’s not a life and death situation, I’m not trying to suggest that, but you all try to come to the party. You find out very quickly whether or not you’re all at the same party, and sometimes, you’re not.


You can really butt heads. That alone can sometimes create great masterpieces. It can be too easy at times, and you can all be a little lazy, but I think Martin is experienced enough… Well, he’s experienced enough, like me, to know that you’re struggling to try to make it the best you can but it’s also very practical. So yeah, it just works seamlessly.

As an actor, where memory is one of the most important tools in a player’s skill set, memory loss like Liam’s character must have been a uniquely terrifying concept. How does it feel to approach that element of the story?

Well, I’m sure it will be different if I deal with [it], and for Liam, if he’s dealing with his own failing memory versus the memory of a failed character. It’s an interesting occurrence, I think, the idea of ​​losing your memory, of losing who you are. That’s your identity, so you’re kind of… I can see it’s scary. My mother has Alzheimer’s, and I have watched her for the last 10 years disappear on this Alzheimer’s path. He was at the point now where he couldn’t even speak anymore. He didn’t even really know what was going on around him.

The most frustrating part is at first when he clearly thinks everything — it should be — is fine, but it really isn’t. Once he got past a certain point, things got a little happy for him. At that early stage, for anyone, I imagine it’s really scary because we rely so much on our memories for our identity. If those memories and those stories and our past are taken away, then what is it [we]what’s left?

Capture Memories in theaters April 29.

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