"Snowy River" official cast biography, 1994

Guy Pearce plays Rob McGregor

The role of Rob McGregor has been changing steadily since the series began. He is in his early twenties, which is a time of growing and maturing in any young man's life. "Rob is becoming a more responsible human being," Pearce thinks. "His brother Colin is a responsible, hard-working clergyman, his father Matt has enormous responsibilities with the property and the destiny for Rob is that he will be taking over Langara. There's a part of him that wants to break away from his dad, get out and be more independent, but there's another side to him that says he wants to stay close to his family. He is cool about Matt remarrying, he is really open-minded about that sort of thing."

This season introduces Montana Hale, a beautiful high-spirited American girl, who is quite unlike anyone Rob has ever encountered. Pearce explains, "Rob finds her very appealing, but he is not going to lose the plot chasing after her. When he was involved with Victoria Blackwood, he couldn't function properly and couldn't concentrate on anything else. Now he's older, cooler and more experienced. And that is all part of his growing maturity, I suppose."

Pearce feels that taking off the moleskins and putting on a frock for a leading role in the acclaimed film Priscilla: Queen of the Desert [aka The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, a critically lauded drag queen misadventure] was a positive and great learning experience for him. "Sometimes you are restricted by your own thinking that you can do a certain amount and no more. And you need to be stretched," says Pearce. Wearing the glittering Academy Award-winning costumes posed no problems to the 26-year-old actor. "I used to do a lot of theatre when I was a kid and I knew even then that wearing a costume helps you find the character; it changes the way you move and feel," explains Pearce. "And the film gave me an opportunity to work with Terence Stamp. Ordinarily, I might have been a bit freaked out working with somone like Terence. But as it happened, the dancing scenes came easier to me than him and I took on the role of unofficial dance captain. I had done a lot of musical comedy work and did the stage show Grease for twelve months. So we would be out the back of hotels and car parks in the middle of the desert practising 'Shake Your Groove Thing' and Terence would be asking, 'Does my right or left foot go first?' So that was fun."

Hardly a week passes in Australia without a glossy magazine putting some sort of "Sex Symbol" tag on Guy Pearce and listing him as one of this country's most eligible bachelors. The attention doesn't faze Pearce. He retains a self-deprecating sense of humour and is still regarded as a highly professional, down to earth actor. "I understand the publicity machine and I realise if someone is in the news because of a film or television series then you are part of that scene. I find it interesting and sometimes fascinating but I don't take it too seriously. For the last 10 years it didn't happen and I understand why it's happening now."

Guy Pearce has an impressive C.V. with lead roles in four films, starring roles in numerous television series, and a variety of stage roles, both musical and dramatic. But he is a long way from over-confident. How does he see himself? "Confused all the time. I never know whether I am any good or not. I guess lots of actors go through periods when you ask yourself, have I been faking it all these years. Am I any good? I don't know."

Pearce was recently in a car accident. The 4-wheel drive vehicle he was driving went off the road, down a 60 ft. ravine, and ended up in a river. The car was a write-off yet he walked away from it with a slightly scratched knee. The experience was frightening and thought-provoking. "After it, the event keeps flashing in front of you and you think someone can walk round the corner, bang their head, and be killed, yet I can be involved in a major car accident in the middle of the night, and walk away from it. It means I wasn't ready to go yet. What it does is make you think more about not taking things for granted and being really grateful for the gifts in your life."

guy edward pearce