Picks and Pans Review: Sounds Off

updated 07/14/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/14/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

GUY PEARCE

Guy Pearce plays the oldest of a trio of armed-robbery brothers in The Hard Word. The 35-year-old Australian has been married to doctoral student Kate for six years.

ON ACTING VS. ROBBERY: "As I get older, I kind of question why I even do this anymore, because I like to think that I've come to terms with the person that I am rather than feeling like I have to keep running away from the person that I am in playing other people. I've often made a joke about doing bad movies and saying I'd rather just rob a bank. At least it's not as morally troublesome as making a really bad film."

ON HIS WILD YOUTH: "A friend and I stole a car on New Year's Eve when we were about 15. We drove it around the block but couldn't figure out why it wasn't going very fast. Then we realized as we stopped the car we had left the hand brake on. But we were terribly responsible and did return it and locked the doors. They probably wouldn't have known that we took it."

ON HIS MARRIAGE: "It can be difficult to see Kate because I'm away a lot. We're a very private couple, and we really don't expose ourselves too much. We live in a beautiful old house about five minutes from Melbourne and also have a weekend place in the country when we just want to get away from the city. We have a cat, Gabriel—he's black and fluffy—and a dog, Zelda. She's a Basenji. Kate and I are happy just to stick with animals at this stage."

ON BEING A SEX SYMBOL: "It's not that I like it or dislike it. I don't take a lot of notice of it. In many ways you can focus on that external perception or you can choose not to. I just choose not to, really. Otherwise I think you run the risk of losing yourself. But I'm certainly not offended by it. It can be flattering, of course."

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