Joel Edgerton

Joel Edgerton Biography

Actor (1974–)
Australian actor, producer, writer and director Joel Edgerton played Will McGill in the soap opera The Secret Life of Us, and Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.


Joel Edgerton was born on June 23, 1974, in Blacktown, Australia. In 1995, he landed a part in the Australian television show Spellbinder. In 2001, he was cast as Will McGill on the Australian soap opera The Secret Life of Us. From 2002 to 2005, Edgerton starred in two Star Wars films. In 2012, he starred in The Odd Life of Timothy Green. His other recent projects include playing Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby (2013) and The Gift (2015).

Early Life

Joel Edgerton was born in Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia, on June 23, 1974. He was raised in the town of Dural along with his older brother, Nash Edgerton. Edgerton’s father was a lawyer and a property developer. His mother was a stay-at-home mom. As a youngster, Edgerton attended Hills Grammar School in Kenthurst, Australia.

Growing up, Edgerton and his brother’s favorite hobby was making home movies. Film would become a lifelong passion for both boys, as Joel grew up to become an actor, writer and producer, and Nash a stuntman and director.

After Edgerton graduated from high school, he decided to study acting at the University of Western Sydney’s Nepean Drama School, located in Kingswood. He graduated in 1994, doggedly determined to pursue an acting career.

Acting Career

Following his college graduation, Edgerton and his brother, Nash, cofounded a movie production company called Blue Tongue Productions. Despite this new development, Edgerton continued to look for acting roles. In 1995, he landed his first on-screen part in the Australian television show Spellbinder. The following year, he appeared in the movies Frog, Loaded and Race the Sun. In 1998, he was cast in a film called Praise. The year 1999 brought roles in the feature films Dogwatch and Erkinsville Kings. In 2000, Edgerton appeared in a TV movie called The Three Stooges.

Although Edgerton had thus far been landing his fair share of acting parts, it wasn’t until 2001 that he achieved national attention in Australia. Cast as Will McGill on the popular Australian soap opera The Secret Life of Us, Edgerton was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award. This success brought the actor international exposure, and he was cast in George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones in 2002. Edgerton bolstered his international fame by returning for a second Lucas film in 2005: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

Concurrent with his acting career, Edgerton has written, produced and directed for Blue Tongue Productions. His production credits include Loaded (1996), Bloodlock (1998), The Square (2008) and Apparition (2008). Also in 2008, he directed a short film entitled The List. Additionally, Edgerton wrote the screenplays for Bloodlock, The List and the 2002 film The Pitch.

Recent Years

Edgerton has continued to land film roles in recent years: The role of Brendan in Gavin O’Connor’s 2011 film, Warrior, earned Edgerton an MTV Award nomination (best fight), shared with Tom Hardy, and made him ever more recognizable to American audiences.

In 2012, Edgerton starred in The Odd Life of Timothy Green opposite Jennifer Garner. Around the same time, the actor signed on for Kathryn Bigelow’s movie about Osama Bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty (2012).

Edgerton’s other recent projects include playing Tom Buchanan in a much anticipated remake of the movie The Great Gatsby, which was released in 2013 and is based on the classic novel of same name written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Edgerton's co-stars in the film include Leonardo DiCaprio, playing the lead character, Jay Gatsby.

In 2014 Edgerton starred opposite Christian Bale as Ramesses II in Exodus: Gods and Kings and continued adding impressive films to his list; in 2015 he worked alongside Johnny Depp in the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass as FBI agent John Connolly, as well as co-produced, wrote, and starred in the critically acclaimed film The Gift. In 2016 he continued his success streak with the historical biopic Loving, of which he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

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