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17 Jun 2023

Geoffrey Rush at TIFF: As an actor, sometimes you have to accept that you have played horribly.


He is part of a super exclusive group - that of actors who have achieved the so-called Triple Crown of Acting - an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony Award - and is one of the most renowned Australian artists of all time: Geoffrey Rush has come to Cluj-Napoca, where he will be honored for his entire career at the Closing Gala of the Transilvania International Film Festival. The event will take place on Saturday, June 17, at the National Theatre in Cluj-Napoca, and will be live-streamed on the TIFF Facebook page.

Relaxed and friendly, Rush visited the city and met with the audience at a special screening of the film that brought him the Oscar - Shine, as well as during masterclasses dedicated to Romanian actors or fans who came to listen to him. He talked about the lessons he learned over the years, his most challenging role, and about Romania.

"As an actor, it's important to know yourself, and sometimes you have to accept that you played horribly. That helps you move on from disappointments more easily and search for another role that suits you better."

Before becoming a movie star, Geoffrey Rush built a brilliant career in the theater: "I started acting 50 years ago because I was very drawn to the theater. But I never imagined what was to come. Film entered my life much later. On stage, you have to be perfect every night. However, on screen, a bad take is not the end of the world. Especially if it's followed by an impeccable scene." He won a Tony Award in 2009, portraying King Berenger I in the absurdist play by Romanian-born playwright Eugène Ionesco, Exit the King.

"The most physically demanding role was that of Captain Hector Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean. I learned how to duel with a sword, it's a dialogue between two blades that I enjoyed. For Shine, I learned how to play the piano. At the post-Oscar party, Elton John told me that I'm talented!"

Rush is in Romania for the first time:

"A flight from Australia to Romania takes over 38 hours. When I found out, I thought it would be easier to fly to space and land directly in Cluj. But I'm glad I came. It's fantastic. We ate very well, we wandered around a lot. There is an extraordinary vitality here, something very special in the passion of the people who organize this festival. I would love to come back with a new film."

The 22nd edition of the TIFF continues until Sunday.