Lee Pace can't resist gushing about a good movie. He won't even discriminate based on if he's in the film, as when 2006's The Fall comes up in conversation. "That movie was such an important moment in my career. I was working with such inspiring people," he says of director Tarsem's cinematic feast for the eyes, before offering up his thoughts on what made the movie so special.
"Thanks for bringing it up," Pace adds afterward. "I'm so proud of that movie. Not many people have seen it, so if someone has, I'm so grateful for it."
Pace has established himself as one of the most versatile actors working today, existing in the sweet spot between leading man and character actor and unpinned down by genus or genre: He made his film debut in 2003's Soldier's Girl and has since starred in rom-coms and sci-fi, historical dramas and franchise blockbusters (one Twilight movie, two Marvel movies, and all three Hobbit films). With Bodies Bodies Bodies, he adds a slasher to his C.V.
"There have been so many surprises that have come my way, jobs that I never would've imagined but once I started working on them, I can't imagine not doing," Pace reflects. "They've fit so well inside my career and inside whatever I was personally working on at a given time. So, I've gotten accustomed to enjoying my time off and when something comes around that is engaging to me or they're interested in having me do it, then I walk through that door and see what happens next."
The movies Pace loves and takes inspiration from are just as wide-ranging, from grindhouse cinema to Hong Kong romance to secret agent actioners. Below, the actors shares with A.frame five of those films.
Directed and written by: Quentin Tarantino
I always say it as my favorite film: Kill Bill 1 and 2. I think the movie is so cool. I think the music is so cool. Uma Thurman's performance is so kick ass. And it just seems to have everything in it. Quentin Tarantino loves his subject matter so much that he is obviously having such a great time with all of these characters. I love the physical work that all of the scenes require. That's definitely one that I hold up high.
Directed and written by: Wong Kar-wai
I remember seeing Happy Together when I was still in high school and thinking, oh, this is possible with cinema — you can create this kind of thing and you can communicate in this way these complicated emotional ideas. I remember sitting there in the theater and thinking, "I want to do that. And I want to work with those people. I want to be a part of something like that." I can remember that feeling of, "Yes, I belong."
Directed and written by: James Cameron
I recently re-watched True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. She's so kick ass in that movie. Everything about her I find so confident and cool. Both of them are at the top of their game in that movie.
Directed and written by: Sally Potter
It's an absolutely gorgeous movie, and one that is as stunning as the book.
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski | Written by: Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie
I was in Prague shooting Foundation, so I had been away from home for many months. I was homesick and I watched the latest Top Gun in IMAX and I loved every second of it. I found Tom Cruise extraordinarily inspiring — the complexity of his performance and the impact he made on the entire film. The movie-making was extraordinarily impressive. The fact that they had whole scenes shot between jets flying at speed is mind-blowing to me!
But still, the thing that I found myself thinking about the most was the values of the film. In our life, we all find ourselves at a breaking point. We find ourselves at a point where we don't think we can go any further, and if we can locate inside of ourselves what it takes to push through, endure, reach our potential, we can find that excellence. I found that theme so inspiring. I think that's in large part to Tom Cruise and his longevity in this business and his own kind of introspection. And it made me so excited that, globally, people were taking in that story and that idea, and also made me feel such a pride to be a part of this industry.