Guy Pearce has said he was attracted to his latest sci-fi role because his character isn't your average action hero.
The former Neighbours actor turned Hollywood star, who has appeared in a range of artistically brilliant films, including The Hurt Locker, The Road and The King's Speech, decided to lighten up and beef up for space epic Lockout.
"I wasn't consciously thinking it was time to have a bit of fun, but I suppose I found this character appealing," said Guy, who lives in Melbourne with his psychologist wife of 15 years, Kate Mestitz.
Guy plays Snow, a jaded and cynical agent. When a mutiny breaks out in an experimental prison that orbits Earth, Snow is forced to try and save the daughter of the US president, who's travelled there on a humanitarian mission.
Guy had been sent scripts for action movies before but said this one stood out because it didn't take itself too seriously.
"I liked the idea of playing an irreverent character like Snow. He's not the typical action hero. He exhibits a lazy and exhausted quality, which I thought was quite funny," he said.
But he didn't want to play flippant for flippant's sake. "We're not making a psychological analysis of human behaviour, but I still needed to understand why he was that way. He represses more serious emotions so uses snappy one-liners to get through the day."
:: Lockout is in cinemas from Friday April 20.