Christopher Nolan’s ‘Memento’ made Guy Pearce question his own memories

Gregory Wakeman
Guy Pearce as Memento's Leonard (Image by Summit Entertainment)

Guy Pearce has opened up about working on Christopher Nolan’s breakout 2000 psychological thriller Memento, admitting that the British filmmaker’s unique approach to the film made him question his own memories. 

For those of you that haven’t Memento, Pearce stars as Leonard, a man who is unable to form new memories and has short-term memory loss every fifteen minutes. He uses polaroid photos and tattoos to help him keep track of his research as he searches for the people that killed his wife. 

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During his recent interview with GQ, which saw the Australian breaking down his most iconic characters, Pearce candidly admitted that when he first read the script for Memento “it felt like gobbledegook” as he could “sense that things were all over the place.”

Joe Pantoliano, Christopher Nolan, & Guy Pearce (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)

But Pearce quickly changed his mind, as “what was really clear was the emotional journey of the character” which was the only thing that he needed “to latch onto in order to do [his] job.”

“The other stuff began to make sense the more as I worked with Chris Nolan and rehearsed with him. Once it all made sense to me, I then had to put it all away and let it all go and just treat every scene as its own little thing because I wasn’t supposed to remember what had happened before and obviously had no clue what was coming afterwards.”

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But once Pearce agreed to star in Memento and began to start filming it started to have a huge impact on his personal life.

“It made me question my own memory.I would look at a photo and would be thinking about a memory around it and then go, ‘Well I don’t know if that memory is really true at all.’ It really made me question my own memories, so thank you, Chris Nolan.”