Plus five things to know about the hot Aussie star of Wish You Were Here

By Mia McNiece
Updated June 10, 2013 09:50 AM
George Pimentel/WireImage

Going mano a mano with Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby isn’t nearly as nerve-racking for Joel Edgerton as sharing the screen with some eight-legged costars.

In his new thriller Wish You Were Here, which hit theaters this past weekend, Edgerton is among a group of friends vacationing in Cambodia when one disappears.

“I have a massive fear of spiders,” says Edgerton. “In one scene I had six tarantulas crawling on me! Luckily they had be de-fanged, had they not I don’t think I would have been able to do the scene.”

When he’s not fighting his fear of spiders, here’s five more things the hot Australian star, 38, gets up to:

• He’s been having a big year, playing Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby and a SEAL Team Six leader in Zero Dark Thirty. But check him out pre-fame in Star Wars Episode II and III as Owen Lars, Anakin Skywalker’s stepbrother.

• If he weren’t an actor, he would be a painter. “I paint all kinds of stuff depending on my mood,” he says. “It’s a great way for me to clear my mind.”

• He recently reunited with his Star Wars costars Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor to begin shooting the Western Jane Got a Gun.

• When he’s not working, you can often find him in the ocean. “If I really want to relax I go surfing. Lately I’ve been going to Bali a lot. There’s a lot of Australians there.”

• The two leading ladies he would like to work with? “Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet.”