A native of Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia, actor Joel Edgerton grew up in the town of Dural, where he attended primary and secondary school. After high school, the aspiring thespian attended the Nepean Drama School on the Kingswood Campus at the University of Western Sydney, graduating in 1994. Cinematically, he divided his subsequent efforts between producing (for his Blue Tongue Films production shingle, co-run with his brother) and acting, but placed the greatest emphasis on acting. Early features (produced mostly in Australia) included Praise (1998), Dogwatch (1999), and Erskineville Kings (1999), but Edgerton came into his own with his popular ongoing turn as Will McGill on the Aussie soaper The Secret Life of Us, then branched out into increased international exposure with onscreen contributions to two of George Lucas' Star Wars films, Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith (2005). Those assignments represented something of a watershed for Edgerton, who then worked predominantly on higher profiled features, including Joe Carnahan's Smokin' Aces (2007) and Tatia Rosenthal's $9.99 (2008). In 2010, he co-starred in the highly acclaimed Australian crime-drama Animal Kingdom and lent his voice to the animated film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. Edgerton soon began scoring starring roles, headlining the disappointing 2011 remake of The Thing, starring opposite Jennifer Garner in the family film The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012) and playing a predominate role in the Academy Award-nominated Zero Dark Thirty (2012). In 2013, he played Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Made his stage debut in the 1995 Sydney Theatre Company's production of Nick Enright's Blackrock.
- Started Blue-Tongue Films production company with his brother, Nash Edgerton, and several colleagues in 1999.
- First worked with his brother on the 2008 film The Square, which was directed by Nash and starred and was co-written by Joel.
- Made his directorial debut with the short film Monkeys in 2011.
- Has a black belt in karate.