Pearce’s bodybuilding background helped him bulk up for action movie

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert star admits he became gym obsessed in his mid-teens and started wowing with his muscles.

He says, “I entered a competition and I won. I was 16 and it was the Australian bodybuilding championships… My mom used to go to the gym because she would do aerobics and swim, so I would go with her and do a bit of weights.

“The gym was owned by former Miss Universe Beth Lopez, who was a Miss Australia winner in bodybuilding, and when this competition was coming up, her husband Joe suggested I enter because I was quite a thin kid, so if I put on any muscle, you can see it… I entered and I won. I was meant to go into the nationals but we had already booked a holiday to Fiji so I went on that instead. I wouldn’t have won.

“I don’t think I would’ve really followed a bodybuilding path. But I was actually fascinated in a creative way, the fact that you can change the shape of your muscle was fascinating to me; it was like sculpture.”

And the muscle memory came back very quickly when he had to bulk up to play an action man in Lockout: “When we decided the character Snow should be buff and more manly than I look, I was able to draw on past training regimes.

“A month before filming I hit the gym and through the course of the film, I was working out as well four or five days a week after shooting. I buffed up quite a bit. I put on 20 pounds.”