Acclaimed Australian actor Guy Pearce, who started his career on Neighbours, has opened told how he turned to marijuana as the success of his acting career started to get to wear him out.

“There was no conscious reason to my all-day, everyday pot smoking other than I was overworked and thought being high was great fun,” Guy says in an interview in the August issue of GQ Australia.

“It’s a terrible thing to advocate, but I’m not the first person to talk about drug taking and creativity in the same sentence and the fact is, I was hooked on it.

“I loved the altered state marijuana brought me and I really enjoyed making music and delving into films through the prism of pot,” he added.

Guy said he had a busy period making four films in quick succession and then decided to relax.

For most of 2002, he stayed at his home in Melbourne, playing guitars.

“Strangely, it was Nick Cave [Australian musician and screenwriter] who got me out of it,” Guy continued. “The phone rang at home and of course I was stoned and didn’t answer. This big baritone voice started on the answering machine: ‘Look I’m sorry to be calling you at home, Guy. It’s Nick Cave. We’ve sent you a script and I dunno if you’re interested …’ By now I was giggling under the sofa going, ‘Faaaark man, it’s Nick Cave’.”

That film was The Proposition, the 2005 Australian Western, a critical and commercial success that kickstarted a new, more focused phase in Guy’s career.

But Guy still credits his success to Stephan Elliot, director of his 1994 breakout film role in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

“Thank God Stephan Elliot cast me. It was the first time I felt, I have some chops here, some skills I can take somewhere.”