updated 06/07/2013 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 06/10/2013 AT 9:50 AM ET
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.”