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Lee Pace at SXSW tells us his history with Austin and his message for young queer fans

Eric Webb
Austin 360

It's very easy to love Lee Pace. The 42-year-old actor has done it all, really.

He's done cult TV shows with passionate fanbases like "Pushing Daisies" and "Halt and Catch Fire." There are roles in major franchises, from "Guardians of the Galaxy" to "The Lord of the Rings" to "Twilight." And there are the lesser-known works; this reporter is partial to "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day."

Lee Pace attends the premiere of "Bodies Bodies Bodies" during SXSW Film Festival on March 14, 2022, at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas.

So, when the tall, tan and tousle-haired Pace walked the red carpet at South by Southwest Film Festival on March 14, we had to ask which onscreen outing's fans make him the most excited.

"Oh, it's hard to pick one," he said.

Pace came to Austin because of his latest movie, which will surely earn him a new crop of admirers. Director Halina Reijn's dark comedy-thriller "Bodies Bodies Bodies" made its world premiere on Monday at the Paramount Theatre. In the film from au-courant production house A24, Pace plays Greg, a big, goofy man invited to a house party by his younger girlfriend; the house party turns quite bloody, as the title implies.

Our review:'Bodies Bodies Bodies' slays the slasher flick and gives us Lee Pace in pool at SXSW

But back to the question at hand: "I did this movie called 'The Fall' with Tarsem (Singh). Very few people have seen it, so when somebody comes up to me and says that they have, I'm always like, 'What did you like? Did you like this part?' ... I like to explain how we made the film."

We point out that "The Fall" is almost impossible to find on home media or streaming these days (we've tried recently), at least without resorting to a bootleg disc.

"And I don't have a DVD player. So you have to find a bootleg copy and a DVD player to watch it on," Pace commiserated.

In the midst of answering, Pace spotted his brother outside the Paramount, which reminded us of his Texas roots.

"I went to junior high and high school in Houston, Texas," Pace said. "We were getting up to Austin any chance we got."

He continued, "I've been coming here for 20 years. A lot of my family lives around Austin. To be able to premiere a movie and have my whole family come out and see it is a super special experience."

In recent years, Pace has earned a bit of a reputation as the internet's crush, particularly among his queer fanbase. He came out in 2018 as a member of the queer community who's dated both men and women.

More from the red carpet:Jamie Lee Curtis at SXSW pledges to defend transgender Texas youth from 'horrifying' order

When asked if he had a message for young queer fans in Texas amid Gov. Greg Abbott's order to treat gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth as child abuse, Pace offered solidarity.

"I would say to these trans kids and their families, I'm here with my family, and we stand in solidarity with them," he said. "The hostility that they're facing — we're Texans, too. We all are. I've been watching it. I want them to they're not alone in that."