Eric Bana Biography
Eric Bana (Eric Banadinović) is an Australian actor and comedian born on 9th August 1968 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is popularly known for his role in Chopper that earned him Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor.
His father Ivan, was Croatian and worked as a logistics manager for Caterpillar, Inc., and his German mother, Eleanor, was a hairdresser, originally from near Mannheim in Germany. He has one older brother, Anthony. He attended Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School.
Eric Bana Career
At the age of six Eric Bana began doing impressions of family members first mimicking his grandfather’s walk, voice and mannerisms. In school, he mimicked his teachers as a means to get out of trouble.
In 1993 Eric Bana made his television debut on on Steve Vizard’s late night talk show, Tonight Live. His performance gained the attention of producers from the sketch comedy series, Full Frontal, who invited him to join the show as a writer and performer.His impressions of Columbo, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Tom Cruise made Bana popular with the show’s audience.
In 1994 Eric Bana recorded a comedy album ‘Out of Bounds’ and in 1996 he hosted his own television special, titled Eric. The show was a collection of sketches featuring everyday characters, prompted him to launch a sketch comedy series The Eric Bana Show. The series, written and performed by Bana, featured skits, stand-up and celebrity guests, but failed to attract a substantial audience and was cancelled after only eight episodes due to low ratings. Even so, in 1997, he received a Logie Award for “Most Popular Comedy Personality” for his work on the show.
In 1997 Eric Bana made his film debut in the Australian film The Castle, which tells the story of a Melbourne-based family’s struggles to keep their home by Melbourne’s airport as the airport authority force them to move. He was featured in a supporting role as Con Petropoulous, a kickboxing accountant who is the householder’s son-in-law.
In 1997 Eric Bana was approached by director Andrew Dominik to appear in the film Chopper (2000), a biographical film based on the life of infamous Australian criminal Chopper Read.For the role, Bana shaved his head, gained thirty pounds, and spent two days with Read to perfect his mimicry. He received positive reviews on his act with Roger Ebert, an American film critic, stating “in a comedian named Eric Bana the filmmakers have found, I think, a future star … He has a quality no acting school can teach you and few actors can match. You cannot look away from him”. His performance won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor.
In 2002 Eric Bana was featured on ‘The Nugget’, the film portrays the effect of instant wealth on three working class men. While filming The Nugget, Bana was offered the lead role of Bruce Banner in the film adaptation of the popular Marvel Comic book series The Incredible Hulk. Only after learning of director Ang Lee’s involvement in the project did he consider the role. Bana admired Lee for his work on the film The Ice Storm and agreed to work on the film before the final script was complete. He said he was drawn to the film because “the character of Bruce Banner had dramatic potential” and was “a fairly non-traditional superhero”. Hulk (2003) received mixed reviews and a moderate success at the box office, but Bana’s performance was praised: Jack Matthews of the New York Daily News felt that Bana played the role of Bruce Banner “with great conviction”. Eric Bana earned an Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films nomination for “Cinescape Genre Face of the Future” for the film.
In 2004, Eric Bana co-starred with Brad Pitt in the big-budget film Troy. In the film, he played Prince Hector, leader of the Trojan forces battling against the Greek warrior Achilles. The film was an international success, grossing US$364 million, with US$133 million in the US.
After the critical disappointment of Hulk and Troy, critics questioned Bana’s bankability in big-budget films. Eric Bana responded in Empire Magazine: “It’s not like it [Hulk] was a flop. When you’re on a long shoot it is a long personal investment. If I wasn’t happy with the end result I’d be bloody upset, but in every case so far I’ve been happy. Troy could take $50 and I wouldn’t regret it.”
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Eric Bana co starred in Steven Spielberg’s controversial film Munich where he played Avner, a Mossad agent, who is ordered to track down and kill the Black September terrorists thought to be responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The film was a critical success, and was nominated for five Academy Awards in 2006. The Los Angeles Times wrote that Bana as Avner “projects a combination of sensitivity and ruthlessness and … knows how to present a face for which worry is a new experience.”
In 2006 he played in a romantic comedy, ‘Lucky You’ where he played Huck Cheever, a professional poker player who must overcome his personal problems to win a high-stakes tournament in Las Vegas.
His next film was the Australian drama Romulus, My Father (2007). The film, based on Raimond Gaita’s memoir of the same name, portrays a couple and their struggle in the face of adversity to raise their son.
The film was a critical success, and Bana’s performance earned him a second Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor.
In 2009, Eric Bana released a self-produced and directed documentary-style film called Love the Beast. It details his personal relationship with his first car and follows his progression as a car lover. Along the way he seeks guidance and wisdom from the inner sanctum of his three lifelong friends, as well as celebrities Jay Leno, Jeremy Clarkson, and Dr. Phil.
In April 2016, Eric Bana starred as Frank Bonneville, a struggling radio journalist, in Ricky Gervais’ Special Correspondents on Netflix. In Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), Bana took on the role of Uther Pendragon, king of Britain and father of future King Arthur.
Eric Bana Movies
- 1993 – 1996: Full Frontal
- 1996 – 1997: The Eric Bana Show Live
- 1997: The Castle as Con Petropoulous
- 1999 – 2000: All Saints
- 2000 – 2001: Something in the Air.
- 2000: Chopper as Mark “Chopper” Read
- 2001: Black Hawk Down as Norm “Hoot” Gibson
- 2002: The Nugget as Lotto
- 2003: Hulk as Bruce Banner/Hulk
- 2004: Troy as Hector
- 2005: Munich as Avner Kaufman
- 2007: Lucky You Huck Cheever
- 2007: Romulus, My Father as Romulus Gaita
- 2008: The Other Boleyn Girl as Henry Tudor
- 2009: Mary and Max as Damien Popodopolous
- 2009: Love the Beast as Himself (Documentary; also producer and director)
- 2009: Star Trek as Nero
- 2009: The Time Traveler’s Wife as Henry DeTamble
- 2009: Funny People as Clarke
- 2011: Hanna as Erik Heller
- 2012: Deadfall as Addison
- 2013: Closed Circuit as Martin Rose
- 2013: Lone Survivor as Erik S. Kristensen
- 2014: Deliver Us from Evil as Ralph Sarchie
- 2016: The Finest Hours as Daniel Cluff
- 2016: Special Correspondents as Frank Bonneville
- 2016: The Secret Scripture as Dr. William Grene
- 2017: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword as Uther Pendragon
Eric Bana Wife
In 1995 Eric Bana began dating Rebecca Gleeson, a publicist with the Seven Network and daughter of then Chief Justice of New South Wales, and later Chief Justice of Australia, Murray Gleeson. In 1997 they got married after Bana proposed to her on a trip to the United States, which he won from Cleo Magazine after being named their “Bachelor of the Year” in 1996.
They have two children, a son Klaus born in August 1999 and a daughter Sophia born in April 2002.