For two decades now, the Australian actor cum comedian, Eric Bana has had arguably one of Hollywood’s weirder but interesting careers. He started his career as a stand-up comic with no prior training and gradually glided into acting, with little or no experience in dramatic roles. He gained global recognition for his role as Australia’s infamous criminal, Chopper Read in the 2000′ film, Chopper. That one role brought him into the Hollywood mainstream.
He has since appeared in critical and commercial hits such as Munich, Star Trek, Troy, Hulk, Hanna, and the mini-series Dirty John. Bana is the husband of publicist, Rebecca Gleeson. We present to you everything you need to know about this phenomenal actor.
Eric Bana Biography
The eclectic and versatile actor was born on August 9th, 1968 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His Croatian father, Ivan and his German mother, Eleanor named him Eric Banadinovic. He has an older brother named Anthony. Ivan worked as a logistics manager for Caterpillar Inc. while Eleanor was a hairdresser.
Growing up in suburban Melbourne in an area called Tullamarine, he attended Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School. As a child, Eric loved doing comic impressions of family members such as his grandfather’s walk, voice, and mannerisms. He also became famous among his schoolmates for his mimicry of his teachers, which was also able to get him out of troubles. All the while, however, he never thought of being an actor until after watching Mel Gibson film Mad Max (1979), when he decided he wanted to become an actor.
After some time, Eric Bana was not so much interested in acting anymore and he decided to venture into other things that were of interest to him. He started working as a barman and waiting tables at Melbourne’s Castle Hotel. However, in 1991, after he was persuaded to try comedy while working, his passion for acting was reignited. Even though the gigs did not provide him with enough income to support himself and Bana briefly returned to waiting tables, he started considering a career in the performing arts seriously.
He made his TV debut with the late-night talk show, Tonight Live in 1993 and became a star and a writer on the sketch comedy series for four years. His performances especially his impressions of such celebrities as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, and Sylvester Stallone resonated well with the show’s audience, making him popular. His breakout role among his Australian audiences was probably as the star of his own sketch comedy show The Eric Bana Show which earned him a Logie Award for Most Popular Comedy Personality in 1997 before he played the titular role as one of Australia’s most notorious criminals in the film Chopper (2000). This one role brought Bana to global recognition and marked him as a new talent ripe for the spotlight in Hollywood.
Though Eric Bana had little or no experience in dramatic roles when he played Chopper, he has reached a place where most aspiring actors and most of those who started before him could only dream of. Additionally, the role made him a contender for dramatic works. For instance, Brad Pitt, a huge fan of Chopper personally requested Bana for the role of Prince Hector in Troy (2004) and Russell Crowe who was also impressed by his Chopper performance recommended him for his role in Black Hawk Down (2001), that he did not have to audition for the role. Also, Chopper brought him an eclectic array of opportunities, including a role in Steven Spielberg’s Munich (2005) as Avner Kaufman which was written specifically for him.
From superheroes to titular characters, he has also played second banana to others in works such as Funny People (2009) and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek (2008). His other works include the action thriller film Hanna (2011) alongside Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan Lone Survivor (2013), Guy Ritchie‘s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), and the titular character in the mini-series Dirty John (2018).
Bana is a very versatile actor; he can improvise and can stick to the script if needed. He has been a sketch comedian, a warrior, a criminal, an assassin, and has also been a Hulk (2003). In 2006, he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and in 2019, he was honored with the appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the performing arts and to charity.
Everything To Know About Rebecca Gleeson’s Husband
Eric Bana Worked as a Barman
Ever before Eric became the actor we know and love today, he worked at menial jobs to support himself. From washing cars at a service station to pushing trolleys at Coles New World and waiting tables at Melbourne’s Castle Hotel, the actor has done it all.
He Won a Trip to the United States in 1996
When he was just an upcoming actor paving his way in the Australian acting industry, he won a trip to the U. S. from Cleo Magazine after being named their Bachelor of the Year in 1996. Today, he can effortlessly afford to travel to or reside in any part of the world he chooses. His $45 million net worth can confidently handle that.
Bana has been Happily Married for more than Two Decades
Eric Bana met and started dating Rebecca Gleeson while he was working on the TV series Full Frontal in 1995. Gleeson is a publicist and daughter of Murray Gleeson, former Chief Justice of New South Wales and later Chief Justice of Australia.
He proposed to her while on the trip to the US. in 1996 and they got married the following year. The duo lives together with their two children, a son, Klaus (born August 1998), and a daughter, Sophia (born April 2002) in Melbourne.
He is a Motor racing Enthusiast.
Eric Bana may have started performing arts as a child albeit with ineptitude, but his first love was actually car racing. As a teenager, he worked as a motor mechanic and almost gave up his education to become a full-time mechanic. But for his father’s intervention and conviction to complete school, advising him to avoid making his hobby a job, Bana would have been a different man today.
He bought his first car, the 1974 Ford Falcon XB Coupe for $1000 when he was 15. With the car in 1996, he made his motorsport debut in the Targa Tasmania. Since then, he has taken part in other motor racing competitions in Australia including the 2002 and 2003 Classic Adelaide.
His film, Love the Beast, a documentary-style film was released in 2009. He self-produced and directed the movie which details his personal relationship with his first car and follows his progression as a car lover.
At 6′ 2½” (1.89 m), the phenomenal actor is tall by almost any standards. However, when we judge by his family standards, he is actually medium-sized or small. For instance, his brother stands 6′ 8″. He weighs 93 kg.