Eric Bana

*Eric Bana
(48 years old)

9 August 1968
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
6' 2½" (1.89 m)

In 1991, he began a career as a stand-up comedian, while working as a barman at Melbourne's Castle Hotel. In 1993, Bana made his television debut on Steve Vizard's Tonight Live with Steve Vizard (1990) talk show, then joined the Full Frontal (1993) TV-series. He gained popularity for making impressions of Arnold SchwarzeneggerSylvester StalloneTom Cruse and "Colombo". In 1996, he started his own show titled Eric (1997), then launched a comedy series titled The Eric Bana Show Live (1997). The show was canceled for the lack of substantial audience, however, in 1997, Bana received the Logie Award for "Most Popular Comedian" for his work on The Eric Bana Show Live (1997).

He made his film debut in The Castle (1997), in a supporting comic role. That same year, he was cast to portray Mark "Chopper" Read, the notorious Australian underworld figure. For the role, Bana gained 30 pounds, by eating junk food; he also spent a few days with Read in prison, in order to perfect his mimicry. Bana completely transformed himself into a bald, fat, disturbed criminal. He would arrive on the film set at four in the morning, spending several hours in makeup, being tattooed exactly like Read. Chopper (2000) became an international success and won three Australian Film Institute Awards. Bana won the Best Actor at the 2000 Stockholm Film Festival and also the AFI 2000 Best Actor Award. Then he co-starred in Black Hawk derribado (2001), then starred in Hulk (2003). In 2002, he was cast as a Trojan "Prince Hector" in the historical epic Troya (2004), after being recommended by Brad Pitt, who admired Bana for his work in Chopper (2000). In 2005, Bana co-starred with Daniel Craig and Geoffrey Rush in the political drama Munich(2005) directed by Steven Spielberg.

In 1995, he began dating Rebecca Gleeson, a publicist and daughter of Australian High Court Chief Justice Murray Gleeson. The following year, he was named "Bachelor of the Year" by Cleo Magazine, and won a trip for two to the United States. He invited Gleeson, and proposed to her during that romantic trip. In 1997, the two were married; their son, Klaus, was born in 1999, their daughter, Sophia, was born in 2002. He currently resides in Melbourne with his wife and their two children. Bana is a passionate supporter of Australian football.

Eric Bana was born Eric Banadinovic on August 9, 1968, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is the younger of two brothers. His father, named Ivan Banadinovic, came from Zagreb, Croatia, and worked as a manager for Caterpillar Inc. His mother, named Eleanor Banadinovic, came from a German family and was a hairdresser. - IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Rebecca Gleeson (2 August 1997 - present) (2 children) 


His deal for Hulk (2003) includes an option for two sequels, with substantial salary raises for each film.

He hates guns.

Admitted to eating junk food for four weeks to put on the extra weight needed to play Chopper (2000). He gained 30 pounds for the role.

Underwent weight training and fight training for his role as Hector in Troya (2004).

Has said that Sam Elliott and Nick Nolte are two of his favorite actors, and got to work with both in Hulk (2003).

He made his motorsport debut in 1996's Targa Tasmania, driving that same 1974 Ford Falcon XB Coupe. Other competitions include the 2002 and 2003 Classic Adelaide.

After wrapping Hulk (2003), he spent nine months at home with his family.

First jobs: Washing cars at a service station, pushing trolleys at Coles New World, barman at Melbourne's Castle Hotel in 1991.

In an ironic twist, Mark Brandon Read, who was portrayed by Bana in the movie Chopper(2000), has a small role in the film Trojan Warrior (2002); which he plays a guy named "Erik Bana". This is not to be confused with Troya (2004) which also stars Bana and features a Trojan horse.

He loves racing both bikes and cars in Australia.

Had never ridden a horse before Troya (2004), and had to start from scratch without a saddle.

Two of his characters previously appeared in television movies starring John Rhys-Daviesbefore Bana came into the roles. Rhys-Davies played Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin, in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989), which starred Bill Bixby as Dr. Banner, a role later played by Bana. Rhys-Davies also played King Priam in Helena de Troya (2003). Priam is the father of Hector, played by Bana in Troya (2004).

Has two children with his wife Rebecca Gleeson: Klaus (born August 1999) and Sophia (born April 2002).

Tall by almost any standards at 6' 3", he is actually medium-sized or small by his family's standards. For instance, his brother stands 6' 8".

Prior to Troya (2004), Bana had worked with Orlando Bloom in Black Hawk derribado(2001).

Had the option of playing several different characters in Troya (2004) when he was approached for the project. He chose Hector because he thought Hector "was such a great bloke".

Brad Pitt personally requested Bana as a co-star for Troya (2004) because he was a huge fan of Chopper (2000).

Father-in-law is High Court Chief Justice Murray Gleeson.

First car was an old 1974 Ford Falcon XB Coupe, purchased for $1000 at age 15.

Is a supporter of the St. Kilda Australian rules football team.

A picture of his wife and child was used in Black Hawk derribado (2001) for the scene where helicopter pilot Mike Durant is captured by Somalis. The prop department had forgotten to grab a picture of a wife and child for the shot, so they asked Bana's wife, who was traveling with him, if they could use a picture of her and their child for the shot and she agreed.

Was the first choice to play Xander Cage in xXx (2002), but turned it down to do The Nugget (2002).

When asked in 2005 who his idols are, he named Richard PryorPaul Newman and Barry Humphries.

No fewer than three of his theatrical films are remakes of, or share the same source material with, a television movie. The Incredible Hulk comic book series was filmed as the television movie and series La Masa (1978), and the theatrical film Hulk (2003). Homer's "Iliad" was filmed as Helena de Troya (2003) for television, and the theatrical film Troya(2004). George Jonas' book "Vengeance" was filmed for television as La espada de GedeĆ³n (1986), then remade by Steven Spielberg as Munich (2005).

One of his most admired actors is Rade Serbedzija.

Began his career as a stand-up comedian.

Invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in 2006.

Choosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars in the World (#61) (2007).

In Full Frontal (1993), whenever the show was spoofing a Tom Cruise movie, or had a sketch that involved Tom Cruise, he would play "Cruise", even though he is 7 inches taller than him in real-life.

In April 2009, along with several of the cast and crew, he visited Camp Arijan in Kuwait to show Star Trek (2009) to a group of US service members.

Completed the customary "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car" lap in 1m:47.5s on Top Gear: Episode #14.1 (2009).

Has appeared twice on the cover of GQ magazine: July 2003 and March 2008.

(July 5, 2006) Has declined to reprise his role as Bruce Banner/the Hulk in an Incredible Hulk sequel.

Parents are Ivan and Eleanor Banadinovic.

Has one brother: Anthony Banadinovic, three years older.

Is a huge fan of the original La conquista del espacio (1966) series.

Personal Quotes*

I wanted to be a mechanic. When I was 14, I wanted to quit school and go work on my car. But my dad said, "Son, you shouldn't do that. You should stay in school until your education is finished, and when you're done, don't make your hobby your job.".

I race historic muscle cars back in Australia. And I try to race home as soon as I'm finished a movie but don't tell anyone.

When I shoot I'll take my family with me - one movie a year and then the rest of the time at home.

I wasn't a religious follower of comic book activity as a kid, but I was a fanatical fan of the television show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. So my memories of "The Hulk" were very vivid.

I could become characters and to me that's what acting was - I didn't want to shroud it in mystery.

[on his influences to become an actor] Early, it was Richard Pryor. I did stand-up for 10 years before acting. And the movie Mad Max - Salvajes de autopista (1979). It cemented in my mind that I wanted to be an actor.

I already loved Orlando like a little brother before we started shooting. We did spend five months together in Morocco during Black Hawk derribado (2001). And you have to take care of Orlando. He doesn't even know how to make coffee. (Starts imitating Orlando's voice) Do you want coffee, Eric? How is it done again? Do you put the coffee in the water? Or in the filter? Can you make the coffee, Eric?

The Hulk is definitely what I would categorize as un-fun. I don't think it always needs to be fun. It doesn't always need to be one big happy family. Everyone got along, but it was a difficult, hard shoot. And I think you see every ounce of sweat on the screen.

I love being at home, being with friends and family. I'm of European stock, brought up in Australia. I'm a passionate guy. I just love life.

I think I've been fortunate, and right now I'm in an incredibly fortunate position, which I'm totally aware of. I think luck gets you on to the stage. But it has nothing to do with keeping you there.

[on training for Troya (2004)] You couldn't have bluffed your way through. It takes a lot of bloody arrogance even with six months' preparation.

My favorite part of the interview is the 401 assumptions before you've even started speaking, based on what you're wearing, what you've chosen to eat, how the waiter looks at you.

When I go on the plane to fly home, I'm literally capable of forgetting what I do for a job. That also comes about because I choose to take massive breaks between projects, and because I choose to do this ridiculous thing of keeping home, home.

I wanted to be a racing driver but, you know - this'll do.

I deliberately fly in and out of L.A. for as small a time as humanly possible.

I hate to break it to you but actors really do love each other. It's a crazy job and we put ourselves in vulnerable positions. I don't care if it sounds corny but it's true: you're part of a brotherhood, and protect each other.

(2009) I've always been someone that sets achievable short-term goals. I've never been someone that's had a five-year plan, or a three-year plan. That just seems to lead to a lot of disappointment, and doesn't give you the chance to be flexible. So I've just always been someone that's sort of reassessed where I'm at, and set goals that are realistic. And luckily, I've had plenty of chances to recalibrate and adjust, and good fortune's come my way.