Eric Bana (born 9 August 1968) is an Australian film and television actor. He began his career as a comedian in the sketch comedy Full Frontal before gaining critical recognition in the biographical film Chopper. After a decade of roles in Australian TV shows and films, he gained Hollywood's attention for his performance in Black Hawk Down and by playing the lead role as Hulk/Bruce Banner in the Ang Lee-directed Marvel Comics film Hulk with Jennifer Connelly. He has since played Hector in the movie Troy, the lead in Steven Spielberg's Munich, and the villain Nero in the Science Fiction film Star Trek.
An accomplished dramatic actor and comedian, he received Australia's highest film and television awards for his performances in Chopper, Full Frontal and Romulus, My Father. He has performed across a wide spectrum of leading roles in a variety of low-budget and major studio films, ranging from romantic comedies and drama to science fiction and action thrillers.
He appeared in
- The Castle
- Black Hawk Down
- Finding Nemo
- The Other Boleyn Girl
- Mary and Max
- Star Trek
- The Time Traveler's Wife
- Funny People
- Lone Survivor
Tropes relating him include:
- Dyeing for Your Art: Gained thirty pounds for the film Chopper, which he achieved by eating junk food for four weeks.
- Fake Nationality: Most of his roles are Fake Americans, while he played a Fake Brit in The Other Boleyn Girl. In Troy he uses The Queen's Latin to give Hector a British accent.
- Irony as She Is Cast: Plays a lot of action movie characters, but is very anti-gun in real life.
- One of Us: He's a big fan of Star Trek. He was also a fan of The Incredible Hulk growing up and agreed to star in Hulk for this reason.
- Promoted Fanboy:
- Real-Life Relative: His wife and son appear in a photo in Black Hawk Down. The prop department had forgotten to grab a photo of a wife and child for when Durant is captured by the Somalis. Rebecca Gleeson was on set with their son Klaus, and they asked her to pose for the picture.
- Star-Making Role: As Mark "Chopper" Read.
- Tom Hanks Syndrome: Many would be surprised to learn that he began his career as a stand-up comedian and impressionist and even had his own eponymous sketch show. Ricky Gervais cast him in a film intending for him to play the straight man - only to be shocked that Eric is a trained comedian.
- What Could Have Been:
- Hulk was planned to have two sequels, but the film's poor reception led to Eric declining the offer to reprise it. However, he reprised the role in the video game.
- He wanted to be a mechanic and then a racing driver when he was younger, but he was inspired to become an actor after watching Mad Max.