Monday, March 01, 2010

Male On Monday - Eric Bana

Today our regular columnist Annie West introduces a fantastic Aussie Male on Monday, Eric Bana.

I first remember seeing Eric Bana years ago (last century!) in an Australian comedy skit show called 'Full Frontal'. His straight faced, tongue in cheek portrayal of Aussie characters caught my eye. Here was a guy born to do comedy. I also remember his impersonations of Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course I didn't notice his looks. Honest! He worked as a stand up comedian as well as a barman before he started in television. Eventually he had his own comedy show and even won a Logie (Australian TV award) for most popular comedian.

But apparently he'd wanted to be an actor ever since seeing Mel Gibson in 'Mad Max' (young boys are so impressionable) and eventually he made it onto the big screen, where I'm sure some of you have seen him.

OK, time for a little background. Eric Bana was born in August 1968 in Melbourne to Eleanor and Ivan Banadinovich. His dad came from Croatia and his mum's family was German. For those of you thinking of vital statistics, apparently Eric's the small one in the family, coming in at only 6'3" (his brother is reputedly 6'8").

His first film role was in the Aussie cult comedy movie 'The Castle' in 1997. Soon after he was taking the lead in 'Chopper' about an infamous and violent underworld character called 'Chopper' Read. He's virtually unrecognisable after putting on a pile of weight for the role and changing his look completely. He won the Australian Film Industry's Best Actor award for that role and was voted Best Actor at the Stockholm Film Festival.
He was still appearing on Australian TV at this time.

In 2001 he had a role in 'Black Hawk Down' where he became friends with Orlando Bloom. He provided the voice for Anchor, the shark in 'Finding Nemo'. Then in 2003 he starred in 'The Hulk'. In 2004 he played Hector in 'Troy' (for which had had to learn to ride). Mentioning 'Troy' which gives me a good excuse to add another photo of Eric Bana without a shirt on and looking rather more appealing than he did in 'Chopper'. Perhaps we should just pause for a moment as we appreciate the joy of sword and sandal epics.

In 2005 he starred in Stephen Spielberg's 'Munich' with Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds and Geoffrey Rush. Since then there have been films such as 'Lucky You', 'Star Trek', 'The Other Boleyn Girl', 'Romulus, My Father' and most recently 'The Time Traveller's Wife'. I've included a picture here of him in the role of Romulus just to give a feel for the variety of those roles.

When he's not filming (he only makes a film a year and takes his family with him) Eric Bana lives in Australia. He enjoys participating in motor sport and is an Aussie Rules (football) fan. He's married to Rebecca Gleeson, daughter of a High Court judge and has two children.

He's quoted as saying: '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.'

Sounds good to me!

Annie's currently looking for inspiration for her next story after having had her 12th book accepted by Harlequin (yay!).
In the meantime she's hoping readers will enjoy her current heroes: Rafiq, a sheikh with a fiancee he hadn't anticipated, in THE SHEIKH'S RANSOMED BRIDE, out this month in the UK in the anthology THE SHEIKH'S CINDERELLA and Alessandro, a powerful Italian tycoon who discovers there's more to his past than he expected in FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD.


  1. Annie, how lucky are romance readers having more than one chance to sample your fabulous work this month? Oh, Rafiq!!! What a hottie! And Alessandro is pretty much right up there too - although I hope he'd remember my name after our first date! What a lovely take on Eric. Actually one of the really impressive things about him is that when I've seen him interviewed, he's so modest and funny and self-effacing. Love that in a hero! My first memory of the great EB was when he was the husband on an ABC TV soap called Something in the Air that we used to subtitle. Even there, in what was a fairly unrewarding role, it was pretty clear he was going places.

  2. Hi Anna,
    Yes, I like that in a guy too. Even if he's serious about his career and what he's doing, it's nice to see that he's not all 'me, me, me'. EB strikes me as a real family man which has definite appeal.

    Yes, it's fun having a couple of heroes out at the moment. Hope readers enjoy them. And of course Alessandro would remember you! Though I have to warn you he's not dating any more. Carys is taking up all of his time I imagine.

  3. Love your article on EB :)

    I can't believe EB has matured from the "dork" on Full Frontal to the impressive (totally hot!) actor he is today ;)

    I agree that in interviews he comes across as honest, down to earth and funny - great qualities in a hero :)

    Congrats on the double release this month! yeah!

  4. Annie, how am I supposed to read your interesting blog with all those distracting pics of Eric!?! I'm cross-eyed with trying to have eyeballs in two places at once! LOL

    Seriously, isn't Eric Bana brilliant. I still remember him as 'Poiter' with that mullet haircut! And you've named some movies I haven't seen yet - sounds like a lovely excuse for an EB DVD-fest!

    Yay on your 12th book, Annie! There's a space on my bookshelf with your name on it!


  5. Hi Joanne,

    Yes, the transformation is amazing, isn't it? I recently looked at a couple of those old 'Full Frontal' skits and it's hard to credit it's the same guy. Actually, you mentioned one of the other things I like in a hero - he actually is funny. I love that, especially when it's not funny at someone else's expense.

    Thanks for the congratulations! I'm definitely happy about it.

  6. Sharon, I'm laughing here at your rolling eyeballs. It's a bit of a worry, isn't it? But I did have fun collecting the pics. I like his smile in the one with Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt and I have to say, he's the one who appeals most to me.

    Oh, yes, I remember Poiter and that amazing mullet hair. What a way he's come since then. I have to admit I haven't seen all these films myself. It's good to know I have more research to do.

    How lovely to know there's a space on your bookshelf with my name on it! That gives me somthing to aspire to. Actually, I'm wondering when your next Medical story is released. Should be soon?

  7. Annie, I have to admit that when Eric was first given the sex symbol tag I was like, 'What?' I obviously hadn't seen beyond his dorky aussie characters from Full Frontal. But oh my that man has something. And he does sound wonderfully down to earth and modest in his interviews. He surely is Hero Material!

  8. Congrats on the acceptance of book 12, Annie!

    What a diverse career Eric Bana has had. Is there nothing he can't do? I remember watching him in Full Frontal. He's a fantastic comedian--I never dreamed he'd later star in these Hollywood blockbusters. Great choice for your male on Monday!

  9. Michelle, I think it's a measure of his talent that many of us who saw him in his dorky comic roles couldn't imagine him as anything else. I've seen him in other roles since then and it's hard to think of him in some of those absurd skits. He's pretty versatile.

    As for the 'sex symbol' tag, let me just say I really enjoyed researching the images to use on this blog!

  10. Hi Vanessa, I'm glad you approve the choice of Eric B for today's post. I was tossing up between two possible subjects and a friend said 'ooh, ooh, do Eric, for ME'! With such enthusiasm, how could I resist?

    Yes, I find it interesting, and it seems others do to, to see how he's moved from comedy to drama. I wonder if he'll venture back that way?

    Thanks for the congratulations on the even dozen! It feels like a milestone.

  11. Annie - just two words. Thank you..!
    x Abby

  12. Ooh, nice choice! I loved him in Troy. And in The Time Traveler's Wife (birthday pressie from bestest friend - she has excellent taste) - where, I have to say, he reminded me of a young Harrison Ford...

  13. Abby, my pleasure. I'm glad you approve!

  14. Hi Kate. I haven't seen The Time Traveler's Wife but I have plans to. Glad to hear it's worth looking forward to.

  15. Hi Annie, The LORDS OF THE DESERT cover looks great!
    Great shots of Eric Bana.
    My daughter works weekends at a very upmarket deli in the suburb where he lives. She came home shellshocked a few weeks ago as he had come into the shop and stood patiently at the counter while my daughter served his wife. Daughter reported EB was even better looking in real life! The wife was lovely too, she said.

  16. They sure make them pretty to look at in Australia! One of my favorite Aussie's is Richard Roxburgh followed by David Wenham, assuming that you take Hugh Jackman on as a given. All three were in the cheesy yet wonderful Van Helsing a few years back.

    Now I've got to watch The Other Boleyn Girl

  17. Annie, Abby gave you two words - I'll give you three - Yes, yes, yes :-)

  18. Kandy, I like the Lords of the Desert cover too. Can't wait to get my own copy!

    Wow, I'll have to find out more detail of your daughter's location. Maybe I can just drop by some time. Nice to see that your teenager can be shellshocked by such a sighting.

  19. Mistress of the Dark, yes, there are some good looking guys here. Of course we'd include Hugh Jackman! I only saw the clips of Van Helsing, so maybe one day I'll take the time to view it.

  20. oh yes, LOVE Eric Bana! And I remember his in FUll Frontal (yes, Sharon, as Poiter! And after that every Peter in the world became a Poiter :)) ) Love his interviews and his movies - I did manage to miss The Incredible Hulk though.


  21. Eric Bana, what a great hero. All tall dark and handsome, can't wait to read his story and no doubt will be fantastic. Cheers, Margaret