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Eric Bana
, 2006 (printed 2012)

by Andrew Maccoll

type C photograph (sheet: 50.8 cm x 76.6 cm, image: 50.8 cm x 76.0 cm, frame: depth 4.3 cm)

Eric Bana (b. 1968), actor, was born Eric Banadinović to a Croatian father and German mother and grew up in Melbourne. In 1991, while working as a barman, he made his debut as a stand-up comedian, and two years later he joined the cast of the comedy skit series Full Frontal. After receiving a Logie for Most Popular Comedian in 1997 he played a small comic role in The Castle. His first film role, the lead in Chopper (2000) was a complete contrast, for which he gained weight and familiarised himself with prison life; his efforts were rewarded with a Best Actor award at the 2000 Stockholm film festival and the AFI Best Actor award. Breakthrough roles in the Hollywood hits Black Hawk Down (2001) and Hulk (2003) led to Brad Pitt’s recommending him for Troy (2004), after which he played a Mossad agent in the political drama Munich (2005), directed by Steven Spielberg. He made his debut as director with Love the Beast (2009), a film about his own Ford GT Falcon Coupe, and won his second AFI Best Actor award for the gentle Australian film Romulus My Father before playing the villain in the big-budget Star Trek (2009). On the heels of Hanna (2011) with Cate Blanchett, he made the dramas Deadfall (2012) Closed Circuit (2013) and Lone Survivor (2013). Since the horror film Deliver us From Evil (2014) he has appeared in Ricky Gervais’s Special Correspondents and the mini-series Dirty John (2018).

Andrew Maccoll (b. 1978) took this portrait of Bana at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne in one of the small downstairs rooms for a news article, and commented that if it were not for their colour, the ‘padded cell’ walls ‘would place Eric in a different scenario all together’. He was struck, as many interviewers have been, by the actor’s genuine, connected and open persona. ‘He was very easy to work with, inquisitive and interested in those around him,’ he said.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2012
Accession number: 2012.149