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Ben Mendelsohn, 2006 (printed 2012)

Jimmy Pozarik

type C photograph (sheet: 41.7 cm x 59.0 cm, image: 34.5 cm x 51.8 cm)

Ben Mendelsohn (b. 1969), actor, spent much of his early childhood abroad as his father, a leading medical researcher, worked in Europe and the USA. Returning to Melbourne in time to attend high school, he began acting in local theatre productions and gained roles on television series including The Henderson Kids. His breakthrough role came in the quiet hit The Year My Voice Broke (1987) for which he won the AFI award for Best Supporting Actor. After The Big Steal (1990) and Spotswood (1992) he made Cosi and Idiot Box in 1996 and Mullet in 2000. That year he appeared in his first Hollywood venture, Vertical Limit; and during the ensuing decade featured in Terrence Malick’s masterpiece The New World (2005), Knowing (2009), Baz Luhrmann’s Australia (2008), and Beautiful Kate (2009) opposite Bryan Brown and Rachel Griffiths. In 2010 he triumphed with his role as the menacing leader of a family of criminal brothers in the ensemble drama Animal Kingdom. His performance won him the AFI award and the Inside Film award for best actor and saw him named GQ magazine’s Actor of the Year. Mendelsohn has since appeared in many American and British films including the third instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises (2012); the crime dramas The place beyond the pines and Killing them softly (both 2012); Ridley Scott’s Biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014); Rogue One: a Star Wars Story (2016); Una (2017); and Darkest Hour (2017). Having appeared in the HBO series Girls in 2013, Mendelsohn distinguished himself as a television actor in Bloodline (2015–2017) for which he won a Golden Globe nomination and an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

Accession number: 2012.41

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Jimmy Pozarik

Ben Mendelsohn (age 37 in 2006)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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