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BANA, Eric 1968-


PERSONAL: Born Eric Banadinovich 1968, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; son of a Croatian father and a German mother; married Rebecca Gleeson; children: Klaus, Sophia. Hobbies and other interests: Automobile racing.


ADDRESSES: Agent—Lauren Bergman, Suite 2, 8-12 Sandilands Street, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3205; fax: +61 (3) 9690 8733.


CAREER: Actor, stand-up comedian, and screenwriter. Actor in films, including (as Con Petropoulous) The Castle, Miramax, 1997; (as Mark "Chopper" Read) Chopper, Beyond Films, 2000; (as Sergeant Norm "Hoot" Gibson) Black Hawk Down, Revolution Studios, 2001; (as Lotto) The Nugget, 2002; (as Bruce Banner/The Hulk) The Hulk, Universal, 2003; and (as Hector) Troy, Warner Bros., 2004. Actor in television series, including Full Frontal, Seven Network, 1993-96; The Eric Bana Show Live, Channel Seven, 1996; Eric, pilot, 1996, series, 1997; and (as Joe Sabatini) Something in the Air, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), 2000. Guest star, (as Rob Biletsky) All Saints, 1999-2000. Previously a bartender at Castle Hotel, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and a customs clerk.


AWARDS, HONORS: Voted most popular comedy performer, RAWARDS, 1997; best actor in a feature film, Australian Film Industry Awards, 2000.


WRITINGS:


(With others) Full Frontal (television series), 1993-96.

(And producer) Eric (television pilot and series), 1996-97.

The Eric Bana Show Live (television series) 1997.


SIDELIGHTS: To most Americans, Eric Bana is known only as an actor, one of the stars of the Ridley Scott military thriller Black Hawk Down and the mild-mannered scientist with a huge green alter ego in Ang Lee's The Hulk. But in his native Australia, Bana's early days as a stand-up comedian and as the writer and star of two of his own television shows are still remembered. Bana's first break came in 1991, when he went to an open-mike night at a local comedy club, did some stand-up, and was asked to become a regular performer there. Fast Forward, an Australian sketch-comedy program, soon noticed Bana and asked him to join their newly formed television show, Full Frontal, in 1993. Over the next three seasons, Full Frontal became one of the most popular comedy shows in Australia, and Bana was later able to parlay his successful writing and performing for Full Frontal into his own shows, Eric and The Eric Bana Show Live. The latter show began as an hour-long program that was both a comedy program and a talk show, but it was later shortened to half an hour and returned to Bana's then-trademark of pure sketch comedy.

Although Bana has become well known in Hollywood, he makes a point of keeping his work in perspective. In between shooting The Hulk and Troy, he took six months off to spend time in his home city, Melbourne, with his wife and their two young children. "I decided to take control of myself and say: 'I don't care what else is out there. I want to go home with my family,'" he told Nui Te Koha of the Herald Sun.


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


books


Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 34, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.


periodicals


Boston Herald, January 18, 2002, Stephen Schaefer, "Watch This Face," p. 16.

Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY), May 25, 2001, Jean Westmoore, review of Chopper, p. G4.

Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia), Des Partridge, "The Incredible Rise of Eric Bana," p. 5.

Entertainment Weekly, April 20, 2001, Owen Gleiberman, review of Chopper, p. 46.

Herald Sun (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), February 21, 2002, Leigh Paatsch, review of Black Hawk Down, p. 40, Nui Te Koha, interview with Bana, p. 46; October 17, 2002, Leigh Paatsch, review of The Nugget, p. I06, Nui Te Koha, "Home Boy," p. I08.

Interview, May, 2001, David A. Keeps, "Eric Bana," p. 133.

Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2001, Kevin Thomas, review of Chopper, p. F10.

Newsweek, April 23, 2001, Devin Gordon, "Acting Chops: Playing a Killer with a Few Bolts Loose, an Aussie Comic Explodes," p. 58.

New Yorker, April 16, 2001, Anthony Lane, review of Chopper, pp. 90-91.

New York Post, December 26, 2001, "He Gets 'Down,'" p. 36.

Record (Bergen County, NJ), May 7, 1999, Bob Ivry, review of The Castle, p. 36.

St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, FL), May 17, 2001, Steve Persall, review of Chopper, p. W12.

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), April 11, 2001, Stephen Whitty, review of Chopper, p. 42.

Sunday Mail (Adelaide, Australia), April 1, 2001, Nick Hoption, review of Chopper, p. T07.

Sunday Tasmanian (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia), July 30, 2000, Michelle Pain, interview with Bana, p. T11; January 20, 2002, "Full-Frontal Assault," p. T06; October 27, 2002, Stuart Diwell, review of The Nugget, p. T06.

US Weekly, January 28, 2002, Andrew Johnston, review of Black Hawk Down, p. 54.

Variety, August 7, 2000, David Stratton, review of Chopper, p. 17.

Weekend Australian (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), February 16, 2002, Lynden Barber, "Wanted Man Plays Hard to Get," p. R17.


online


BBC.com,http://www.bbc.co.uk/ (January 31, 2003), interview with Bana.

Lauren Bergman Management Web site,http://www.laurenbergman.com.au/ (January 31, 2003), "Eric Bana."

Memorable Television, http://www.memorable television.com/ (March 31, 2003), "The Eric Bana Show Live."

TV Tome,http://www.tvtome.com/ (March 31, 2003), "Eric Bana."*

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