Eric Bana Talks His Career Strategy and How He Got Started


How he got started: He knew he wanted to act but had no idea how to get into it, so he wound up performing stand-up. Discovered quickly, he worked on sketch comedy television shows in Australia. After a few years he started feeling burned out, just at the time he was offered the lead role in the drama “Chopper,” a film about Mark “Chopper” Read, a legendary criminal in Australia. His intense performance resounded thousands of miles away in Hollywood.

On past roles: He likens his roles to tattoos: “They all leave a little bit behind.”

On career strategy: He employs no career strategy in choosing parts. “Just because I’ve been given the opportunity to play leading roles doesn’t mean I have to feel the pressure to always take them,” Bana says. He finds supporting roles like Nero and Clarke liberating. Working on a film for a short time is a much different ride than being on set every day.

On Playing Nero in Star Trek: “As crazy as it all seems, to be a Romulan and be on a spaceship and all that, you do have to take the time to tell yourself, ‘Well, hang on, this doesn’t work dramatically if I don’t actually take him seriously,’ ” Bana explains. “You’re in the middle of a completely ridiculous set trying to also give it the weight that it needs and deserves in the appropriate parts.”

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