Eric Bana was first introduced to American audiences in the title role of Mark “Chopper” Read in the feature film Chopper, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was then released in the U.S. to critical notice after its Australian success. Bana earned awards from the Film Critics Circle of Australia and the Australian Film Institute for his portrayal of Chopper.
Bana was seen co-starring in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down as Delta Sergeant First Class Norm “Hoot” Gibson, one of a group of elite U.S. soldiers, opposite Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Tom Sizemore.
Shortly thereafter, Bana starred as the title role of Bruce Banner in Hulk for director Ang Lee and Universal Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics character. He was also featured as Hector the Prince of Troy in Warner Bros.’ Troy. The following year, he starred in Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed Munich, about the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics.
In his new film “Deadfall” marks one of Eric Bana’s darkest roles in recent memory.
In the film, he plays Addison, a heist man who just robbed a casino with his sister (played by Olivia Wilde) near the Canadian border. But when their car is totalled in a blizzard, the two are forced to split up, leading Addison on a murderous rampage as he tries to make the border.
The role required an actor that could paint in shades of grey, who could bring a subtle approach to a mercurial, brutal character. “We were aware that we needed a brilliant actor,” says director Ruzowitzky, “to show these many layers that are in that character, that it’s not a one layer thing, that it’s all on one tone, but all these different sides we see of him.”
Fortunately, Eric Bana read the script and immediately took to the challenge: “Initially my agent thought I was going to be interested in playing Jay more than Addison, but it was Addison that drew me in,” explains Bana. “This is a very dangerous character and I was immediately drawn to the complexities of playing him.”
“I don’t think it was the dark and twisted part of the character that attracted me, I just think it was a really well written script with really well detailed characters. I don’t think I had that many questions for [screenwriter] Zack Dean and [director] Stefan Ruzowitzky after I read the script. Sometimes you read a script and you have a million questions and notes, and I just felt it was so well written that I didn’t have any. I think that’s the thing that attracted me more so than the fact that it’s dark. I know that’s always fun, but essentially it was just how good the dialogue was and the structure.”
“He’s a very complicated, screwed-up guy,” Bana continues. “Someone who, on the surface, completely has a handle on himself and his sister. As the story progresses, and as our movie heads towards the final act, we discover that he’s someone who’s not really in as complete control as he would like to believe.”
“Everything about the film felt cool,” enthuses Bana. “The script was one of the coolest things I’d read in a long, long time – if not the coolest thing I’d ever read. The character was a wonderfully unique opportunity for any actor, so I was very aggressive about clinging on to that opportunity and just doing everything I could to make sure that the film got made.”
‘Deadfall’ is released and distributed by Crystalsky Multimedia Showing on December 5. Nationwide