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Ben Mendelsohn Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (27) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 3 April 1969Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Birth NamePaul Benjamin Mendelsohn
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Despite his prominence in Hollywood as a character actor known for playing villains and criminals, Ben Mendelsohn has been a leading man in Australia since starting acting as a teenager. Getting his start in television, including The Henderson Kid and the long running soap opera Neighbors, Mendelsohn broke out with his performance as an ill-fated juvenile delinquent in the acclaimed coming of age film The Year My Voice Changed. Mendelsohn won the best supporting actor award from the Australian Film Institute, his first of eight nominations.

Mendelsohn went onto to become one of the most popular teen/young adult stars in Australia cinema, often rivaling other emerging talents of his generation, including Russell Crowe, Noah Taylor, and Guy Pierce, leading the Australian tabloid to nickname them "the Mouse Pack" in reference to the Brat Pack in America and Brit Pack in the UK, emerging at the same time. Among his peers, Mendelsohn seemed to corner the market on troubled, angry young men, thanks to his roles in The Idiot Box, Metal Skin, and Nirvana Street Murder. But Mendelsohn also proved he was capable of being a romantic lead, starring in the comedies The Big Steal, Cosi, Spotswood, and Amy.

In the 1990s, Mendelsohn appeared in just one "Hollywood" film, the action film Vertical Limit, as one of two daredevil climbers on a rescue mission, often providing the film's comic relief. The film failed to find an audience and Mendelsohn returned to Australia, where he primarily worked in theater and television, despite earning best actor nominations from the Australian Film Institute and Australian Film Critics Circle for the drama Mullet, as a prodigal son returning to his small town. He also took steps to work in more international films such as The New World, The Knowing and Australia. Mendelsohn has acknowledged that there was a period of almost two years that he had so little work, he considered leaving the acting profession entirely.

In 2009, Mendelsohn experienced a bit of a comeback with the role in the independent Australian films Beautiful Kate, as troubled man forced to return reunite with his dying father and come to terms with the death of his twin sister, with whom he had a complicated relationship. He was nominated for Australian Film Institute and Australian Film Critics Circle Best Actor in 2009. A year later, he appeared as Pope in Animal Kingdom, the most terrifying and violent member of a crime family. In 2010, he won Best Actor from the Australian Film Institute, Independent Film Award, and Australian Film Critics Circle.

Since 2010, Mendelsohn has become a major player in Hollywood as a character actor in both blockbuster films (The Dark Knight Rises) and critically acclaimed films such as Killing Them Softly and Place Beyond the Pines. In 2013 he appeared in the UK Starred Up, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor Award from the British Independent Film Awards. In 2014, he will also star in Ryan Gosling's Lost River, Slow West, and Exodus: Gods and Kings, along with a leading role in an untitled drama/thriller for Netflix.

Mendelsohn currently lives in the US with his wife, writer Emma Forrest, and their daughter. He also has an older daughter from a previous relationship. (2014)

- IMDb Mini Biography By: anonymous

Spouse (1)

Emma Forrest (June 2012 - present) (1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Often plays arrogant, unlikeable and borderline sociopathic characters who are never as clever as they think they are

Trivia (27)

His paternal grandfather was from a Polish Jewish/German Jewish background, while the rest of his ancestry includes English, Irish, and Scottish. Ben found out in the Australian version of the show "Who Do Think You Are?" that his grandfather's ancestors were amongst the first Prussian Jews to be naturalized in Poland.
His father is a prominent medical researcher who heads the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne.
Got into acting after taking a Drama class as he thought it would be easy to pass.
Offered to remove his front teeth for the role of Robin in Place Beyond the Pines, which was written as having dentures. The director accepted the offer but changed his mind when an producer intervened before Mendelsohn had the dental work done.
Is the oldest of two brothers.
To get into character for Animal Kingdom, Mendelsohn rarely spoke to James Frecheville on set and would call him John, rather than James or Jim. After production, the two became close friends during the film's promotional tour.
Lived with Scoot McNairy while filming Killing Them Softly.
Considers Bottom (A Midsummer's Night Dream) the greatest character in theater, a role he played in high school.
Played Rupert Murdoch in the film Black & White. Murdoch's favorite movie is Spotswood, which Mendelsohn's starred in.
Supporter of the Mirabel Foundation, a charity to support children orphaned and abandoned by drug addicted parents.
Frequently works with directors David Caesar, Nadia Tass, and Paul Moloney, and actors Noah Taylor, Kylie Minogue, Rachel Griffiths, and Toni Colette.
Claimed in an interview to have written several books under a pseudonym.
Had a strong German accent and spoke the language fluently until the age of six when his family returned to Australia after an extended period living abroad.
Performed a one man play, Mother, as a teenager for his entire school.
A passionate animal lover, while filming Adore, he halted filming to make sure a stray cat made it across the street safely.
After his parents divorced at age six, he lived with his mother until the age of 13, when he moved to Washington DC with his father. After being expelled from his boarding school, Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, after just six months for burning things, he moved in with his grandmother in Australia until he began acting and was able to support himself.
Despite it's large ensemble cast of Animal Kingdom, AFI winners Jacki Weaver and Joel Edgerton single out Ben Mendelson's performance in the film during their speeches. Mendelsohn had won best actor earlier that evening.
Was asked to star in the second and third season of Love My Way by his costar from The Big Steal, Klaudia Karvan (who produced and co-wrote series).
Spent a lot of time in Europe and the United States growing up, returning to Australia for High school.
Learned of method acting from costar Nina Landis (Prime Time), who suggested he read Uta Hagen's Respect for Acting as a teenager.
Seriously injured his back on his last day filming A Map of the Human Heart.
Appeared in short films for both Geoffrey Wright and David Caesar, before starring in their feature films.
Trained at the Heidelberg Theater Company.
Memorized every line from Taxi Driver as a teenager because Robert DeNiro was his acting idol. They worked together in the film Killer Elite.
Mendelsohn was originally cast as Hando in Romper Stomper and had already shaved his head for the part of the neo-Nazi when Russell Crowe (his costar in Spotswood) began campaigning against him, claiming the actor wasn't threatening enough for the role. Mendelsohn was eventually dismissed and replaced by Crowe, but did star in director Geoffrey Wright's follow-up film, Metal Skin.
Hadn't watched one of his own films for 6 years, but was obligated to attend the screenings of Killing Them Softly at Cannes and Place Beyond the Pines at the Toronto International Film Festival. He had previously gone 10 years without seeing his own films.
Appeared in a PSA with Gia Carides and Paul Gleeson in the 80s set in a nightclub to teach teenagers how to fill out their tax returns.

Personal Quotes (7)

For me, it's very important to feel relaxed in the environment, so I will do things to ensure that occurs. And if there is someone vibing me out, I will either attack or flee.
I loved the dogs. One of the reasons that Andrew was so excited about me doing this was because I'm a dog freak. I basically sat around unemployed in Sidney for three years straight and the two things that saved me were the rugby league and my dog.
He would punish me much more than he would anyone else, but he was also nicer to me than anyone else on the set.
I remember the Yearling was the first film I ever saw and my mom told me I cried for about four or five days afterwards. I'd be going along during the day and suddenly start crying over what had happened to the little deer.
I never felt like someone who was boyish and coming to terms with asking girls out or anything like that, which was what The Big Steal and Spotswood were about. But I guess that's the impression I left on people. I'd wanna be playing men by now. I'd be in trouble if I wasn't.
I think if you have to kiss or kill someone on screen then it's a good idea to talk about it beforehand, just because it makes it easier to go where you need to go.
[The hardest day on the set of Killing Them Softly] I discovered that if you eat 40 ice creams in a row you get crook. Yeah, that was bad. That scene we did again and again and it was the hottest, baking day. I was incredibly unwell at the end of that day.

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