eric bana

Eric Bana: Is it time to come home?

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Dear Eric Bana,

A lot of Australian actors are doing well in Hollywood.

Sadly, you’re not one of them.

You could blame agents, co-stars, directors, scripts and publicists for your fate.

Or you could face an inconvenient truth: no-one likes your movies.

If you don’t believe me, check out Rotten Tomatoes.

Tomatometer Rankings:

Troy 54%
Closed Circuit 43%
The Time Traveler’s Wife 38%
Deadfall 32%
Lucky You 29%
Deliver Us from Evil 28%
The Hulk 29%

I’m no actor.

But I am a teacher and I’d be sacked if students received these results consistently.

Sure, acting is a different profession, so I can only assume someone in Hollywood has your back because Taylor Kitsch has a similar track record, but no-one wants him in movies anymore.

Of course, at times you’ve shown great potential.

You were good as the vengeful Romulan in Star Trek but your character died, so no sequels for you.

You also received critical acclaim for Chopper where you played the real life Aussie criminal Chopper Read. But that was a long time ago.

What went wrong?

Perhaps you lack the X factor, that indefinable star quality no one can put their finger on.

So it’s time to look at successful Australian actors for help in this area.

For starters, study Hugh Jackman. He’s the same age as you (47), has your height and build and everyone loves him.  Admittedly, though, he is more versatile and can sing, dance and perform on stage and screen.

In contrast, you were a comedian, an impersonator and talk show host before you went to Hollywood. Hugh could teach you a few of his singing and dance routines because, let’s be honest, anything would help at this stage.

Chris and Liam Hemsworth:  Chris has been successful as Thor, the super sexy Viking god. Unfortunately, there was nothing sexy about your role in The Hulk. An angry green man with ripped clothing doesn’t have widespread appeal. Ask Chris for a part in Thor 3, wear an (intact) white robe and relax in Valhalla.

If this fails, follow Liam’s path, become besties with Jennifer Lawrence and date Miley Cyrus. At least people will remember you for something.

Or you could try Joel Edgerton’s approach. He’s been in Hollywood for years, steadily building up a successful portfolio in smaller roles. You could do this too. It’s much less stressful if the film flops because everyone will blame the star and you’ll be off the hook.

If these actors aren’t able to help, then try the tabloids.

Look at Sam Worthington. He hasn’t done much since Avatar but he’s great tabloid fodder. He hit a paparazzi when they kept taking shots of his girlfriend, Lara Bingle, and the notoriety keeps him famous.

Thumping people has always worked for Russell Crowe too. But you’re a nice a guy and a happily married family man, so randomly punching photographers might not be your thing.

Why don’t you read my post on how Noah Taylor, Ben Mendlesohn and Kick Gurry have revived their careers to give you some hints?

And if all else fails there is one further option.

Come home.

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Author: Sue Bell
Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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