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Paul Benjamin Mendelsohn (born 3 April 1969) is an Australian actor, who first rose to prominence in Australia for his breakout role in The Year My Voice Broke (1987) and internationally for his role in the crime drama Animal Kingdom (2010).

Ben Mendelsohn
Ben Mendelsohn by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Mendelsohn in 2017
Born
Paul Benjamin Mendelsohn

(1969-04-03) 3 April 1969 (age 50)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
NationalityAustralian
OccupationActor
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)
Emma Forrest
(m. 2012; div. 2016)
Children1

Since then he has had roles in films such as The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Starred Up (2013), Mississippi Grind (2015), Rogue One (2016), Darkest Hour (2017) and Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One (2018). In 2017, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Talos in Captain Marvel (2019) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).

Mendelsohn starred in the Netflix original series Bloodline (2015–2017), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination and won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Early life and familyEdit

Mendelsohn was born in Melbourne, Victoria, the son of Carole Ann (née Ferguson) and Frederick Arthur Oscar Mendelsohn.[1][2] His father is a prominent medical researcher who previously headed the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne, where he maintains the status of Professor Emeritus.[3] Ben and his two brothers, Tom and David, as well as his mother (deceased), a registered nurse, lived in Europe and the US for long periods of time, and returned to Melbourne when he was in high school. He attended Heidelberg Primary School and Eltham High and Banyule High schools. He took drama because he thought it was an easy class. Mendelsohn was the only one of his friends to follow up with an audition for Crawford Productions that was being advertised.[citation needed]

In October 2009, he was featured in an episode of the Australian series Who Do You Think You Are?, which traced the ancestry of his paternal grandfather Oscar Mendelsohn who was from a Jewish family. It also found convicts on his mother's side. Searching for a connection to composer Felix Mendelssohn, which was eventually dismissed, he discovered links to 19th-century Prussia. His ancestors were among the first Prussian Jews to be naturalised in Schneidemühl in the province of Posen, now Piła in modern Poland.[4] He also has Greek, German, and British Isles ancestry.[5]

CareerEdit

 
Mendelsohn at a screening of Killing Them Softly in 2012

After several early television roles, including The Henderson Kids alongside Kylie Minogue, he attracted notice in his breakout film, The Year My Voice Broke (1987), and won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor.[6] His next major role was in The Big Steal (1990), and Spotswood (1992), co-starring with Anthony Hopkins;[7] this was followed in 1994 by Metal Skin[8] and in 1996 by Cosi and Idiot Box. In 2000, he was in two contrasting films, the Australian Mullet and the Hollywood Vertical Limit.[citation needed]

In 2005, he was preparing to play Mark Antony in the Sydney Theatre Company-produced Julius Caesar,[9] and he was in the Terrence Malick-directed film The New World.

In 2007, Mendelsohn starred in the third season of the TV series Love My Way and in 2008, he appeared in Baz Luhrmann's Australia. He filmed the 10-part Melbourne series Tangle, which premiered on Showcase in 2009. In 2009, he appeared in the American science fiction film Knowing directed by Alex Proyas. The same year, Mendelsohn starred as Ned in Beautiful Kate, directed by Rachel Ward, opposite Bryan Brown and Rachel Griffiths.

In 2010, he appeared in Animal Kingdom, starring in the film as Andrew "Pope" Cody, a criminal on the run from the law living in the notorious Melbourne Underworld. The role won him many awards, including IF Award's Best Actor and the AFI's award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He was also named by GQ Australia as Actor of the Year for 2010.[10]

Mendelsohn was selected as one of the subjects in the Who's Who in Australia 2012 edition.[11] In 2012, Mendelsohn played the supporting roles of John Daggett in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises and Robin Van Der Hook in Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines.

In 2012, he appeared in Florence + the Machine's music video for "Lover to Lover". The video was directed by Vincent Haycock. In 2013, he guest starred in the TV series Girls as the father of Jessa, played by Jemima Kirke.

In 2013, Mendelsohn appeared in the critically acclaimed Starred Up, directed by David MacKenzie, for which he won Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards.

In 2014, Mendelsohn joined the cast of Bloodline, a Netflix original from the creators of Damages. The first season premiered on the site on 20 March 2015 and was well received. Mendelsohn's performance on the series was lauded by critics,[12][13][14] resulting in a Primetime Emmy Award win as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination. In September 2016, Netflix announced that the show had been cancelled, and that it would end after its third season in 2017. Season 3 of Bloodline received negative reviews, and Mendelsohn appeared in two episodes of it.[15][16]

In 2016, he appeared in video as an onstage "stand-in" during the Nostalgia For the Present concert tour of Australian singer Sia Furler for her song, "Breathe Me".[17]

In December 2016, he had a supporting role in the Star Wars franchise's Rogue One, portraying villain Director Krennic. He called the opportunity to act in a Star Wars film "a childhood dream come true".[18]

Depictions in artEdit

While filming Adoration, Mendelsohn took time free to pose for artist Sally West, with whom he had been neighbours in Bondi in the 1990s. The resulting portrait has been nominated for several awards.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Mendelsohn married British-American journalist Emma Forrest in June 2012.[20] He has one daughter with Forrest, born in 2014, and one from a previous relationship.[21] He was divorced from Forrest in 2016.

He is an avid fan of video games, citing The Last of Us as his favourite game.[22]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Still Point Peter
1987 The Year My Voice Broke Trevor Leishman AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1989 Lover Boy Gazza
1990 Return Home Gary
Nirvana Street Murder Luke
The Big Steal Danny Clarke Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Quigley Down Under O'Flynn
1992 Spotswood Carey Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Map of the Human Heart Farmboy
1993 Say a Little Prayer Nursery Manager
1994 Sirens Lewis
Metal Skin Dazey Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor – Male
Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1996 Cosi Lewis Riley
Idiot Box Kev
1997 True Love and Chaos Jerry
Amy Robert Buchanan Camério Award for Best Actor
1999 Love Brokers
2000 Sample People John
Vertical Limit Malcolm Bench
2001 Mullet Eddie "Mullet" Maloney Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor – Male
2002 Black and White Rupert Murdoch
2005 The New World Ben
2008 $9.99 Lenny Peck (voice)
Australia Captain Dutton
2009 Knowing Phil Beckman
Prime Mover Johnnie
Beautiful Kate Ned Kendall Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor – Male
2010 Animal Kingdom Andrew "Pope" Cody AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
IF Award for Best Actor
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor – Male
Needle Detective Meares
2011 Killer Elite Martin
Trespass Elias
2012 Killing Them Softly Russell
The Dark Knight Rises John Daggett
The Place Beyond the Pines Robin Van Der Hook
2013 Two Mothers Harold
Starred Up Neville Love BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Village Voice Film Poll for Best Supporting Actor
2014 Lost River Dave
Exodus: Gods and Kings Viceroy Hegep
Black Sea Fraser
2015 Slow West Payne
Mississippi Grind Gerry Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Guns for Hire Kyle Sullivan
2016 Una Ray Brooks
Rogue One Director Orson Krennic
2017 Darkest Hour King George VI Nominated—AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor
2018 Ready Player One Nolan Sorrento
Untogether Martin
The Land of Steady Habits Anders Hill
Robin Hood Sheriff of Nottingham
2019 Captain Marvel Talos
Spider-Man: Far From Home Uncredited cameo
The King King Henry IV
Babyteeth[23] Henry
Spies in Disguise Tristan McFord (voice) In production

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Special Squad Episode: "Slow Attack"
1985 A Country Practice Luke Dawson 2 episodes
The Henderson Kids Ted Morgan 4 episodes
1986 Prime Time Bartholomew "Bart" Jones
Fame and Misfortune John 6 episodes
1986–1987 Neighbours Warren Murphy 19 episodes
1987, 1989 The Flying Doctors Brad Harris, Brian 2 episodes
1988 All the Way Lindsay Seymour 3 episodes
1989 This Man... This Woman Matthew Clarke 3 episodes
1989, 1994 G.P. Max Fisher, Phillip Barton 2 episodes
1994 Roughnecks Joe 90 1 episode
1995 Snowy River: The McGregor Saga Dale Banks Episode: "High Country Justice"
Police Rescue Dean Forman Episode: "Wild Card"
Halifax f.p. Peter Donaldson Episode: "My Lovely Girl"
1996 Close Ups Biz
1997 Good Guys, Bad Guys Brian O'Malley Episode: "Unfinished Business"
1999 Queen Kat, Carmel & St Jude Vince McCaffery 4 episodes
Secret Men's Business Doug Petersen Television film
2001 Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story Alexander Hall Television film
2002 Farscape Sko Episode: "I-Yensch, You-Yensch "
2005 The Secret Life of Us Rob 5 episodes
Second Chance Dr. Larry Stewart Television film
2006–2007 Love My Way Lewis Feingold 15 episodes
Nominated—Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actor (2007)
Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama (2007)
Nominated—ASTRA Award Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Male (2007–2008)
2009 Tangle Vince Kovac 10 episodes
Nominated—Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actor (2010)
Nominated—ASTRA Award Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Male (2010)
2013 Girls Salvatore Johansson Episode: "Video Games"
2015–2017 Bloodline Danny Rayburn 23 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2016)
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2016)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2015)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2017)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2016)
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2015)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film (2016)
2019 Infinity Train Special Agent Mace (voice) Episode: "The Chrome Car"
2020 The Outsider Det. Ralph Anderson Miniseries

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Squadron 42 Julian Wexler Also motion capture

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ben Mendelsohn – Episode 3 – Season 2 – Who Do You Think You Are?". SBS. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Leanne (2009). Who's Who in Australia. Crown Content. ISBN 978-1-74095-166-1. Retrieved 13 April 2014 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Professor Fred Mendelsohn". The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are?". SBS.
  5. ^ "Ben Mendelsohn: behind the bad guy mask". 26 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Film institute award winners". Canberra Times. 10 October 1987. p. 10. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  7. ^ McDonald, Dougal (22 February 1992). "Feel-good movie, but lacks drama, tension". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). p. 42. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  8. ^ McDonald, Dougal (6 May 1995). "Probing young people's injured psyches". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). p. 56. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Ben Mendelsohn: Mark Antony". Life Matters. ABC Radio National. 18 July 2005.
  10. ^ "Ben Mendelsohn". GQ. 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  11. ^ Delany, Colin (8 December 2011). "Emile Sherman, Ben Mendelsohn and Lizzy Gardiner recognised in 2012's Who's Who". mumbrella.com.au. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  12. ^ McFarland, K. M. (24 March 2015). "Kyle Chandler Isn't Bloodline's Star. This Unknown Actor Is". Wired. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  13. ^ Grozdanovic, Nikola (31 March 2015). "Netflix Neo-Noir 'Bloodline' Gives Viewers The Tragic Anti-Hero Television Has Been Waiting For Since Walter White". Indiewire. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  14. ^ Fowler, Matt (24 March 2015). "Bloodline: Season 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  15. ^ Travers, Ben. "Bloodline Season 3 Netflix Review: A Meaningless Ending — Spoilers". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  16. ^ Prudom, Laura. "'Bloodline' Ending After Season 3 on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  17. ^ Stevenson, Jane. "Crowd eats up pop star Sia's minimalistic show". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  18. ^ Patterson, John. "Rogue One's Ben Mendelsohn: 'Star Wars is a childhood dream come true'". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Sally West: The Bird of Song with Claws of Paint". Shayan Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn. Art Aesthetics. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  20. ^ Maddox, Garry (6 October 2012). "Killing Them Softly, How Hollywood Fell For Ben Mendelsohn". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  21. ^ Hornaday, Ann (5 April 2013). "Ben Mendelsohn is everywhere. Finally". Washington Post.
  22. ^ https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/59ab7z/ben-mendelsohn-really-wants-you-to-play-last-of-us
  23. ^ Eliza Scanlen and Toby Wallace join ‘Babyteeth

Further readingEdit

  • Romei, Stephen. (2005). "The Face: Stephen Romei meets Ben Mendelsohn (actor)". Review liftout, p. 3, The Weekend Australian, 25–26 June 2005

External linksEdit