Eric Bana is an Australian film and television actor. He began his career as a comedian in the sketch comedy series “Full Frontal” before gaining critical recognition in the biographical film “Chopper.” After a decade of roles in Australian TV shows and films, Bana gained Hollywood’s attention for his performance in “Black Hawk Down” and by playing the lead role as Hulk/Bruce Banner in the Ang Lee-directed Marvel Comics film “Hulk” with Jennifer Connelly. He has since played Hector in the movie “Troy,” the lead in Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” and the villain Nero in the science-fiction film “Star Trek.” In 2013, he played Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen in the war film “Lone Survivor.”

An accomplished dramatic actor and comedian, he received Australia’s highest film and television awards for his performances in “Chopper,” “Full Frontal” and “Romulus, My Father.” Bana has performed across a wide spectrum of leading roles in a variety of low-budget and major studio films, ranging from romantic comedies and drama to science fiction and action thrillers.

In 1993, Bana made his television debut on Steve Vizard’s late night talk show, Tonight Live. His performance gained the attention of producers from the sketch comedy series, “Full Frontal,” who invited him to join the show as a writer and performer. During his four years on the show, Bana wrote much of his own material, and based some of his characters on members of his family. His impressions of Columbo, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Tom Cruise made Bana popular with the show’s audience. This success led him to record the comedy album Out of Bounds in 1994 and to host his own television special, titled Eric, in 1996. The show, a collection of sketches featuring everyday characters, prompted him to launch a sketch comedy series “The Eric Bana Show.”

In 1997, in spite of his lack of experience in dramatic roles, Bana was approached by director Andrew Dominik to appear in the film “Chopper,” a biographical film based on the life of infamous Australian criminal Chopper Read. For the role, Bana shaved his head, gained thirty pounds, and spent two days with Read to perfect his mimicry.

In 2001, director Ridley Scott cast Bana as an American soldier in the film “Black Hawk Down.” Bana was offered the lead role of Bruce Banner in the film adaptation of the popular Marvel Comic book series “The Incredible Hulk.” Only after learning of director Ang Lee’s involvement in the project did he consider the role. “Hulk” received mixed reviews and a moderate success at the box office, but Bana’s performance was praised.

In 2004, Bana co-starred with Brad Pitt in the big-budget film “Troy.” In the film, he played Prince Hector, leader of the Trojan forces battling against the Greek warrior Achilles. The following year, Bana co-starred with Daniel Craig and Geoffrey Rush in Steven Spielberg’s controversial film “Munich.” The film was a critical success, and was nominated for five Academy Awards in 2006.

Bana’s next project was the historical drama “The Other Boleyn Girl.” In the film he played Henry VIII of England opposite Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. The following year, he co-starred with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto in the science fiction film “Star Trek.” In the film, Bana played Nero, a Romulan mining ship captain who attempts to exact revenge on Spock, whom he blames for the destruction of his homeworld and its inhabitants. In August 2009, he appeared as Henry DeTamble in the film adaptation of “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” Bana also co-starred with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen in Judd Apatow’s third directorial feature, about stand-up comics, titled “Funny People,” marking Bana’s first appearance in an American mainstream comedy.

In 2011, Bana appeared as Erik Heller in the action thriller film “Hanna,” starring alongside Saoirse Ronan & Cate Blanchett. The film would become another success for Bana as the film opened at No. 2 in the US boxoffice. He is set to star in Elvis & Nixon as Elvis Presley.

Bana is a motor racing enthusiast and participates in various motor racing competitions in Australia. In 2009 he released a documentary named “Love The Beast.” The film details the central role that racing and fixing his first car has played in his life and the lives of his friends.

Bana is an ambassador for Father Chris Riley’s charity for homeless young people, Youth off the Streets. In 2008 he appeared with Father Chris in an advertisement to support the organisation’s annual appeal. Bana is also an advocate for the Mental Illness Fellowship, which works to increase the awareness of mental illness in Australia. In 2004, he appeared in several high profile advertisements for the fellowship. Bana is also active in campaigns with the Australian Childhood Foundation and the Bone Marrow Donor Institute. Since 1995, he has participated in the Motorcycle Riders Association Toy Run in Melbourne, which raises money and toys for needy children at Christmas.