Article by James
I’m not one to favor when it comes to Aussies who do good OS unless they’re good – hence no love for Woody Kidman most of the time. So it comes as quite the surprise to me when you notice the plum roles Mr Ben Mendelsohn is scoring of late and the passed few years. Why??? 2010’s Animal Kingdom truly did pay off – on paper…
But, you have to give it to him; Mendelsohn is still only 44. For those of a certain Australian vintage, BM really came to public view in the wonderful TV mini-series, The Henderson Kids, in 1985 at the awkward age of 16. A few years in the teenage-actor-bus-stop that is TV’s Neighbours followed, with a key role in a truly touching Australian film, 1987’s The Year My Voice Broke. And then came the ugly. In fact, most of the 90’s were filled with ugliness for Benny, culminating in the early “naughties” with a role in 2001’s made for TV movie, Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story. Produced by Disney. Oh dear. Feeble attempts to work OS it seems. I think you should have said, “goodbye agent”. And he must have. Or they said it to him.
So with a return to Oz TV in 2005 with the successful The Secret Life of Us series, came the better opportunity in 2006-2007 with the sublime TV series Love My Way alongside Claudia Karvan, Brendan Cowell, and the then unknown Asher Keddie. And then came one of the most gorgeously haunting Australian films ever made, 2009’s Rachel Ward Directed, Beautiful Kate. In my opinion, this role got BM Animal Kingdom, so Beautiful Kate is the real reason he is heading skyward after sinking in the quagmire.
There has been some shite since, but up pops BM in Christopher Nolan’s excellent 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. Significant role no less. And released next Thursday in Oz, we have a role beside Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper in The Place Beyond the Pines. Not sure about BM, but the flick is getting killer reviews and high praise for Gosling (surprise, surprise) and Cooper. Turns out, it was because of this proximity to Gosling, Mendelsohn has also been cast in Gosling’s Directional debut, How to Catch a Monster, alongside the delectable TV Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks.
And further roles are coming in the UK and US. Good luck buddy. And steer clear of anything that involves a Disney production. Gritty is in your blood!