A popular and easygoing Australian comedian whose keen adaptability lent itself well to aggressive-oriented early film roles, Eric Bana's hatred of firearms may seem ironic in contrast to the Aussie funnyman's fledgling film portrayals of real-life mass murderer (and popular cult celebrity figure in the land Down Under) Mark "Chopper" Read (Chopper ) and a military man caught in heated battle on a rescue mission (Black Hawk Down ).
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Bana's career as a comedian began while working as a bartender at his native city's Castle Hotel in 1991. Television offers began flowing in a few short years later, and in 1993, Bana took his sharp wit to the small screen as he assumed the roles of both writer and performer on one of Australia's top comedy programs, Full Frontal. His star on the rise, the increasingly popular comedian made audiences laugh even harder when he co-produced and starred in his own 1996 comedy special Eric (later to become a series) and kicked off The Eric Bana Show Live the following year. 1997 proved to be a busy year for Bana as he also made his feature debut in The Castle, though all of his hard work would pay off when he took a feature role in Australian television's Something in the Air in 2000 and was voted Australia's Most Popular Comedy Performer at the Logies.