Ben Mendelsohn Biography - Biography

Ben Mendelsohn Biography

Actor (1969–)
Ben Mendelsohn is an Australian actor who's often known for his villainous roles both in film and television, particularly in 'The Dark Knight Rises,' Netflix's 'Bloodline' and 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.'

Who Is Ben Mendelsohn?

Ben Mendelsohn (born April 3, 1969) is an Australian-born actor who gained international fame with the Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom (2010), which led to prominent supporting roles in the U.S., such as in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and The Place Beyond the Pines (2012). Starting in 2015 the actor made a big splash playing the main antagonist in the Netflix family drama Bloodline, for which he won an Emmy, and two years later, playing villain Director Orson Krennic in Star Wars' Rogue One

Ben Mendelsohn Photo

Ben Mendelsohn attends the 'Darkest Hour' photo call at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival on September 11, 2017. 

Notable Movie and TV Roles

Outside of his extensive film and television work in Australia, here are some notable films that Mendohlson has recently appeared in:

'The Dark Knight Rises' (2012)

In Christopher Nolan's take on the Batman franchise, Mendelsohn played John Daggett, a minor antagonist who uses Bane and Catwoman to take control over Wayne Enterprises.

'The Place Beyond the Pines' (2012)

Appearing opposite Ryan Gosling, Mendelsohn played Robin Van Der Hook, an auto mechanic turned robber.

'Starred Up' (2013)

Mendelsohn took on the role of father Neville Love in this critically acclaimed British crime drama. 

'Bloodline' (2015 - 2017)

Mendelsohn won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Danny Rayburn, the black sheep of a prominent Florida family who returns home to reveal dark secrets from their past.

'Mississippi Grind' (2015)

Starring opposite Ryan Reynolds, Mendelsohn played the role of Gerry, a down-on-his-luck gambler who teams up with a younger gambler Curtis (Reynolds) on a road trip down South to win back his fortune. 

'Una' (2016)

Taking on a more disturbing role among the dark characters he's played, Mendelsohn appeared as pedophile Ray Brooks, who seduces a 13-year-old girl who later tracks him down as an adult, played by actress Rooney Mara. 

'Rogue One: A Stars War Story' (2016) 

Mendelsohn admitted to fulfilling a childhood dream by having the opportunity to star in a Star Wars movie. In Rogue One, he played villain Director Orson Krennic. 

'Darkest Hour' (2017)

In this biographical war drama that centers on Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) during World War II, Mendelsohn took on the supporting role of King George VI.

Upcoming Projects: From Sheriff of Nottingham to Captain Marvel Villain?

Mendelsohn is slated to appear in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi adventure, Ready Player One, and will also play the Sheriff of Nottingham in Otto Bathurst's Robin Hood

Although not officially confirmed, the actor has also been in heavy talks to play the main villain in the upcoming Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel film. 

Early Life & Career in Australia

Born on April 3, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Ben Mendelsohn grew up with a father who was an accomplished neuroscientist and a mother who was a nurse. Because of his father's burgeoning career as a medical researcher, the family was required to move around a great deal. Mendelsohn, along with his two brothers, lived throughout Europe and went to boarding school in the U.S. before returning to Melbourne to finish high school. 

While in high school, Mendelsohn signed up for a drama course, thinking it'd be a breeze, but soon discovered he had a knack for memorizing lines. He ended up following up on an audition, which got him the part of Ted Morgan in the 1985 TV series The Henderson Kids, which led to more roles, including a stint on the Australian soap opera Neighbours

On the big screen, Mendelsohn made a big impression with his role in the coming-of-age film The Year My Voice Broke (1987), winning an Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and garnered other accolades for other films. In 2009 he was applauded for his emotionally stirring work in Beautiful Kate, and a year later received international acclaim as a psychopathic criminal brother in the family drama Animal Kingdom, for which he won multiple film awards.

Out-of-Work Actor

However, before he found himself being applauded for Animal Kingdom in 2010, Mendelsohn had gone through an almost decade's long dry spell. He was in his early 30s at the time and flying repeatedly to Los Angeles in hopes of opportunities that would never come. Finances were so tight he even worked as a dishwasher at a local restaurant and later at a bakery in Australia to make ends meet. To make things worse, Mendelsohn wasn't faring well on a personal level. He considers the early 2000s as a dark period in his life and admitted in an interview that some of the reasons why he couldn't attract great roles was due to his "excessive hedonism."    

Personal Life

In 2012 Mendelsohn married British author-turned-director Emma Forrest with whom he had a daughter in 2014. The couple filed for divorce in 2016. The actor also has a daughter from a previous relationship. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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