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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn in conversation at Sydney Festival

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In 2017, Ben Mendelsohn starred in two films at Sydney Film Festival: the emotionally intense drama Una (Official Competition) and a restored version of the Australian coming-of-age classic, The Year My Voice Broke.

While at the Festival, Mendelsohn sat down with director David Caesar for a special Vivid Ideas in conversation – which we relive this week for episode two of Reverse Shot. 

Mendelsohn treated the adoring crowd at the Festival Hub to a spontaneous re-enactment from Star Wars and paused to take a call from his father, introducing him to the audience via FaceTime.

The actor also reflected on his early Australian roles, his extraordinary international success and why he’s attracted to dark film projects like Una and Animal Kingdom.

“I’m aware that there’s a through-line of dangerous or difficult characters,” he said. “I used to be the sweet, affable, ‘couldn’t get a girlfriend’ type of guy. And then we perfected larrikinism, and then it suddenly went to murderers…” 

 

Mendelsohn has continued to play difficult characters since his SFF appearance. He’s taken on two royals: King George VI in Darkest Hour, and King Henry IV in The King; starred in Captain Marvel; and returned to TV for the miniseries The Outsider, based on the best-selling Stephen King novel.

You’ll also see him alongside Essie Davis and Eliza Scanlen in the highly anticipated Australian film, Babyteeth.

But first, catch up on his career highlights in our talk below!

 

Revisit some of Ben Mendelsohn’s films

The King: watch on Netflix
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: watch on Disney+Apple TV appYouTubeGoogle Play
Una: watch on SBS On DemandApple TV appYouTubeGoogle PlayMicrosoft
Animal Kingdom: watch on StanApple TV appYouTubeGoogle PlayMicrosoft
Cosi: watch on Amazon PrimeApple TV appYouTubeGoogle Play
The Year My Voice Broke: buy now

About Una
SFF Film Note 2017: Official Competition

Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn star in this emotionally powerful debut by Australian and international theatre director Benedict Andrews.

Celebrated Australian theatre director Benedict Andrews makes his film debut with this auspicious, emotionally powerful feature. Una stars Oscar-nominee Rooney Mara and Emmy-winner Ben Mendelsohn, and is based on David Harrower’s play Blackbird. Cate Blanchett directed the stage version at Sydney Theatre Company in 2007. Una (Mara) tracks down Ray (Mendelsohn) at his place of work. Fifteen years earlier, when Una was a minor, Ray sexually abused her – a crime he was arrested and imprisoned for. Una’s arrival threatens to destroy Ray’s new life which he’s desperate to preserve. Is Una there for revenge, or is there some more surprising motivation at play? In this intense emotional drama, the effect of the past has led to tragic circumstances, and two severely damaged people are left in a fiery standoff. Mara (who also appears at SFF this year in A Ghost Story and Song to Song) and Mendelsohn (who can be seen in a restored version of The Year My Voice Broke at SFF) both deliver extraordinary, nuanced and extremely brave performances. Daringly taking on taboos, Andrews handles this sensitive material with precision. Una is a film that will stay with you for a long time.

About The Year My Voice Broke
SFF Film Note 2017: Restorations

A rural NSW love triangle infused with teenage angst, as Noah Taylor and Ben Mendelsohn battle for the affections of a beautiful girl. Rediscover this 30th anniversary restoration.

Co-produced by George Miller (Mad Max), The Year My Voice Broke sparks with the joys and anxieties of being on the verge of adulthood. Danny (Taylor) is an awkward teenager with a near-obsessive crush on the beautiful Freya (Loene Carmen). His plans for seduction are abruptly halted by the arrival of an older rugby star, Trev (Mendelsohn in an AFI Award-winning role). Danny’s unreciprocated love, Trev’s rebelliousness and Freya’s family secrets soon send all three on a course for destruction. Set against the picturesque Braidwood in country NSW, director John Duigan (FlirtingSirens) took inspiration from his own childhood. This intrinsically Australian classic won five AFI Awards including Best Film of 1987.

About Beautiful Kate
SFF Film Note 2019: Essential Australian Women Directors

In Rachel Ward’s feature debut, Ben Mendelsohn plays a man who returns to the isolated property where he grew up, to see his dying father (Bryan Brown).

For her feature film debut as director, Rachel Ward adapted an American book written by Newton Thornburg in 1984. It’s a story of a family torn apart by feelings of guilt about the events that occurred one summer several years ago. Ben Mendelsohn is Ned, who returns from the city to the isolated property, together with his girlfriend (Maeve Dermody), to see his father (Bryan Brown in one of his finest roles), who is dying. There Ned meets his sister, Sally (Rachel Griffiths), who has stayed at home to look after things. The reunion triggers painful memories of Ned’s twin sister, ‘beautiful’ Kate (Sophie Lowe). The hothouse atmosphere of the remote homestead is superbly captured in this evocative, sometimes erotic, movie.

Ben Mendelsohn in the news                                          

‘Outsider’ Actor Ben Mendelsohn On Australian Machismo And Mastering Accents – NPR

Ben Mendelsohn on The Outsider Finale, El Cuco, and Modern Masculinity – GQ

Ben Mendelsohn on ‘Captain Marvel’ and the “Gentleness” of Tom Hardy – The Hollywood Reporter

Subscribe to the full Reverse Shot podcast – new episodes weekly!

 

 


 

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