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Eric Bana's latest film, Deliver us from Evil, is out in cinemas from August 22. TNT sits down with the Aussie star to talk car crashes, exorcisms, and why he’s never leaving Australia...

Remember the Eric Bana Show? Yeah, we’ve blocked it from our minds too. But you might have hazy memories of the comedian-turned-actor’s impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise and Sly Stallone on Oz TV shows Full Frontal and Tonight Live; oh yes, he opened many-a can of laughter with those... 

Luckily, though, Bana took his first film role seriously, gaining 30lb, crafting a fetching handlebar moustache and spending four hours a day being painted in the tattoos of Mark ‘Chopper’ Read. His superb portrayal of the infamous Aussie gangster got him noticed, in particular by Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt, who then recommended him for Hollywood blockbusters Black Hawk Down and Troy respectively. 

Since then we’ve seen him in many movies great and small, playing characters from a green monster (Hulk), to an Israeli assassin (Munich), to a Romulan villain (Star Trek) to a doomed lover (The Time Traveller’s Wife). Now he’s taking on a very different role as a New York City cop dealing with demons and exorcisms in the crime/horror drama, Deliver us from Evil. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and co-starring the sultry Olivia Munn as his wife, the film sees Bana give a convincing performance as a man battling renegade priests and supernatural phenomena. Based on the experiences of real-life former Bronx cop turned demonologist, Ralph Sarchie, who participated in several exorcisms in cooperation with the local Catholic church, Bana was left shaken by some of the video footage he studied prior to shooting the film, which documented supposed supernatural phenomena.

“I had trouble sleeping for a week after I saw this video that Ralph showed us,” Bana says. “I’m pretty sceptical of these things, but I do believe that some people are more attuned to certain kinds of experiences than others. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that you can be thinking about someone and then bump into them on the street a few minutes later. You can’t explain those things logically, so I’m open to the discussion.”

Born and raised in Australia by a Croatian father and German mother, Bana (real name Banadinovich), still lives in Melbourne with his wife of 17 years Rebecca Gleeson, a former TV publicist, and their two children, Klaus aged 15, and Sophia, 12. Settling down for our chat, we see 45-year-old Bana’s jet-black hair is now streaked with grey, his 6ft3 frame is covered casually in jeans and a T-shirt, and his dimple creases with a welcoming smile. Damn us Aussies are fine...

'It's just about the worst thing that can happen to you'. Click NEXT to find out what Eric's talking about...


Celebrity Interview: Eric Bana
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