Childhood & Early Life
Born on 3 April 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Paul Benjamin "Ben" Mendelsohn was one of the three sons in the Mendelsohn family. His father, Frederick Arthur Oscar Mendelsohn, was a prominent neuroscientist who headed the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne. His mother, Carole Ann, worked as a nurse.
His father’s work commitments prompted the family to move a lot which is why they lived throughout Europe and the U.S. However, Mendelsohn returned to complete his high school. He went to Heidelberg Primary School and Eltham High and Banyule High Schools.
In school, he took up drama course as he thought he would easily sail through it and soon learnt that he was good at memorising lines.
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While still in school, Ben Mendelsohn auditioned with Crawford Productions and eventually landed himself the role of Ted Morgan in the 1985 Australian TV show ‘The Henderson Kids’.
He made his big-screen debut with ‘The Year My Voice Broke’ in 1987 which earned him praise from both critics and viewers. He bagged the ‘Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ that year.
Ben Mendelsohn portrayed the role of Danny Clark in ‘The Big Steal’ which came out in 1990 followed by ‘Spotswood’ in 1992 in which he starred along with Anthony Hopkins.
Over the next few years, he starred in a number of movies. These include ‘Idiot Box’ (1996), ‘Cosi’ (1996), ‘True Love and Chaso’ (1997), ‘Amy’ (1997), ‘Vertical Limit’ (2000), ‘Mullet’ (2001), ‘Black and White’ (2002) and ‘The New World’ (2005).
In 2007, Mendelsohn appeared in the third season of the TV series, ‘Love My Way’. In 2008, he became a part of Baz Luhrmann's ‘Australia’. He was then seen in the 10-part Melbourne series, ‘Tangle’ which was telecast in 2009.
He later cast in the American science fiction film ‘Knowing’ in 2009 followed by ‘Beautiful Kate’ which also starred Bryan Brown and Rachel Griffiths.
In the movie, ‘Animal Kingdom’ which came out in 2010, Mendelsohn played the role of a criminal named Andrew "Pope" Cody. He won several awards for his performance including the IF Award's Best Actor and the AFI's award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Later that year, he was also named GQ Australia's Actor of the Year for 2010.
In 2012, he was seen in the movies ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘Killing Them Softly’ and ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’.
He made a guest appearance in the critically acclaimed 2013 TV drama ‘Starred Up’ in which he played the role of Jessa’s father, Neville Love.
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Ben Mendelsohn played Danny Rayburn in the Netflix original ‘Bloodline’ in 2014, for which he was highly praised by critics for his impeccable performance. His performance won him a Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nomination.
In 2015, he was seen in the movie ‘Mississippi Grind’ as the unlucky gambler Gerry, who joins forces with a younger gambler named Curtis (played by Ryan Reynolds) on a road trip to win back his fortune.
In 2016, he was spotted as an onstage stand-in for Australian singer Sia Furler’s song, ‘Breathe Me’ during the ‘Nostalgia For the Present’ concert tour. Later that year, he joined the cast of the Star Wars franchise's ‘Rogue One’ as the supporting character and antagonist, Director Krennic. Additionally, he also narrated the virtual band Gorillaz' fifth album ‘Humanz’.
In the biographical war drama ‘Darkest Hour’ that came out in 2017, Mendelsohn appeared in the supporting role of King George VI.
In 2018, Ben Mendelsohn played the role of CEO Nolan Sorrento in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi adventure, ‘Ready Player One’. His next project is Otto Bathurst's ‘Robin Hood’ which is slated for release in the second-half of 2018.
Personal Life & Legacy
In June 2012, Ben Mendelsohn married British author-turned-director Emma Forrest. Together the couple has a daughter. The couple eventually separated in 2016 citing irreconcilable difference.
Mendelsohn is also the father of another daughter from a past relationship.
He currently lives in Los Angeles.