Ben Mendelsohn
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Ben Mendelsohn

Ben Mendelsohn
Ben Mendelsohn by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Mendelsohn in 2017
Paul Benjamin Mendelsohn

(1969-04-03) 3 April 1969 (age 52)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Years active1984-present
(m. 2012; div. 2016)

Paul Benjamin Mendelsohn (born 3 April 1969) is an Australian actor, who first rose to prominence in Australia for his breakout role in The Year My Voice Broke (1987).

Since then he has had roles in films such as Animal Kingdom (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Starred Up (2013), Mississippi Grind (2015), Rogue One (2016), Darkest Hour (2017) and Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One (2018). In 2017, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Talos in Captain Marvel (2019) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019). He will reprise this role in Marvel Studios' upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion, which is set to premiere in 2022.[1][2]

Mendelsohn starred in the Netflix original series Bloodline (2015-2017), for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2016. In 2020, Mendelsohn starred in the HBO crime miniseries The Outsider.

Early life and family

Mendelsohn was born in Melbourne, Victoria, the son of Carole Ann (née Ferguson) and Frederick Arthur Oscar Mendelsohn.[3][4] His father is a prominent medical researcher who previously headed the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne, where he maintains the status of Professor Emeritus.[5] Ben and his two brothers, Tom and David, as well as his mother (deceased), a registered nurse, lived in Europe and the US for long periods of time, and returned to Melbourne when he was in high school. He attended Mercersburg Academy[6] in the U.S. before attending Heidelberg Primary School and Eltham High and Banyule High schools. He took drama because he thought it was an easy class. Mendelsohn was the only one of his friends to follow up with an audition for Crawford Productions that was being advertised.[]

In October 2009, he was featured in an episode of the Australian series Who Do You Think You Are?, which traced the ancestry of his paternal grandfather Oscar Mendelsohn, who was from a Jewish family. It also found convicts on his mother's side. Searching for a connection to composer Felix Mendelssohn, which was eventually dismissed, he discovered links to 19th-century Prussia. His paternal ancestors were among the first Prussian Jews to be naturalised in Schneidemühl in the province of Posen, now Pi?a in modern Poland.[7] He also has Greek, German, and British Isles ancestry.[8]


Mendelsohn at a screening of Killing Them Softly in 2012

After several early television roles, including The Henderson Kids alongside Kylie Minogue, he attracted notice in his breakout film, The Year My Voice Broke (1987), and won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor.[9] His next major role was in The Big Steal (1990), and Spotswood (1992), co-starring with Anthony Hopkins;[10] this was followed in 1994 by Metal Skin[11] and in 1996 by Cosi and Idiot Box. In 2000, he was in two contrasting films, the Australian Mullet and the Hollywood Vertical Limit.[]

In 2005, he was preparing to play Mark Antony in the Sydney Theatre Company-produced Julius Caesar,[12] and he was in the Terrence Malick-directed film The New World.

Mendelsohn starred in the second (2005) and third (2006) season of the TV series Love My Way, and in 2008, he appeared in Baz Luhrmann's Australia. He starred in the first season of the Melbourne TV series Tangle, which premiered on Showcase in 2009. In 2009, he appeared in the American science fiction film Knowing directed by Alex Proyas. The same year, Mendelsohn starred as Ned in Beautiful Kate, directed by Rachel Ward, opposite Bryan Brown and Rachel Griffiths.

In 2010, he appeared in Animal Kingdom, starring in the film as Andrew "Pope" Cody, a criminal on the run from the law living in the notorious Melbourne Underworld. The role won him many awards, including IF Award's Best Actor and the AFI's award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He was also named by GQ Australia as Actor of the Year for 2010.[13]

Mendelsohn was selected as one of the subjects in the Who's Who in Australia 2012 edition.[14] In 2012, Mendelsohn played the supporting roles of John Daggett in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises and Robin Van Der Hook in Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines.

In 2012, he appeared in Florence + the Machine's music video for "Lover to Lover". The video was directed by Vincent Haycock. In 2013, he guest starred in the TV series Girls as the father of Jessa, played by Jemima Kirke. The following year, he appeared in the critically acclaimed Starred Up, directed by David MacKenzie, for which he won Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards.

In 2014, Mendelsohn joined the cast of Bloodline, a Netflix original from the creators of Damages. The first season premiered on the site on 20 March 2015 and was well received. Mendelsohn's performance on the series was lauded by critics,[15][16][17] resulting in a Primetime Emmy Award win as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination. In September 2016, Netflix announced that the show had been cancelled, and that it would end after its third season in 2017. Season 3 of Bloodline received negative reviews, and Mendelsohn appeared in two episodes of it.[18][19]

In 2016, he appeared in video as an onstage "stand-in" during the Nostalgia For the Present concert tour of Australian singer Sia Furler for her song, "Breathe Me".[20]

He portrayed the villain Director Krennic in the Star Wars franchise's Rogue One in 2016. He called the opportunity to act in a Star Wars film "a childhood dream come true".[21] A couple of years later in 2018, he played the role of Nolan Sorrento in Steven Spielberg's science fiction film Ready Player One.[22] He was cast in the role of Talos in Marvel's film Captain Marvel alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson. He reprised the role for a brief cameo in Spider-Man: Far From Home, also in 2019.[23]

In 2020, Mendelsohn starred in the lead role in the HBO crime miniseries The Outsider. In December 2020, it was announced he would be reprising his role as Talos, along with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, in the upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion.[1]

Depictions in art

While filming Adoration, Mendelsohn posed for portrait artist Sally West.[24]

Personal life

Mendelsohn married British-American journalist Emma Forrest in June 2012.[25] He has one daughter with Forrest, born in 2014, and another daughter, Sophia Wright (from a previous relationship), who, like Mendelsohn, is an actor.[26] He and Forrest divorced in 2016.

He is a fan of video games, and cites The Last of Us as his favorite.[27]


Mendelsohn at the Rogue One world premiere in December 2016


Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Still Point Peter
1987 The Year My Voice Broke Trevor Leishman
1989 Lover Boy Gazza
1990 Return Home Gary
1990 Nirvana Street Murder Luke
1990 The Big Steal Danny Clarke
1990 Quigley Down Under O'Flynn
1991 Spotswood Carey
1992 Map of the Human Heart Farmboy
1993 Say a Little Prayer Nursery Manager
1994 Sirens Lewis
1994 Metal Skin Dazey
1996 Cosi Lewis Riley
1996 Idiot Box Kev
1997 True Love and Chaos Jerry
1997 Amy Robert Buchanan
1999 Love Brokers
2000 Sample People John
2000 Vertical Limit Malcolm Bench
2001 Mullet Eddie "Mullet" Maloney
2002 Black and White Rupert Murdoch
2005 The New World Ben
2006 Hunt Angels Rupert Kathner
2008 $9.99 Lenny Peck (voice)
2008 Australia Captain Dutton
2009 Knowing Phil Beckman
2009 Prime Mover Johnnie
2009 Beautiful Kate Ned Kendall
2010 Animal Kingdom Andrew "Pope" Cody
2010 Needle Detective Meares
2011 Killer Elite Martin
2011 Trespass Elias
2012 Killing Them Softly Russell
2012 The Dark Knight Rises John Daggett
2012 The Place Beyond the Pines Robin Van Der Hook
2013 Adoration Harold
2013 Starred Up Neville Love
2014 Lost River Dave
2014 Exodus: Gods and Kings Viceroy Hegep
2014 Black Sea Fraser
2015 Slow West Payne
2015 Mississippi Grind Gerry
2015 Guns for Hire Kyle Sullivan
2016 Una Ray Brooks
2016 Rogue One Director Orson Krennic
2017 Darkest Hour King George VI
2018 Ready Player One Nolan Sorrento
2018 Untogether Martin
2018 The Land of Steady Habits Anders Hill
2018 Robin Hood Sheriff of Nottingham
2019 Captain Marvel Talos
2019 Spider-Man: Far From Home
2019 The King King Henry IV
2019 Babyteeth Henry Finlay
2019 Spies in Disguise Killian (voice)
2019 Gorillaz: Reject False Icons Himself
2021 Cyrano De Guiche Post-production
TBA Misanthrope Post-production
TBA The Marsh King's Daughter Jacob Holbrook Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Special Squad Episode: "Slow Attack"
1985 A Country Practice Luke Dawson 2 episodes
1985 The Henderson Kids Ted Morgan 4 episodes
1986 Prime Time Bartholomew "Bart" Jones
1986 Fame and Misfortune John 6 episodes
1986-1987 Neighbours Warren Murphy 19 episodes
1987, 1989 The Flying Doctors Brad Harris, Brian 2 episodes
1988 All the Way Lindsay Seymour 3 episodes
1989 This Man... This Woman Matthew Clarke 3 episodes
1989, 1994 G.P. Max Fisher, Phillip Barton 2 episodes
1994 Roughnecks Joe 90 1 episode
1995 Snowy River: The McGregor Saga Dale Banks Episode: "High Country Justice"
1995 Police Rescue Dean Forman Episode: "Wild Card"
1995 Halifax f.p. Peter Donaldson Episode: "My Lovely Girl"
1996 Close Ups Biz
1997 Good Guys, Bad Guys Brian O'Malley Episode: "Unfinished Business"
1999 Queen Kat, Carmel & St Jude Vince McCaffery 4 episodes
1999 Secret Men's Business Doug Petersen Television film
2001 Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story Alexander Hall Television film
2002 Farscape Sko Episode: "I-Yensch, You-Yensch "
2005 The Secret Life of Us Rob 5 episodes
2005 Second Chance Dr. Larry Stewart Television film
2006-2007 Love My Way Lewis Feingold 15 episodes
2009 Tangle Vince Kovac 10 episodes
2013 Girls Salvatore Johansson Episode: "Video Games"
2015-2017 Bloodline Danny Rayburn 23 episodes
2019-2020 Infinity Train Special Agent Mace (voice) 6 episodes
2020 The Outsider Det. Ralph Anderson 10 episodes; also executive producer
2022 Secret Invasion Talos Main role

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Squadron 42 Julian Wexler Also motion capture


Year Title Artist Notes
2017 Humanz Gorillaz Narration on intro and interludes

Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Result Ref.
1987 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role The Year My Voice Broke Won
1990 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role The Big Steal Nominated
1992 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role Spotswood Nominated
1994 Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor - Male Metal Skin Won
1994 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Metal Skin Nominated
1997 Camério Award for Best Actor Amy Won
2001 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role Mullet Nominated
2001 Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor - Male Mullet Nominated
2007 Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actor Love My Way Nominated
2007 AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama Love My Way Nominated
2007 ASTRA Award Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor - Male Love My Way Nominated
2008 ASTRA Award Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor - Male Love My Way Nominated
2009 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role Beautiful Kate Nominated
2009 Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor - Male Beautiful Kate Nominated
2010 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role Animal Kingdom Won
2010 IF Award for Best Actor Animal Kingdom Won
2010 Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor - Male Animal Kingdom Won
2010 Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actor Tangle Nominated
2010 ASTRA Award Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor - Male Tangle Nominated
2013 BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor Starred Up Won
2013 Village Voice Film Poll for Best Supporting Actor Starred Up Nominated
2015 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead Mississippi Grind Nominated
2015 Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Bloodline Nominated
2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Bloodline Nominated
2015 Satellite Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film Bloodline Nominated [28]
2016 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Bloodline Won [29]
2016 Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or Television Film Bloodline Won [30]
2016 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or Television Film Bloodline Nominated
2017 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Bloodline Nominated
2017 AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor Darkest Hour Nominated
2019 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role The King Nominated
2021 Critics' Choice Super Award for Best Actor in a Horror Series The Outsider Nominated [31]
2021 AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor Babyteeth Nominated [32]


  1. ^ a b Gelman, Vlada (10 December 2020). "Secret Invasion, Marvel Series Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Coming to Disney+". TVLine. Retrieved 2021.
  2. ^ Albers, Caitlin (15 May 2021). "Here's Who's Directing Marvel's 'Secret Invasion' Disney+ Series". Collider. Retrieved 2021.
  3. ^ "Ben Mendelsohn - Episode 3 - Season 2 - Who Do You Think You Are?". SBS. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Leanne (2009). Who's Who in Australia. Crown Content. ISBN 978-1-74095-166-1. Retrieved 2014 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Professor Fred Mendelsohn". The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ "Our Alumni". 18 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are?". SBS.
  8. ^ "Ben Mendelsohn: behind the bad guy mask". 26 June 2017. Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "Film institute award winners". Canberra Times. 10 October 1987. p. 10. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ McDonald, Dougal (22 February 1992). "Feel-good movie, but lacks drama, tension". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). p. 42. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ McDonald, Dougal (6 May 1995). "Probing young people's injured psyches". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). p. 56. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Ben Mendelsohn: Mark Antony". Life Matters. ABC Radio National. 18 July 2005.
  13. ^ "Ben Mendelsohn". GQ. 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ Delany, Colin (8 December 2011). "Emile Sherman, Ben Mendelsohn and Lizzy Gardiner recognised in 2012's Who's Who". Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ McFarland, K. M. (24 March 2015). "Kyle Chandler Isn't Bloodline's Star. This Unknown Actor Is". Wired. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ Grozdanovic, Nikola (31 March 2015). "Netflix Neo-Noir 'Bloodline' Gives Viewers The Tragic Anti-Hero Television Has Been Waiting For Since Walter White". Indiewire. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ Fowler, Matt (24 March 2015). "Bloodline: Season 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ Travers, Ben (27 May 2017). "Bloodline Season 3 Netflix Review: A Meaningless Ending - Spoilers". Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ Prudom, Laura (14 September 2016). "'Bloodline' Ending After Season 3 on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved 2016.
  20. ^ Stevenson, Jane. "Crowd eats up pop star Sia's minimalistic show". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ Patterson, John. "Rogue One's Ben Mendelsohn: 'Star Wars is a childhood dream come true'". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ Gill Pringle (21 March 2018). "Ready Player One star Ben Mendelsohn: 'The Governor or the Boss. That's what he's known as - it's hardly a state secret. He's Steven Spielberg'". The Independent. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ Joanna Robinson. "That Spider-Man: Far From Home End of Credits Reveal, Explained". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ "Sally West: The Bird of Song with Claws of Paint". Shayan Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn. Art Aesthetics. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ Maddox, Garry (6 October 2012). "Killing Them Softly, How Hollywood Fell For Ben Mendelsohn". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014.
  26. ^ Hornaday, Ann (5 April 2013). "Ben Mendelsohn is everywhere. Finally". Washington Post.
  27. ^ "Ben Mendelsohn Really Wants You to Play 'Last of Us'".
  28. ^ "2015". Press Academy. International Press Academy.
  29. ^ Stone, Natalie. "Emmys 2016: Bloodline's Ben Mendelsohn Wins Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series". People. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ "2016 WINNERS & NOMINEES". Press Academy. International Press Academy.
  31. ^ Hammond, Pete (19 November 2020). "'Palm Springs', 'Lovecraft Country' Top Movie And Series Nominations For Inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards; Netflix Lands 35 Nods". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2021.
  32. ^ Vlessing, Etan (6 March 2021). "AACTA International Awards: 'Promising Young Woman' Wins Top Prize". The Hollywood Reporter.

Further reading

  • Romei, Stephen. (2005). "The Face: Stephen Romei meets Ben Mendelsohn (actor)". Review liftout, p. 3, The Weekend Australian, 25-26 June 2005

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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