Paul Benjamin Mendelsohn
3 April 1969
(m. 2012; div. 2016)
Paul Benjamin Mendelsohn (born 3 April 1969) is an Australian actor. He first rose to prominence in Australia for his breakout role in The Year My Voice Broke (1987) and 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 2023.
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. His father is a prominent medical researcher who previously headed the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne, where he maintains the status of Professor Emeritus. 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 in the U.S. before attending Heidelberg Primary School and Eltham High School and Banyule High (now Viewbank College). 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 Piła in modern Poland. He also has Greek, German, and British Isles ancestry.
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. His next major role was in The Big Steal (1990), and Spotswood (1992), co-starring with Anthony Hopkins; this was followed in 1994 by Metal Skin and in 1996 by Cosi and Idiot Box. In 2000, he was in two contrasting films, the Australian Mullet and the Hollywood Vertical Limit.
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.
Mendelsohn was selected as one of the subjects in the Who's Who in Australia 2012 edition. 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, 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.
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". A couple of years later in 2018, he played the role of Nolan Sorrento in Steven Spielberg's science fiction film Ready Player One. In 2018, he starred in the film The Land of Steady Habits. 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.
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.
Depictions in art
Mendelsohn married British-American journalist Emma Forrest in June 2012. He has a daughter with Forrest, born in 2014, and another daughter from a previous relationship, who is also an actor. He and Forrest divorced in 2016.
|1993||Full Moon, Dirty Hearts||INXS||Music video appearance|
|1996||Theme from Skippy the Bush Kangaroo||Ben Mendelsohn||Idiot Box (original motion picture soundtrack)|
|1997||“Remember to Forget”||Ben Mendelsohn & Phil Judd||Amy (original motion picture soundtrack - onscreen only)|
|1997||“Sense of Humour”|
|1997||“Shakedown the Moon”|
|1998||What I Don't Know 'bout You||You Am I||Music video appearance|
|2007||Out in the Blue||Jimmy Barnes||Music video appearance|
|2012||Lover to Lover||Florence and the Machine||Music video appearance|
|2014||"Cool Water"||Ben Mendelsohn||Lost River (original motion picture soundtrack)|
|2016||Breathe Me||Sia||On-stage interpretive dance|
|2017||Humanz||Gorillaz||Narration on intro and interludes|
|2019||"Unless it Kicks"||Ben Mendelsohn||Untogether (original motion picture soundtrack)|
|2021||"What I Deserve"||Ben Mendelsohn||Cyrano (original motion picture soundtrack)|
Awards and nominations
- Gelman, Vlada (10 December 2020). "Secret Invasion, Marvel Series Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Coming to Disney+". TVLine. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
- Albers, Caitlin (15 May 2021). "Here's Who's Directing Marvel's 'Secret Invasion' Disney+ Series". Collider. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
- "Ben Mendelsohn – Episode 3 – Season 2 – Who Do You Think You Are?". SBS. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- Sullivan, Leanne (2009). Who's Who in Australia. Crown Content. ISBN 978-1-74095-166-1. Retrieved 13 April 2014 – via Google Books.
- "Professor Fred Mendelsohn". The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- "Our Alumni". 18 July 2019.
- "Who Do You Think You Are?". SBS.
- "Ben Mendelsohn: behind the bad guy mask". 26 June 2017. Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "Film institute award winners". Canberra Times. 10 October 1987. p. 10. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- McDonald, Dougal (22 February 1992). "Feel-good movie, but lacks drama, tension". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). p. 42. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- McDonald, Dougal (6 May 1995). "Probing young people's injured psyches". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). p. 56. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "Ben Mendelsohn: Mark Antony". Life Matters. ABC Radio National. 18 July 2005.
- "Ben Mendelsohn". GQ. 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- Delany, Colin (8 December 2011). "Emile Sherman, Ben Mendelsohn and Lizzy Gardiner recognised in 2012's Who's Who". mumbrella.com.au. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- McFarland, K. M. (24 March 2015). "Kyle Chandler Isn't Bloodline's Star. This Unknown Actor Is". Wired. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- 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 31 March 2015.
- Fowler, Matt (24 March 2015). "Bloodline: Season 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- Travers, Ben (27 May 2017). "Bloodline Season 3 Netflix Review: A Meaningless Ending – Spoilers". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- Prudom, Laura (14 September 2016). "'Bloodline' Ending After Season 3 on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- Stevenson, Jane. "Crowd eats up pop star Sia's minimalistic show". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
- Patterson, John. "Rogue One's Ben Mendelsohn: 'Star Wars is a childhood dream come true'". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- 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 19 December 2019.
- Joanna Robinson (2 July 2019). "That Spider-Man: Far From Home End of Credits Reveal, Explained". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
- "Sally West: The Bird of Song with Claws of Paint". Shayan Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn. Art Aesthetics. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
- Maddox, Garry (6 October 2012). "Killing Them Softly, How Hollywood Fell For Ben Mendelsohn". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- Hornaday, Ann (5 April 2013). "Ben Mendelsohn is everywhere. Finally". Washington Post.
- "'Rogue One' Star Ben Mendelsohn Settles Divorce and Half of His 'Star Wars' Royalties Goes to Ex". The Blast. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
- Han, Karen (18 September 2018). "Ben Mendelsohn Really Wants You to Play 'Last of Us'". Vice. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
- "2015". Press Academy. International Press Academy.
- Stone, Natalie. "Emmys 2016: Bloodline's Ben Mendelsohn Wins Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series". People. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- "2016 WINNERS & NOMINEES". Press Academy. International Press Academy.
- "Winners & Nominees". www.aacta.org. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
- 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 5 January 2021.
- Vlessing, Etan (6 March 2021). "AACTA International Awards: 'Promising Young Woman' Wins Top Prize". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Romei, Stephen. (2005). "The Face: Stephen Romei meets Ben Mendelsohn (actor)". Review liftout, p. 3, The Weekend Australian, 25–26 June 2005