Eric Bana quotes:

  • I love being at home, being with friends and family. I'm of European stock, brought up in Australia. I'm a passionate guy. I just love life.

  • I look my best when I take my helmet off after a long motorcycle ride. I have a glow and a bit of helmet hair.

  • In America now every romantic comedy is interpreted politically. I can remember when I was promoting Black Hawk Down we were all being asked what it said about September 11th. Well, it was shot before that happened, so, nothing.

  • I hate being clean-shaven. My daughter gets very upset if I shave and says, 'Bring back the spikes, Dad.'

  • I've always been attracted to cars, and driving is a completely measurable experience: if you qualify last on the grid, you're the slowest, and if you qualify first on the grid, you're the fastest. So no one can say you're slow if you're fast and no one can say you're fast if you're slow.

  • I wanted to be a mechanic. When I was 14 I wanted to quit school and go work on my car. But my dad said Son, you shouldn't do that. You should stay in school until your education is finished, and when you're done, don't make your hobby your job.

  • I race historic muscle cars back in Australia, and that's my hobby. And I try to race home as soon as I've finished a movie but don't tell anyone.

  • When I go on the plane to fly home, I'm literally capable of forgetting what I do for a job. That also comes about because I choose to take massive breaks between projects, and because I choose to do this ridiculous thing of keeping home, home.

  • Technically speaking, you can build anything out of sand; it doesn't mean you do it.

  • A girl's got to be fun. It's the one bit of advice I always give to friends of mine who are thinking of getting married.

  • I never look at the size of the film when I'm looking for a part.

  • I think the beauty of working with young people is they remind you of the spirit of acting and it's just a big play.

  • When I was a kid, I would do stupid things on my bike. I'd jump any ramp, I'd jump over people, I'd jump over things - always crashing, never hurting myself badly but always wanting to take physical risks.

  • I've never been someone that's had a five-year plan, or a three-year plan. That just seems to lead to a lot of disappointment, and doesn't give you the chance to be flexible.

  • I guess subconsciously that all the great people you work with have an influence on you.

  • I think love can come fairly easily and grow - but really liking the core essence of someone is a much harder thing to bottle. If you have both, you're in pretty good shape.

  • The darker the film, the more vital everyone's sense of humor is on set.

  • I'd say I'm the opposite of someone that has the urge to stand in front of strangers and make them laugh, but the idea of getting up and telling a story and people finding it amusing always appealed to me.

  • Having seen Justin's work on Bleak House, I knew that he'd be incredibly well prepared and interesting stylistically for this and that was definitely the case. It's very liberating for actors - and I can only speak for myself here - but he creates a very loose environment and he's a great collaborator.

  • I wasn't going to be a college kid. The only subject I was interested in was English. I think I had a subconscious interest in analyzing story.

  • The movies people don't talk about or remember after six months' time don't really matter.

  • My wife and I really, really like each other as well as love each other.

  • You'll read things and say, this is a really good project and it's probably going to be a hit, but I can see 20 other people playing that part. You have to have some sense of ownership to do a good job and be married to it for ever.

  • I think I wasted a lot of my youth, falling for girls who were a couple of years older than me.

  • It's always bitterly disappointing to people to see how normally one can live.

  • I have a theory that I really want my kids to know - the only coloration that they make between dad being in films and reality is just a lot of people doing a lot of hard work.

  • If you can jump up onstage and make people laugh, shouldn't you also be able to inhabit a character?

  • The most serious film can be the most fun. The one that's supposed to be fun can be the most serious.

  • The reason my kids come to the set is so I can actually see them.

  • I'm not into bikinis or other revealing clothing.

  • By the time I finished comedy, I was really burnt out of it. I had had enough. I don't really have a strong desire to prove myself in that area, or to go back to it in any great way.

  • I've always been a bit of a car freak.

  • If a great comedy landed on my doorstep, I would find it hard to say no.

  • I didn't study Greek mythology in school and I wish I had.

  • I used to lift very heavy weights in my mid-twenties - I used to bench press over 300lb. The most I ever lifted was 330lb; I couldn't do that today, no way.

  • I get inhabited by a character and then you mourn it. There's a period of mourning for me, definitely.

  • I would never say never to returning to comedy.

  • I'll give you a list of a hundred ways that I'm more likely to be injured than belting around a race track with people who know what they're doing. It's not a place where I feel I'm in unnecessary danger.

  • I guess I'm a very keen observer, and I'd like to think I have a good imagination.

  • I really enjoy working on small films.

  • I am attracted to characters who think they are in control, but their situation is uncontrollable.

  • Stand-up came out of three things. Frustration, necessity and arrogance. I didn't have a great career ahead of me in anything. Someone literally said to me, 'You should try stand-up,' and took me to a venue.

  • I think there are times when you walk onto a set you can potentially be either intimidated or distracted by what's going on around you.

  • My chosen exercise is cycling. I just love it.

  • Each time you go to the same track you know whether you're improving or whether you're not... it's not open to interpretation. It's measurable - unlike acting.

  • I'm very much a bit of a ghost presence.

  • There wasn't a moment where I got into cars. It wasn't a conscience decision or something that came later, it was there since I was born. I just love it.

  • I think luck gets you on to the stage. But it has nothing to do with keeping you there.

  • I occasionally go to the gym and I lift free weights, I don't use machines.

  • I'm always reading and looking around for the next thing.

  • I like the unknown. I like mystery.

  • The longer you have something, the stronger the bond. That's true with people as well as things.

  • You have to be proactive about your destiny and then realize that the other half of it is completely out of your control. I think it's fascinating.

  • I fell in love with many women at school who had no idea I existed. I'm a bit of a romantic.

  • I don't like to come at my character from some really technical place.

  • It's always hard but the reality is, especially in my case, that every time I go to work I have to do it so it's become part of the job. It's an extra challenge but it's also quite often another extra tool that you have to really think consciously about getting into the character. So while it does require more work, it's maybe even an advantage to a degree because it forces you to switch, to consciously have to jump into and out of the character.

  • My background was producing and writing and performing in television when I started out, and I really missed that, that whole creative process that comes from sort of 'me' storytelling.

  • There's a plethora of wonderful documentaries. I made a point of not looking at anyone else's portrayal of Henry because I think it would have been too confusing - so I've got a lot of films to look forward to.

  • The Israeli accent wasn't one that I was overly familiar with so had to learn from scratch but I was very fortunate I had the right amount of time.

  • I always use the analogy that when you go to a jeans store and put on a new pair of jeans, it's a pair of jeans and they feel different; so, when you're dealing with these sort of costumes it's a very big departure and really does make you feel quite different. But it's wonderful.

  • It's always been my hope, as an actor, to reveal only what is relevant about myself to the work.

  • When you're shooting a film, you really don't get to be a dad, and you don't really get to be a husband. You don't really exist at all. But I do drag my family with me on location whenever I can.

  • But it's healthy - whatever you can do to keep you fresh and awake. Acting's such a ridiculous job and sometimes you need to look at it like that to get a sort of degree of freshness.

  • The only thing that may make me different from other people is I have passionate interests outside of work.

  • The more I love the character, the harder it is to get it wrong. I have to get to a point that I can speak for them.

  • It's usually very, very hard for me to pick up a script that was written and try and see myself as a part of that, especially when you're used to performing all your own material. It's OK with drama, I like being handed great material but I think with comedy it's far more personal and probably a lot harder for me to find a fit.

  • Over my lifetime, the car had actually transcended the fact that it is a car. It has become a venue.

  • The thing I love about working with first-time directors is that it's always quite shocking how little difference there is between them and directors who've been directing all their lives.

  • I deliberately fly in and out of LA for as small a time as humanly possible.

  • I love working with people who have had television experience because I think there's a real efficiency and methodology that comes from that background.

  • I loved working with him [Justin Chadwick]. He was very smart in how he assembled the people around him and had a crew that he knew very well. He was very comfortable on the set and I never felt that I was working with a first-time filmmaker.

  • Definitely the script because you want to be part of an interesting story, you want your character to be a challenge, then comes the director. But essentially it's the script first and whether it's a character that you think you can do.

  • It's got to be a challenge but at the same time you have to feel as though you can play them - it's really dangerous to want to be a part of something just because you think it's going to be great. I've been sent plenty of scripts where I've known that it's going to be a great film and a successful one, but I just couldn't convince myself that I was the right person for the part. So, I think you have to be careful with that.

  • When I shoot I'll take my family with me - one movie a year and then the rest of the time at home.

  • I was a fan of the television show as a kid but I wouldn't say that I've followed all the movies or anything like that. But I was a television junkie as a kid.

  • Abs are for people with no friends.

  • As an actor I've been attracted to the sort of films that I want to go and see. That tends to usually be drama-related.

  • I don't consciously seek out Australian projects. I put them on the same table as all the other scripts and I wouldn't ever do a film just because it's been shot at home.

  • Yeah I was aware of the book, but hadn't read it. So as soon as I'd finished the script, I got a copy of the book and read that. My wife had read it and she loves it, so that was a good sounding board. I like her writing style, she's such a page-turner. I enjoyed The Constant Princess as well. I think she's great. The books are very popular with women and I can see why.

  • I've given no thought to moving to America at all.

  • I'm a bit of a romantic.

  • I'm always one time zone behind myself.

  • We shot that in Morocco, and got out of the country at the beginning of July - and two months later came the attack on Twin Towers. The movie was then released in December, so that kind of atmosphere is not something that was unfamiliar to me.

  • I'm spending all my time and energy on the project at hand.

  • I knew a bit but we don't study a lot of British history at school in Australia. We have our own 50-year period to concentrate on.

  • I always find that 90% of the performance, for me, is about what comes from inside.

  • I've always described parts as tattoos. For actors our tattoos are in the form of films.

  • I just think that's the job of an actor. I guess that's the variation that you're talking about. It's probably a byproduct of just constantly looking for something different, because that's what I feel like I'm supposed to do.

  • If you're lucky enough to be involved in a film that's about something very real and that you hope will continue to hold up in 20 years' time it just gives you more energy and makes it feel all the more worthwhile.

  • I've worked with some of the great cinematographers. So I'm always watching what they do and I'm watching how the director composes his shots, just because I find it interesting as an actor; you're trying to help them out as well.

  • I think if you had to map that out at the beginning and you said, "Right, sit down, this is what you're going to be doing," you'd probably freak out. But I'm someone who really enjoys not being himself. So if you consider that, then it all sort of makes sense.

  • I've had frustrated storytelling juices that have been lying dormant for a long time, and I guess the documentary was a way of me telling a story that I felt most qualified to tell. And I loved it, and I'd love to do something else someday, probably more narrative-based. But I'm in no rush.

  • Obviously this stuff takes a bit of planning, but I've always been someone that sets achievable short-term goals. I've never been someone that's had a five-year plan, or a three-year plan. That just seems to lead to a lot of disappointment, and doesn't give you the chance to be flexible. So I've just always been someone that's sort of reassessed where I'm at, and set goals that are realistic. And luckily, I've had plenty of chances to recalibrate and adjust, and good fortune's come my way.

  • I think you need to be able to see a lot of negative in things in order to extract material, so there's probably something to that. A lot of the people I used to work with were very, very, very unfunny offstage, so that's a pretty common thing.

  • I usually befriend the camera department very early on in the film and drive them nuts. I'm constantly bombarding them with questions and going through the stills photography. A film set is a great place for me and I love it.

  • I really enjoy behind the camera stuff and I'm a frustrated photographer myself and just love the camera. I love that side of it and that part of the [filmmaking] world and I enjoy developing things. It's an area that I'll continue to be more active in as time goes by.

  • Throw your children in the surf and let them get used to it. They have to learn all about rips and tides and swimming between the flags and all that sort of stuff. I know that sounds ridiculous but it's true.

  • I never really think much about the size of a production because I think as an actor, once you're in it, it's all the same. I never ever pick projects based on their size.

  • If I read something and I love it, I'll do it and I don't even ask what the budget is.

  • I tend not to read the size of the production into a script when I'm reading it. It's just something you respond to or not and I do think it's very dangerous to say it's time now to do this or it's time now to do that.

  • I do believe in reading signs if they're really obvious to you. Things happen. Someone will say something to you today in the morning and then later on that day someone will mention the same thing and then the next day someone will mention it again. There's a reason why three people have said something within twenty four hours.

  • I'm realistic about it. It's been quite some years since I've worked full-time in that area, so I no longer have any material that bears any relevance to my life or the audience. I'd need to take probably a year off, which I wouldn't be prepared to do, so it's a romantic ideal.

  • It really depends on the director. I think quite often, it's not what you expect. The most serious film can be the most fun. The one that's supposed to be fun can be the most serious. I don't think there are any hard-and-fast rules. I just think it really depends on your director and what the general vibe is.

  • I guess on a base level that's one of the first parental instincts that you have with children in Australia is learn to swim. Not only learn to swim but learn to swim strong.

  • We live our lives by the water and if you don't know how to swim in Australia, it's like not knowing how to cross a road. It's an incredible survival thing that you really must learn when you're a child.

  • Film sets are great fun. Film people are great people to hang around with. I don't want to run off and be distracted by other things.

  • I enjoy just being cocooned in production and it's completely different to your other life that you have. I enjoy that. I enjoy being on the set and hanging out and talking to whoever we're working with and just being in the moment.

  • The notion of people commenting on you, the notion of people saying things about you, people liking or disliking you and getting into your business, has become more of a reality for the general public over the last years, as people have dipped further into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and social media.

  • I don't like working in a studio, at all. I just prefer to be on location, rather than hearing the bells of the studio going off. It's like being in Las Vegas, where no one knows the time and there are no windows.

  • Without a doubt, rowing is the hardest thing you can attempt to learn in a short period of time.