Eric Bana is back in action

Eric Bana on stunt scenes and the necessity of learning how to swim in Australia.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Eric Bana - Hanna

Eric Bana is back in action. The star of Hulk and Troy plays a character named Eric in the movie Hanna. Eric is Hanna’s father who trained her in all the hunting, fighting warrior skills by her 16th birthday. When Hanna goes off on her own, Eric gets to spring into action too. I got in a few questions with Bana when he did press for the movie.


CraveOnline: We see you do that amazing one take scene that’s a few minutes long where you take out four guys. How much work did you do from the beginning of training to the end to pull that scene off?

Eric Bana: It’s interesting. The thing about that scene, the one in the subway where it’s all just one shot, is physically it’s exactly the same. Whenever I learn a fight, you learn it from start to finish and I like to be able to do the fight from start to finish without stopping so that on the day you’re covered if the director wants to shoot it in any particular way. What makes it different when they do decide to do it in one shot is it’s just more pressure because you realize there’s no way for any mistakes or for anything to be picked up or fixed. But it’s extremely exciting because it’s the opposite of what we do mostly and most fights are assembled in the edit suite and you lose a lot of the hard work you’ve put in to learn all those fights. So I was honored when Joe said “I’m going to shoot this steadycam. One shot. We’ve got to get it in magic hour. It becomes more like a sport. The cameraman, the focus puller, the guy dragging the cables, everyone has to be absolutely perfect on one take. So it does become more like a live performance and there is more adrenaline on a day like that. It’s good fun.


CraveOnline: How many times did you do it?

Eric Bana: We only had about a 45-minute window because it was magic hour so I think we did six or seven and I think it’s the second take that’s in the film. We just kept doing them and resetting all the background. We spent all day preparing for that magic hour.


CraveOnline: They remade The Hulk and they recast him again for The Avengers. Does it amuse you that they can’t seem to figure out what they want the Hulk to be?

Eric Bana: I think it’s interesting. Yeah. I don’t know if I find it amusing but it’s definitely interesting.


CraveOnline: What do you want to teach your kids to do as far as life skills?

Eric Bana: Oh God! That’s complicated, isn’t it? They’re 9 and 11. I just think it’s something you’re working at every day really.


CraveOnline: But not archery?

Eric Bana: Well there’s basic [survival.] I do think it’s a responsibility especially in Australia. I mean, the big thing for us is swimming. The first thing that you’re very aware of in terms of a primal thing that you have to teach a child is how to swim. 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 because you don’t see a lot of 40-year-olds learning to swim. You know what I mean? 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. Throw them 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.