MCM: Eric Bana


Eric Bana is an Australian actor who is tall (yes!), dark (yes!), and fills out Henrician costume quite nicely. He’s a lot of pretty beefcake, but he also reads as intelligent and emotional on film. There are really only two historical costume movies of his that are worth raving about, but he’s so pretty in them that it’ll be worth it. Trust me. You’ll enjoy the ride.

Troy (2004)

Brad Pitt is hilarious as Achilles, Orlando Bloom looks confused as Paris, but it’s Eric Bana as Hector (and his relationship with wife Andromache, played by Saffron Burrows) that hits me in that “hot man who loves his wife and child isn’t he noble and manly” way (I can’t help it, it’s some recessive gene).

2004 Troy

“HELLO! My name is Hector. Check out my cool armor.”

2004 Troy

“I am here with my nitwit brother to be all manly and in charge.”

2004 Troy

“I will lead all these hot soldiers into battle!”

2004 Troy

“I will stab you with my spear!” (yes, that’s allll euphemism)

2004 Troy

“I will love my wife and child, but be too manly and noble to run away with them!”

2004 Troy

OH HELLO. I’m going to picture that he’s taking off his armor. Just for me.

But what really got me Team Bana was…

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

No, he’s not a perfect Henry VIII — probably too hot, certainly not redheaded, not piggish enough. But Bana does embody Henry’s intelligence, attractiveness, sensitivity, and manly size. He’s the first guy I’ve seen to really help me get Henrician men’s costume — it’s all about being even Bigger and More Imposing, which really only works if you’re already big and imposing to begin with (listen to our podcast for more raving about this).

2008 The Other Boleyn Girl

First off, he looks good. Did I mention that?

2008 The Other Boleyn Girl

Secondly, he shows Henry’s tender side when he’s shacking up with Scarlett Johannson.

2008 The Other Boleyn Girl

Thirdly, he’s really good at the whole pent-up-lust-for-Anne thing. RAWR.

2008 The Other Boleyn Girl

Fourth, he does a great brick wall impression (aka when Henry decides to cut you off emotionally, he Cuts You Off Emotionally).

2008 The Other Boleyn Girl

And he wears some REALLY pretty fabric, and those huge sleeves and giant coats, SO well.

So, thanks Eric Bana. Feel free to make a few more historical costume movies while you’re doing your tall, dark, and handsome thing.


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

5 Responses

  1. avrilejean

    Bana started out as a comedian on skit shows, you should look for ‘The Eric Bana show’ and appreciate the 90s all over again.
    Also there is a classic aussie movie called ‘The Castle’, he has a minor but glorious part in it, worth a watch, my favourite line in the movie comes from him. Not really a frock flick though the 90s hair is pretty epic. :)

  2. Lily Lotus Rose

    Eric Bana was absolutely the best thing in “Troy” which was atrocious overall. He looked like a fierce angel who came down from heaven. He was very good in “The Other Boleyn Girl,” BUT Scarlet Johanssen and Natalie Portman were totally miscast. I really couldn’t get into it at all.

  3. saffireblu

    He had the most epic of mullets as ‘Poida’ (the bogan-est pronunciation of ‘Peter’ imaginable)- he was in like ‘Full-Frontal’, I think, before his self-named show that the first poster mentioned- it was a little bit before my time.
    But the impressions & impersonations are purely classic Australian comedy-gold!