Eric Bana Back at the War Zone in "Lone Survivor" (Opens Jan 8)

Australian actor Eric Bana, who made his American film debut in Ridley Scott’s brilliant war film “Black Hawk Down,” returns to the war front in “Lone Survivor” to portray Lt. Cmdr. Erik Kristensen.

Based on The New York Times bestselling true story of heroism, courage and resilience, “Lone Survivor” tells the incredible tale of four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative who are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan. Faced with an impossible moral decision, the small band is isolated from help and surrounded by a much larger force of Taliban ready for war. As they confront unthinkable odds together, the four men find reserves of strength and bravery as they stay in the fight to the finish.

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As this story opens, SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Team 1 members Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch) and Matthew Axelson (Ben Foster) and SDV Team 2 member Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsh) are stationed at SEAL Team 10 Camp Ouellette at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. It’s also where their commander, Kristensen, briefs the men, sends them out on the mission and monitors their communications. As the events unfold in the mountains, the crew back at base has no intel, except for a brief radio report of an attack. A rescue team is assembled, and the U.S. military is on the move.

wenn20903478Discussing his decision to join the team, Bana says: “There are two factors that make this story special, and they are the reasons why I jumped on board. One is the story itself, and two is who chooses to direct a project like this. I knew how involved Peter Berg would be and that he would know how to portray Navy SEALs. That was what I wanted to be a part of. The greatest way to honor these guys is to make a great film and have it stand the test of time.”

The more he researched the life of Kristensen, the more he was drawn to the story. Shares Bana: “He becomes the backdrop for the audience as we progress through the story. We’re back at the command center and watching the tension of the mission unfold, slowly go awry and then become very tense. For an actor, this is an exciting character, because you’re on the same path as the audience in terms of the flow of information.”

Bana had been a big fan of the book Lone Survivor which he'd read some years ago. “And when I heard that they were adapting it, they called me and asked if I’d consider playing Commander Christiansen. And I said yes right away, because I’m not only a fan of Marcus’s book, I also have a bit of a fascination with the Special Forces community. They are all amazing people. They perform an amazing function. And not every film has this experience. We all make different kinds of movies all the time. And I knew going into this that this is one that would feel very different to make and feel very different ten years from now from the other films we make. That doesn’t come along every day. I think we all felt that there was that sense in this one.”

Already well-known to audiences in his native Australia, Eric Bana was first introduced to the worldwide film community with his portrayal of the real-life (and larger-than-life) crime figure Mark “Chopper” Read in Andrew Dominik’s “Chopper,” which had its U.S. premiere at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. His performance in the title role earned him awards for Best Actor from the Film Critics Circle of Australia and Australian Film Institute.

Bana subsequently starred in Ridley Scott’s “Black Hawk Down” and Ang Lee’s “Hulk,” Wolfgang Petersen’s “Troy,” and Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed “Munich.”

Bana also starred in Curtis Hanson’s “Lucky You,” Justin Chadwick’s “The Other Boleyn Girl,” Robert Schwentke’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek.”

Opening across the Philippines on Jan. 8, 2014, “Lone Survivor” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.

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