Eric Bana was required to think on his feet while filming The Secret Scripture.
The Australian actor stars as Dr. William Grene in the adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s 2008 novel of the same name, which tells the tale of a young woman who keeps a diary about her extended stay at a mental hospital.
While Eric enjoyed working with director Jim Sheridan on the movie, he admits it took some time to get used to his unconventional filming processes.
“There weren’t too many days where I went to work and did the work that I had prepared for the night before, in terms of the scene, the dialogue, the character, what we were meant to do that day,” he told Empire magazine. “It was a bit of a free-for-all… Because of the process we were taking, I felt that in the end it was going to diminish my character’s role in the film, which it did, but I was like, ‘Whatever.’ There was no other way but complete surrender.”
Eric began his career in sketch comedies and first gained Hollywood’s attention for his performance in 2001’s Black Hawk Down, before nabbing parts in 2003’s The Hulk and 2009’s Star Trek.
While the 48-year-old has a diverse body of work under his belt, he insists that he’s open to suggestion when taking on a character.
“I tend to try to be a bit malleable, so rather than resist methods, be open to methods. You want to prepare your character to the extent that you’re then totally free on the day and the dialogue becomes not irrelevant, but almost,” he explained.
As well as The Secret Scripture, Eric has also recently wrapped work on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Forgiven. Though he has a steady stream of projects on the go, the star describes himself as a “part-time actor” in his Twitter bio.
“Full-time actors are people who work on series and soaps in television,” he shared. “I’m a guy who occasionally picks up a script and goes to work. If I called myself a full-time actor, I’d be lying.”