Bana's performance won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor.In 2001, director Ridley Scott cast Bana as an American soldier in the film Black Hawk Down (2001).In 1997, in spite of his lack of experience in dramatic roles, Bana was approached by director Andrew Dominik to appear in the film Chopper (2000), a biographical film based on the life of infamous Australian criminal Chopper Read.
Bana shed the weight he had gained for Chopper and began an exercise regimen months before filming began.
He also trained with Delta Force operators at Fort Bragg, learning to fire weapons and clear rooms.
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Scott, with a recommendation from Russell Crowe and impressed by Bana's performance in Chopper, did not require him to audition.
In the film, he played Sergeant First Class Norm 'Hoot' Hooten, an elite Delta Force soldier, who fights his way out of a battle in Mogadishu, Somalia after a mission to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord goes awry.American film critic Roger Ebert complimented Bana, stating that "in a comedian named Eric Bana the filmmakers have found, I think, a future star ...He has a quality no acting school can teach you and few actors can match. Chopper was a critical and financial success in Australia, and was nominated for Best Film at the Australian Film Institute Awards in 2001.The show, a collection of sketches featuring everyday characters, prompted him to launch a sketch comedy series The Eric Bana Show.The series, written and performed by Bana, featured skits, stand-up and celebrity guests, but failed to attract a substantial audience and was cancelled after only eight episodes due to low ratings. That’s literally all there is to say about Eric these days.