Ben Mendelsohn

  1. Russell Crowe, Romper Stomper, 1991. One never knows how a head look until it is shaved bald – and Mendelsohn’s skull was never menacing enough for a Nazi skinhead in Melbourne. What to do? Easy. Director Geoffrey Wright had been persistently contacted about the role by a shaved bald Crowe… Ben went back to (mainly) down-under TV.
  2. Johnny Depp, Rango, 2010.    Mendelsohn  and Domhnall Gleeseon were shortlisted for the titular lizard saving the wild West town called Dirt. But hey, Gore Verbibnski was directting so Rango hadda be his Disney pirate. Indeed, it’s the only one of his movies that Johnny has ever watched. Critic Roger Ebert knew why. Wonderfully made, great to look at, wickedly satirical, and (gasp!) filmed in glorious 2-D…  deserving comparison with Blazing Saddles, from which it borrows a lot of farts.”
  3. Bill Skarsgård, It, 2016.  There was talk over seven years about re-hashing the mini-series of 1990 – when Stellan Skarsgård’s son/Alexander Tarzan Skarsgård’s brother was born. Rumours included Jim Carrey, Mark Rylance, Tilda Swinton and, naturally, Johnny Depp and Jackie Earl Haley when Tim Curry passed on reprising his 1990 creation. Ben Mendelsohn, Hollywood’s busiest Aussie since 2010, proved too pricey. Will Poulter was chosen by director Cary Joli Fukunaga, before quitting over artistic differences (true for once). New helmer Andy Muschietti said Poulter was a great option, but was  not free for  the delayed shoot. Andy auditioned Stephen R Hart, Doug Jones (future Saru in Star Trek: Discovery, 2017-2021), Brian Safi, Timothy Simmons, Hugo Weaving but gave Pennywise to Stellan Skarsgård’s fourth son (five of his six boys are actors). Bill has Strabismus – he can simultaneously move his eyes in different directions. Great for “such an extreme character… beyond sociopath, because he’s not even human. I’m playing just one of the beings It creates.”Tim Curry thought Bill “very clever, very good.” “Spectacularly scary, the stuff of nightmare,” added Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers. The public agreed and the 225th of King’s staggering 313 screen credits was his biggest hit!  A sequel was guaranteed – and made in 2018.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  3