I’ve said it many times but I believe 2013 will be the year of Ben Mendelsohn. Although he’s been working in film for decades now—everywhere from Terrence Malick’s The New World to Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, this is the first year American has really fallen in love with him. In the past few months, we’ve seen him as the drug-addicted small time crime partner to Scoot McNairy in Killing Them Softly, the uncommitted and absent father to Jessa on Girls, and in just a few weeks we’ll be enjoying his performance as Ryan Gosling’s partner in crime in Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines.
And in a new clip from the film, we get a taste of the casual relationship between the two as they plan out one of their bank robbing schemes. It’s a lighter moment in Pines, filled with humor and lovability that builds to the catalyst the pushes the film forward. Check out the clip below and see the film March 29th in New York and Los Angeles.
Yes, I can feel it—2013 will finally be the year America falls in love with Ben Mendelsohn. Although having worked in the industry for decades now, it was only until 2010’s Animal Kingdom that the Australian actor started garnering attention stateside—and rightfully so. You may have caught a glimpse of him in Terrence Malick’s The New World or Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, but it was his performance in this fall’s Killing Them Softly that got my full attention and made me want to see more of the man who seems to have an affinity for intense characters on the fringe.
In Andrew Dominik’s politically charged crime drama, he played opposite Scoot McNairy—to which Dominik said, "[he’s] someone I’ve known since we were teenagers…I knew that that character was something he could do with his one arm tied behind his back." To my dismay, Killing Them Softly seemed to be either panned or overlooked by critics, which is a shame not only for Dominik and his fantastic directorial ability, for the actors involved. Ben gave a memorable performance in his supporting role, but what stood out the most was the fact that amongst the likes of Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini, McNairy not only held his own but outshined everyone. Anyhow, Mendelsohn can next be found alongside Ryan Gosling in Derek Cianfrance’s incredible sprawling triptych drama, The Place Beyond the Pines. It also appears Gosling has cast him to star in his upcoming directorial debut How to Catch a Monster with Christina Hendricks.
But as of late, it’s been reported that Mendelsohn will star in Mississippi Grind with Jake Gyllenhaal, a new independent drama from the people who brought you 2006’s Gosling-helmed feature, Half Nelson. Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s film will follow “a down-on-his-luck gambler (Mendelsohn) facing crushing debt who teams up with a younger gambling addict (Gyllenhaal) in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what has been lost.”
Well, this is exactly what I like to hear. The more Mendelsohn, the better. Enjoy this brief clip from Pines.