Complex Made Simple

Pursuit of perfection: Exclusive interview with Eric Bana

The Australian actor tells Aficionado about his admiration for BVLGARI, love for all things motoring and why charity holds a special place in his heart.

Better known for his iconic roles in action thrillers such as Chopper, Troy and Black Hawk Down, Melbourne-born film and TV star Eric Bana presented a more relaxed figure while attending the annual Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show earlier this year. Instead of promoting one of his movies, he opted for an association with one of the world’s most iconic luxury brands, BVLGARI.

Intertwined across the beautifully lit-up booth at Baselworld, BVLGARI had on show its newest edition of the OCTO range. The OCTO has become a mainstay in the company’s watch collections, combining both efficiency and elegance. Normally very selective when attaching his name to brand promotions, Bana says that it was BVLGARI’s beauty and heritage that drew him in to taking up the role of its brand ambassador.

“BVLGARI is obviously one of the truly great brands with an incredible heritage and I think it was probably the beauty and craftsmanship side of it all that really appealed to me,” he explains. “I grew up with my mum working in a jewellery store and so I always had an appreciation for that side of things. Over the past few years, my association with the brand campaign has been a lot of fun.”

Put to the test as to his personal favourite over the years, he responds with genuine affection for the design and aesthetics of it all.

“The new range is evolving and is slightly different from what came out a few years ago, but the design is becoming so iconic and beautiful. The range goes from something a little thicker to the one I am wearing now , but the detail and precision demonstrates that not a single element or ingredient has been neglected,” he adds.

Over the years, Bana has obviously selected his movie roles with the same careful precision and reveals that his watch collection habits mirror this. “My watch collection could be termed somewhat small, but I really do value the collection I choose to keep; I have three or four BVLGARI watches, I have a special fondness for the Octo line, as well as a beautiful Daniel Roth I picked up a few years ago.”

Great passions. In addition to his love for the beauty of film and watchmaking, Bana displays as much passion for the simple things in life. Between movie shoots and script reading, he states that charity endeavours and all things motor racing keep him busy.

“Through BVLGARI, I have been able to learn more and more about Save the Children – I work with a couple of charities back home in Australia, but, this year, I have been able to get more involved with the work of Save the Children and had the benefit of seeing up close what its teams are doing in my own country,” Bana says with genuine enthusiasm. “We all know the kind of work it does in places less-fortunate, such as in Africa, but to see what is being done in your local communities is fulfilling and it gives me great satisfaction that such projects are ongoing.”

‘Acting was my plan B.’ Hearing Bana talk about his love for motorsports, it’s easy to imagine why acting was, in fact, his back-up plan.

“I wanted to be a racecar driver and a mechanic, but I kind of fell off the wagon and ended up on the stage. Acting was a dream, but never something I took very seriously as a profession until I started with stand-up comedy and sketch comedy, and then just ended up moving on from there to television and, eventually, film,” he says.

Bana’s love for motoring is perhaps best depicted in his 2009 documentary, Love the Beast, featuring Bana, Jay Leno, Jeremy Clarkson and Phil McGraw; the film documents the 25-year history of his first car, a 1974 Ford XB Falcon Hardtop, which he purchased at the age of fifteen for AUD1,100. Through the film, Eric explores the central role that fixing and racing this car has played in his life and the lives of his friends, thereby offering a rare insight into his
real-life personality.

And when he hasn’t got his head under the hood of his beloved muscle car, Bana tells Aficionado that spending time with family and friends, as well as carefully reading movie scripts, keeps him fully occupied. “I am always very open when it comes to reading scripts and I do not often close a particular avenue,” he states. “Very often, I read scripts that I cannot even do, just to stay on top of what the writers are doing. It could be a case of further down the line I receive a script from a particular writer and so it is really good to keep up with what they are doing and their individual styles.”

The best is yet to come? Any actor worth his salt will tell you that to choose their personal favourite role ever is not as easy as is often thought. Bana is the same and tells Aficionado that each role, for him, is remembered and acknowledged for what it meant at that time. “I like to think that maybe I have not done yet, maybe there is another one around the corner that will become a defining role, and that is what we all hope for as actors. Also, I believe that it is more important that your whole career stands for something; I would rather be known for a long career that is varied, rather than one huge moment, and I think that this is far more important and far more satisfying,” he explains.

Here’s to variety.

BVLGARI OCTO

The OCTO has become a mainstay in the watch collections of BVLGARI and the iconic line is expanding with a wider range of sizes this year.

The star of the show is the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon. BVLGARI has reached a new milestone with this major complication: its 1.95 millimetre-thick movement makes this flying tourbillon simply the slimmest on the market – no other brand has even come close – and the thinnest ever made. The total thickness of the watch is a mere five millimetres and comes with a platinum case 40 millimetres in diameter.

Other releases include the OCTO Finissimo, which houses the mechanical hand-wound movement that is only 2.23 millimetres thick, the OCTO Solotempo in a slightly smaller case that’s 38 millimetres in diameter, and a new chronograph edition, OCTO Velocissimo.

SAVE THE CHILDREN

Eric Bana is an ambassador of BVLGARI and a global partner of Save the Children, a non-governmental organisation that promotes children’s rights. BVLGARI has raised more than AUD25 million for its programmes around the world since 2009, which has reached 600,000-plus children in 22 countries.

In February this year, Bana visited Save the Children’s Positive Start to School Project in Chester Hill, Sydney, which is designed for children aged between 0 and 6 years focusing on school readiness, followed by M.Y.van, a mobile youth service in Sydney. Funds are also raised through the sale of a specially designed silver and ceramic Save the Children BVLGARI ring, featuring an engraved Save the Children logo on the inside and is available for sale at BVLGARI stores across Australia.

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