Darkest Hour at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival
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Darkest Hour at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival

The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival kicked off last week, and Darkest Hour had its premiere on Day 5 of the festival. Ben attended, along with fellow actors Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas, and director Joe Wright.

Praise for the movie has been pouring in, mainly for Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. But could Mendo snag a Best Supporting Actor nomination? Here’s what the reviews at TIFF and Telluride had to say about Ben’s performance as King George VI:

Collider: And then there’s Ben Mendelsohn, who delivers a restrained and nuanced turn as King George VI. It’s almost refreshing to see Mendelsohn playing a character so “normal,” but it’s further proof that his talent is more versatile than “oddly charming slimeball.”

The Wrap: The great Ben Mendelsohn as King George does not so much give us a stuttering King as one who already has already conquered his affliction

Variety: (although it should be said that Mendelson’s portrayal of George VI improves upon Colin Firth’s in some ways)

Awards Circuit: It doesn’t help matters that King George VI, played eloquently by the great Ben Mendelsohn (“Animal Kingdom”)

Indie Wire: while Ben Mendelsohn outdoes Colin Firth as the stuttering King George VI

The Playlist: That being said King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn, fantastic) doesn’t trust him and his party’s original choice to replace Chamberlin

Screen Daily: “How do you manage drinking during the day?” enquires HRH King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn, in an unexpected but successful piece of casting)

Mashable: And Wright gives Ben Mendelsohn the chance to prove he can do more than play scumbags, casting him totally against type as King George VI

Lainey Gossip: King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn, extremely good, as always) faces a similar challenge

Check out the gallery for a lot of new photos, including events:

And photo shoots:

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Filed in Events Ready Player One

Ready Player One at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

The Warner Bros presentation at San Diego Comic-Con kicked off with a ‘Ready Player One’ trailer and panel with the cast and crew, including Ben, Olivia Cooke, Tye Sheridan, TJ Miller, writer Ernest Cline, and director Steven Spielberg. You can watch the trailer and panel below:

Ben said: “If you turn up to work and Steven Spielberg is your boss, come on. Everything is gravy after that.

EW: Here’s why Ben Mendelsohn’s villain in Ready Player One is actually right
Collider: Ready Player One Interviews With Ben Mendelsohn, Ernest Cline, and Zak Penn
MTV: “Ready Player One” Cast Reacts to the Trailer
IGN: Ready Player One: How Spielberg Inspired the Movie

Photos from the panel and a shoot with Entertainment Weekly have been added to the gallery:

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Sydney Film Festival 2017 goes Full Mendo

Ben took over the Sydney Film Festival with the premiere of ‘Una’, a screening of ‘The Year My Voice Broke’, a jam-packed conversation event with David Caesar, and several Q&As in Sydney and Melbourne.

Ben was hilariously captured on June 7th walking around Sydney, looking happy as a clam with his face stuffed in a meat pie:

Day 3 (June 9) of the festival kicked off with Ben at the premiere of his film ‘Una’, along with him introducing the film and speaking before several screenings. One of our favorite things about Mendo is his unique red carpet fashion, and he definitely didn’t disappoint:

The Sydney Morning Herald on ‘Una’:

Una, the third film to screen in the festival’s competition for “courageous, audacious and cutting edge” cinema, centres on a woman (Rooney Mara) confronting a factory manager (Mendelsohn) who sexually abused her when she was 13. After he has served time in jail and changed his name, she tracks him down to get an answer to the questions that have trapped her: did he really love her? Why did he leave?

Adapted from the acclaimed play Blackbird, Una features blazing, raw performances by the two stars as the confrontation heads in unexpected directions, interspersed with uncomfortable flashbacks, although opening up the play has diffused some of the potential drama.

Soon after, the much anticipated In Conversation with David Caesar with Ben took place. Here’s a few highlights:

  • “I used to be the sweet affable, couldn’t-get-a-girlfriend kind of guy,” Ben Mendelsohn​ said of his acting career. “Then we perfected larrikinism. And then it suddenly went to murderers, paedophiles and Death Star builders.”
  • He was funny about not being able to get an acting job in the early 2000s. “I was pretty happy,” he said. “I had a lovely girlfriend. She had a beautiful dog. I spent about two or three years just walking around Darlinghurst-Surry Hills with Tetsui the shar pei.”
  • Mendelsohn was realistic enough to know why the Hub was packed. “I know you f—ers. You’re not turning up in these numbers without a Death Star in there somewhere.”
  • That thing when Ben Mendelsohn’s dad tries to FaceTime him on stage in mid-interview

The next day, Ben arrived at a NSFA-restored screening of the film “The Year My Voice Broke”, and then traveled to Melbourne to promote ‘Una’ with 2 screenings and conversations with the audience:

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Ben Attends The G’Day USA 2017 Gala

The G’Day USA Gala was in full swing last night, bringing together notable Australians such as Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, director Baz Luhrmann, Luke Hemsworth, Rachel Griffiths, and Dominic Purcell.

“Rogue One” director Gareth Edwards presented Ben with an “Excellence in Film and Television” award. Gareth jokingly stated that Ben had “really made it because Target sold socks with his face on them” and proceeded to pull up his pants leg to show off his Director Krennic socks.

Some highlights from Ben’s speech:

“I think this means I have kind of made it,” he said.

“I don’t know what I did to get here but I’m going to keep on doing it and I thank my lucky stars more than most people…I know I am very very lucky to be here.” – news.com.au

Accepting the award, Mendelsohn regaled the audience with a speech full of jokes, seemingly random references and gentle self-deprecation.

He noted wryly he was “big in Australia from about 1988 to 1989”.

“I was the shit,” he joked.

Mendelsohn thanked Damon Herriman​, David Michod​ and Kate Beahan​ for backing him when it was, he said, “unfashionable” to do so.

He also thanked Simon Baker and Rebecca Rigg, Dominic Purcell and the late Heath Ledger for giving him a bed over the years, and acknowledged Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts for inspiring him. – Sydney Morning Herald

Ben also gave several interviews on the red carpet. He was asked about his current projects and named “Darkest Hour”, “The Land of Steady Habits”, “Hood”, and a to-be-announced project that he can’t talk about yet.

75 photos from the Gala have been added to the gallery:

 

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