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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:
According to Deadline, Netflix is financing director Nicole Holofcener’s latest project, ‘The Land of Steady Habits’, a film adaptation of the novel by Ted Thompson. Holofcener is directing her own adapted screenplay. Ben is set to play the lead role, a character named Anders Hill.
Synopsis of ‘Steady Habits’, from the author’s website:
Coming of age can happen at the strangest times. For Anders Hill, long ensconced in “the land of steady habits”—the affluent hamlets of Connecticut that dot the commuter rail line—it’s finally time to reap the rewards of a sensible life. Into his sixties and newly retired, his grown sons’ college tuitions paid in full, Anders finds the contentment he’s been promised is still just out of reach. So he decides he’s had enough of steady habits: he leaves his wife, buys a condo, and waits for freedom to transform him.
But as the cheery charade of Christmas approaches, Anders starts to wonder if maybe parachuting from his life was not the most prudent choice. Stripped of the comforts of his previous identity, he turns up at a holiday party full of his ex-wife’s friends, and sets in motion a series of events by turns comic and catastrophic. Before the year has turned, he has to face the startling possibility that the very world he rejected may in fact be the only one he needs.
I heard from a lot of the people I’ve spoken to –and I could be wrong– that when you shot it they would sort of play it multiple ways on set, so that way in the editing room…
MENDELSOHN: Yep, absolutely, very much. We did have multiple, multiple ways of going at any given scenario, we had multiple readings of it. So should they ever decided to, there would be a wealth of ways of approaching these different things. And I know from having seen sort of the crucial kind of scenes throughout it, I know there’s vastly different readings of at least four of those scenes.
“I think what drives Orson Krennic is a sort of an outsider’s resentment,” Mendelsohn mused. “An inverse snobbery about the officer class that populates the Imperium. I also think he’s very driven by his practical goal—he’s the head of military intelligence and operations—of bringing the Death Star online. And that’s a very pressing concern.”
Mendelsohn says: “It was like the seven-year-old me’s dream come true, 1977, Star Wars. From the ages of six to about 12, you’ll find that’s the peak age range where these movies go straight in – zoom!” He mimes a rocket flying into his face and blowing his kiddie-consciousness into a million pieces. “It hit me at an elemental level, and, for that kid I was then, I’m very glad. I often quip that there were many times in my life when I wish I’d been able to tell myself: ‘Don’t worry about it, one day you’ll be in a Star Wars movie.’ Alas, you can’t do it. And yet …” he chuckles, “here we are.”
Q: I’m glad we’ve already gotten so much interview mileage from just the cape!
A: Listen, I have no doubt that cape is, and you’ll pardon my language, a motherfucking movie star. It’s a movie star all on its own!
Q. What role helped you most in finding Krennic’s personality?
A. It was theater, probably playing Mark Antony in Julius Caesar. That was closely preparatory because it was about an empire, it was about the way one conducted one’s self, and it was about the arguments one has to make in order to politically survive within that space.
Q: OK, so what did you get at the gift shop?
A: OK, I got three of the Yodas because for my money that is the single best buy at the gift shop –because they’re a limited edition of the cast. I got a collection of droids, I got the Death Star top of the Christmas tree thing, I got a couple of Death Troopers to hang on the Christmas tree, I got some shoes for the girls … what else? Oh, and I got the samurai versions of Vader. I thought that was too special to pass up.
JJ Abrams has hinted there’s a gay relationship brooding between Finn and Poe in The Force Awakens. How about you two being the next same-sex couple in the Star Wars universe?
Ben: Well, we do have a dyed-in-the-wool bromance. But the next? [SPOILER ALERT!] Only if they go back and do an heroic retelling.
Mads: But there is a seed planted, definitely.
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Ben will be on the receiving end of the G’Day USA Excellence in Film and Television Award at the G’Day USA Los Angeles Gala.
The G’Day USA Los Angeles Gala is the pre-eminent business networking event for Australian and US companies seeking to increase their visibility and presence in our respective markets. The Gala offers an immersive Australian experience, showcasing Australian food, wine and entertainment, as well as exciting sponsor activations that promote the best of Australia in the US.
The Gala itself will play host to countless high-profile Australians involved in the creative industries. The ceremony will be held on January 28th, 2017.