Aussie A-lister Eric Bana's 'weird' lockdown hobby

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·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
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Actor Eric Bana during an interview on November 15, 2018 on THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON Episode 0962
Aussie star Eric Bana has revealed the 'weird' hobby he got stuck into during lockdown. Photo: Getty Images.

Celebrities, they're just like us. Well, at least Aussie acting icon Eric Bana is.

Along with millions around the country, the 53-year-old passed the time in lockdown in his Melbourne home glued to last month's Olympic Games coverage on TV.

A quick glance at Dirty John star Eric's recent tweets shows just how invested he became in green and gold success in Tokyo while stuck indoors — something many of us can no doubt relate to.

But with the Games over, it was time for all of us to return to our regular lockdown programming, whether that was binging TV shows or diving deep into hours-long TikTok wormholes.


Eric Bana in character as Aaron Falkon the set of the film, The Dry. Photo: Roadshow.
Eric, who played federal agent Aaron Falkon in The Dry, is gearing up for another gritty crime drama in The Orchard. Photo: Roadshow.

For rev-head Eric, that meant embracing a slightly 'weird' proxy version of his favourite hobbies involving two-wheeled vehicles.

"I definitely relied on YouTube, more so than I ever have before for," he tells Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat.

"I've been on so many virtual camping trips and holidays and motorcycle rides in my head and via other people around the planet.

"I find that a really weird outlet because I love travelling on my motorcycle and getting away so I've found myself watching a lot of other people doing that activity."

A photo of two motorcycles on a hill in Gippsland, Victoria taken by Australian actor Eric Bana
Rev-head Eric is satisfyinghis need for speed on YouTube while in lockdown. Photo: Twitter/ericbana67.

Eric's new podcast

When not vicariously putting peddle to the metal, Eric is also partial to a gritty true-crime podcast which is why he was so keen to get involved in Audible's new crime-drama podcast, The Orchard.

The Orchard sees Eric don his detective badge to voice Adam Durwood, a world-weary cop investigating a mysterious death in the apple orchard of a spooky and isolated private girls' school.

When his teen daughter gets involved in the sinister web of secrets and the supernatural, the case gets personal.

Bringing spoken-word stories to life is not new for Eric, who starred as real-life conman John Meehan in the TV series Dirty John which was based on the hit podcast of the same name. 

"I do really enjoy the true-crime space and obviously Dirty John was one of the most extreme examples where we went from podcasts to narrative interpretation to a mini-series," he explains.

Actor Eric Bana (R) and his wife Rebecca Bana attend the Australian premiere of The Dry at Pentridge Cinema on December 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)
Eric with his wife Rebecca, who steered him toward The Dry after reading Jane Harper's book. Photo: Getty Images.

While The Orchard is fictional, Eric is excited to give listeners something meaty to sink their teeth into during lockdown and beyond.

"It's that idea of trying to solve something that appeals to our sense of intelligence and feeling as though we've worked something out that only a trained detective could work out."

An easing of Covid restrictions late last year allowed Eric and his co-stars Magda Szubanski, Gary Sweet and newcomer Ashleigh-Rose Nicholson, who plays his teen daughter, to record together in the same space.

"It was a bit of a reunion because there were a few people that I knew and I'd worked with before and then people like Gary [Sweet] who I knew but we've never worked together before so it was wonderful," he says.

While Eric's wife, Rebecca can take credit for steering him toward his recent role in the highly successful film adaptation of Jane Harper's book, The Dry, the same can't be said for The Orchard.

"No, this one, I guess because it wasn't a book for her to read beforehand... that's where her track record really comes into its own but no, she doesn't get a credit on this one which is a rarity in my household," he chuckles.

The Orchard is launching as part of Audible's new Plus Catalogue; a selection of thousands of listen-all-you-want titles now included in membership, at no additional cost.

All members will have now have access to the Plus Catalogue, as well as their monthly credit and additional membership benefits.

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