If your career’s going nowhere, Ben Mendelsohn, Noah Taylor and Kick Gurry will give you hope

Australian actors

Careers are temperamental things.

Ambition can easily turn to apathy when a promotion never eventuates, a pay rise is quickly spent, a co-worker gets all the credit, or you’re mired in routine.

The best option is to change course and try again. Until the same thing happens and your career once again hits the skids.

Frustration, boredom and disillusionment quickly follow.

It’s natural to become despondent over lost opportunities and failure to realise a dream.

But take note: I’ve followed the acting careers of Ben Mendelsohn, Noah Taylor and Kick Gurry and have concluded that success takes many twists and turns before it finally delivers.

The rise and fall and rise of Mendelsohn, Taylor and Gurry

These three Australian actors have much in common. They grew up in Melbourne and achieved success while still teenagers.

They attracted a buzz and appeared regularly on magazine covers, talk shows and award ceremonies.

More success was expected once they left Australia for Hollywood.

But instead of finding fame and fortune, they pretty much disappeared from the screen — although Taylor did get cast in a few high-profile movies early on, only to vanish into oblivion along with Mendelsohn and Gurry.

Years passed and Australian actors such as Joel Edgerton, Sam Worthington and Hugh Jackman eclipsed them completely.

Now, after years of obscurity, they’ve reappeared and are poised to fulfil their early promise.

From blockbuster movies to hit television shows, these three actors demonstrate why persistence, patience and resilience can eventually bring rewards.

Noah Taylor

Noah Taylor was always the most successful of the trio having starred in the Oscar-winning Shine, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the big budget Lara Croft movies.

Taylor’s craggy face, weather-worn and beaten since his teens, allowed him to play a range of characters from eccentric scientists to crafty villains. Whether he’s trying to double-cross Jon Snow in Game of Thrones or plotting against aliens with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow, Taylor has made an impressive comeback.

Ben Mendelsohn

Mendelsohn slowly matured as an actor. He came to prominence co-starring with Noah Taylor in The Year My Voice Broke but lacked his co-star’s depth. Nonetheless, he was still a sought after actor and a popular local movie star.

Then he went to Hollywood and failed to ignite much interest.

Finally, he received a break in the Netflix series Bloodline and was nominated for an Emmy. He has since been cast in the upcoming Star Wars vehicle Rogue One. This is quite a coup as Mendelsohn’s acting chops have gone from zero to Star Wars hero within a year.

Kick Gurry

And then there’s Kick Gurry. He was the sensitive romantic lead in Looking for Alibrandi (2000) who showed great promise. But he was quickly forgotten. He’s worked regularly in television but until recently failed to live up to earlier expectations. In the past couple of years, however, he’s been in two big budget Hollywood movies — Edge of Tomorrow and Jupiter Ascending — with more film credits to follow.

So take heart, if your career’s going nowhere let these three actors give you hope.

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About the author

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.


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