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The Man, the Myth!

Eric Bana takes it to Extreme as the face of Bulgari’s new fragrance.

Matteo Garrone with Bana on set in Rome

Eric Bana, ambassador of Bulgari Man Extreme, in repose in Rome

Casting actor Eric Bana as the promotional campaign frontman for its brawny new blend Man Extreme marks a genuine coup d’état for Bulgari. After all, although the native Australian has inhabited a host of roles, he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of mythic warrior Hector in Troy, where he very nearly took out Brad Pitt’s Achilles and looked completely natural doing it. In fact, he appeared so at home in the gladiator sandals of the Hellenic hero, you felt genuinely duped when he was knocked off—even though you knew it was coming. He oozed gravitas, then convincingly backed up the bravado with serious skills.

Bulgari is banking on Bana to bring the same sense of strength, stature and smolder (not to mention the quiet, explosive intensity he gifted Spielberg’s Munich) to its Man Extreme campaign. The actor’s genuine adoration for Bulgari only further cements his brand ambassador appointment as genius.

“I am very much attracted by the Bulgari brand,” Bana says. “I love its heritage and long tradition as a jeweler, and its relationship with Hollywood, as well. Above all, I love its workmanship, creativity and the work of [its] artisans.”

Bulgari tapped all these traditions to bottle its buzzed-about composition—a Mediterranean fresh blend with sensuous vim. With zesty top notes—such as pink grapefruit, Calabrian bergamot and cactus pulp—flirting with a fusion of masculine flora and warm woods, Man Extreme is one kicky cocktail, its earthy essence creating olfactory intrigue that only a man like Bana can express with authenticity. Its silver and black packaging, meanwhile, calls forth epic proportions; etched with a reversed “V” for victory (a nod to Bulgari’s Roman heritage), the bottle boasts an eco-friendly metallic treatment and recalls colossal architecture in the
Eternal City.

Not only is Bana the face for the fragrance, he’s a fan, crediting it for rousing both mood and memory. “I grew up in Australia, where natural scents are very strong,” intones the actor, who touts Man Extreme for its balance. “I like the fact that it is not too strong, yet its scent is very masculine to me, and fresh.” Exactly the effect master perfumer Alberto Morillas sought to achieve. “I created the new perfume Bulgari Man Extreme with the idea of evoking a new freshness without neglecting a modern sensuality in the background,” he says.

At the fore is the scent’s aforementioned promotional campaign, which, shot in Rome, seizes the city’s historic prestige. The ode to Homeric heroism sees Bana encounter three symbolic adversaries—the black eagle, lion, snake—amid a series of muscular, marbled columns and stairs. Captured by master lensman Peter Lindbergh (for print) and director Matteo Garrone (for film), the neorealistic effort creates moody suspense within which Bana—cutting a smart, mysterious figure in elegant suiting—emerges, nearly imperial in his power, like the emperors of old.

The hero rises once again.