I just discovered “Strike Back” on DVD. What can you tell me about Sullivan Stapleton?
—Jesse Hassell, Helena, Mont.
Don’t be fooled by the American accent that Stapleton, as Sgt. Damien Scott, uses on “Strike Back,” which recently wrapped up its second season on Cinemax. He is a native of Melbourne, Australia, which is where he launched his career in the 1994 TV movie “Baby Bath Massacre.”
From that, he moved on to several other projects, including a recurring role on the Aussie soap “Neighbours,” such TV series as “The Secret Life of Us,” “Carla Cametti PD,” “Satisfaction” and the TV movie “Underbelly Files: Infiltration.” His films include “The Condemned,” “December Boys,” “Darkness Falls” and “The Hunter.”
Stapleton, 35, hasn’t had an easy time launching his acting career, having had to return to work as a laborer several times in order to support his family, but finally in 2010, he was cast in what was his breakthrough movie, “Animal Kingdom.”
Both “Strike Back” and the upcoming 2013 film “Gangster Squad” followed. Now, Stapleton is starring in the lead role of Athenian general Themistocles in “300: Rise of the Empire,” a follow-up to “300.”
Of finally getting his long-awaited break, Stapleton says, “Put your head down and bum up and focus on it. There are always going to be setbacks along the way, but I guess that’s where I think the difference comes. If you can stick at it, ride it out and stay focused on your goal then, hopefully, you will pull it off. You’ve just got to have a crack.”