Who is Daniel Henshall? Meet an Australian actor

daniel henshall

Daniel Edwin Henshall is an Australian actor. He rose to fame after playing John Bunting, a real-life serial killer in the Snowtown film based on the 1999 Snowtown murders. The film was directed by Justin Kurzel and screened in International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival.


Henshall was born in the year 1982 on August 9th. He was 36 in 2018.


Henshall was born in Sydney, New South, where he too grew up. There is not much information on his parents. He has two older brothers.


There are no records of who Henshall is dating or married to. He prefers to keep his personal life private and out of the spotlight.


Henshall is best known for playing John Bunting, a real-life serial killer in Justin Kurzel’s award-winning Snowtown based on the 1999 Snowtown murders. The film premiered at International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. The film was positively accepted with Roger Ebert, film critic and Pulitzer Prize winner, called it “ surprisingly good ” while IndieWire, a film industry and review site, called it one of the best performances of that year, adding “Daniel Henshall’s real-life portrayal of killer John Bunting is painfully good.” Henshell received the AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

He played the role of Caleb Brewster, a whalers spy on the AMC Turn: Washington’s Spies TV series for four seasons. He also portrayed Adam Cullen, an infamous Archibald Prize-winning artist in the film Acute Misfortune. The film was directed by Thomas. M Wright and screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2018. The film was also awarded The Age Critics Award. The film was also well received and Henshell’s performance was highly regarded as Australia’s best.

He appeared in the award-winning psychological horror film The Babadook horror as Nurse Robbie opposite Essie Davis in 2014 and played Luke in Fell opposite Matt Nable in 2014 a film directed by Kasimir Burgess. He played Kingsley Faraday opposite Sarah Snook in the TV series The Beautiful Lie in 2015 and Skinny Man with Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell and starred in the Bong Joon Ho Okja film, as Blonde a member of the ALF (Animal Liberation Front), alongside Tilda Swinton and Paul Dano. The film premiered in official competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

He will play the role of Slayer in Guy Nativ’s 2019 film Skin, starring Jamie Bell and Vera Farmiga. The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and was awarded the Critics FIPRESCI Prize. The film will have its European premiere at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. It will also appear in the Bloom miniseries as Griffo alongside Bryan Brown and Jackie Weaver, and was directed by John Curran. Henshall will play Sgt. Baranaby McKenna in Lambs of God directed by Jeffrey Walker alongside Ann Dowd and Essie Davis.








John Bunting


Not suitable for children


Any questions for Ben?



These final hours



The Babadook





Ghost in the shell

A very thin man

All right



Acute misfortune

Adam Cullen




Dale Midkiff Family Photo






All Saints

Downly Team


Out of the Blue

Adam ‘Ado’ O’Donnell


Rescue Special Ops

Trevor Slezack




Devil’s dust



Mr & Mrs Murder

Gregor Cheresniak


The beautiful lie

Kingsley Faraday


Svolta: Washington’s Spies

Caleb Brewster


Lambs of God


Bloom (serie TV)



Henshall has an estimated net worth of $ 1 million.


Henshall appears in this psychological horror The Babadook about a single mother who is still mourning the death of her husband struggling with her son’s fear of a fictional monster.


Henshall plays the skinny man in this fantasy film Ghost In The Shell about Major, a cyber-enhanced human being and first of its kind. She is empowered to be the perfect soldier dedicated to stopping the world’s dangerous criminals and terrorists.


Henshall stars in director Bong Joon Ho’s Okja as Blonde. This is Mija, who has been the keeper and close companion of Okja, a large animal, in his home in the mountains of South Korea. Everything changes when Okja is taken away by the multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation in New York.



SM: Tell me how you got involved in Snowtown.

DH: I’m sure you’ve heard of other guys involved on the street, but it’s pretty traditional, my being cast in the film. I went to Sydney, did two or three auditions and got the part.

SM: I understand you couldn’t meet John [Bunting], to imitate he has cadence and so on. How do you get into such a character? Do you try to do as much research as possible, or do you go fresh?

DH: Yeah, look we didn’t want itto meet John. Personally, I didn’t want to have anything to do with the man. And of course, as you just said, it would have been a huge difficulty for legal reasons. But Justin [Kurzel] from the very beginning was very focused on the relationships in the film and making them as authentic as possible. In the film, violence arises from domesticity; it comes out of the mundane and comes out of the ordinary, and that’s what makes it so terrifying. What we had to create was an absolutely authentic relationship between John and Jamie, John and Elizabeth, John and Robert. You know? Entering the mental space meant more learning to communicate as a father figure, as a mentor, as someone who thought he had integrity and love, and whose violence stems from disappointment, pain and grief. Anyway that’s how I saw it.

SM: Interesting.

DH: Everything we’ve heard about John, from the people we’ve met in the community – I mean, I’ve spent three or four months out there; I read Debbie Marshall’s book a lot to begin with, and I was just immersing myself in the community. Since we have broadcast content from the community, I have met over 700 people and you would have met 5 th year oldsdegree of separation from John, or from people who knew him, or from people who knew him before he went to jail, or from people who had just got out of jail with him, and you got this wonderful picture. ‘He was such a normal and average human being; a nice guy who would volunteer to look after your kids after work, or fix your car, or cook your dinner. ‘ Many people had no idea what he was doing.

SM: In that sense, was there a concern you had at any time to make it look human as well ?

DH: No, because, he was. That’s how he deceived them. I mean, it’s an interpretation, but to tell the story of our interpretation, it had to be convincing, and you had to make the audience believe that a guy like this could come into a community and carry them on their backs and say ‘I’ll take you out of this hell. and I’ll let you through ‘; like a knight in shining armor. There had to be a human, human element in him that he could relate to. This is the most terrifying thing; that ‘s how it happened. He went in and offered so many things. Nobody saw it coming.

SM: Absolutely. Were there any performances or films that you used as inspiration, or at least as rough inspiration?

DH: Yes, I have seen some films by the Dardenne brothers; Belgian directors. And a film called Zavorra by an American filmmaker, where the director had chosen for the first time a very naturalistic, very simple and raw approach. This was for the atmosphere of the performance. Yeah, I didn’t really go to see Raging Bull, or any psycho movie, or any mass performance that has inspired me in the past. Working from within the community, basically discovering how this guy would operate in the community; getting to know everyone in the movie really well.

SM: I spoke to Justin earlier this year, and it was just before the film went to Cannes. It hadn’t really been screened yet and we didn’t really know what the audience’s reaction would be to the film. I’m curious: did you sit with an audience and what is this experience like?

DH: Yes, it depends. You can hear the audience moving at certain points in the film. I absolutely agree in everything and for everything; they are absorbed and it’s a wonderful thing that Justin and [cinematographer] Adam [Arkapaw] have achieved. It sucks you in and doesn’t let you out until the end. People are absolutely glued to their seat and some people find it too difficult to handle. Most of the screenings I’ve attended, one or two people leave at some point. Many people return who leave at certain points.

SM: Is it a sign that you have done something right? Obviously you want people to sit down for the whole thing, but what if some people leave …?

DH: Yes, look, it’s an extremely difficult session. When I get a response from people congratulating us it has not been disinfected, and it has not been disrespectful, and it has been done with the greatest possible sensitivity: this excites me, when people say it, because that is the effect. We have spent so much effort. We didn’t disinfect, but we didn’t push the audience too far, telling the truth of the story.

SM: I’m curious, have you been recognized on the street and what kind of reaction do you get from people?

DH: I get a mixed reaction.

SM: (ride)

DH: A couple of times people stopped and just stared at them, and said, ‘You scared the shit out of me,’ and walked away. People come up and say, ‘You look like that actor who was in this movie. And I say, ‘What movie?’, ‘Snowtown’. ‘It was me.’ ‘Oh wow, it was a great movie. Fantastic. An extremely tough watch, but a film that was made so respectfully, so well. ‘ Yes, it’s a mixed reaction.

SM: Well, I hope it didn’t affect any of your personal relationships playing John Bunting.

DH: No, no, all my friends are extremely proud.

SM: Can you tell me what awaits you next? I understand you are in the new movie Working Dog [ Any Questions for Ben ].

DH: Yes, it will be out on Australia Day next year, and I just starred in a small role in an Australian movie called Not For Kids, with Ryan Kwanten and Sarah Snook. That’s it at the moment. Going to the London Film Festival in October. That’s all for now.

Written by Giorgia Stromeo

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