A SERIOUS MAN FOR SERIOUS WORK
MANU Bennett, star of Spartacus, The Hobbit and Arrow, doesn’t muck about when it comes to creating realistic on-screen battles. Famously “authentic” in fight scenes he looks down on those who don’t share his commitment to playing rough.
“At the end of the day stories spin off about how dedicated I am to my roles and some people might go, ‘Gee we got scared by him when we were acting next to him’,” the New Zealand born actor says.
“But when I see guys chitchatting on the side of the set, not warming up, not ready to go in there and throw their warrior spirit into a warrior series, then they best wake up because we’re not there to become Hollywood prima donnas.”
Bennett’s warrior spirit was the reason Peter Jackson chose him to play terrifying orc Azog the Defiler in The Hobbit trilogy.
And his commitment to his work – which saw him “accidentally” choke a casting assistant into unconsciousness during his audition for Arrow – then led him to be selected to play supervillain Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke.
And he certainly hasn’t gone cute and cuddly for his latest role as Allanon, the powerful, manipulative and secretive sole remaining Druid in MTV’s adaptation of epic fantasy series Terry Brooks’ novels The Shannara Chronicles.
Based on the second Shannara novel, the series follows the Elven nation as it comes under threat from a horde of demons coming through from a dimension they’ve been trapped in for eons.
Shot in New Zealand using many of the crew who worked on The Hobbit, the production design and special effects are suitably epic.
“You don’t switch the television on and expect to see stuff like this. I’ve taken the journey … I’ve felt the vibration of this story and it is pure. We’ve got what we set out to achieve,” he says.