We’re going to see different kinds of roles for foreigners now: Mark Bennington
Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo actor Mark Bennington gets candid about his evolution as a white actor in the Indian film industry.
Mark Bennington trained to be an actor and worked in LA for 10 years before becoming a photographer. But, in 2010 after coming to India, it seemed clear that Bollywood was pursuing the actor in him. It was here that actor Mark Bennington found a renewed passion for acting, and despite the lack of variety in roles offered to him, the India resident finds validation as an actor here. In his most recent turn, the eight-part OTT crime thriller Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo, the 47-year-old was seen as actor Dimple Kapadia’s love interest.
“I didn’t even know it was opposite Dimple, but right off the bat, it had an appeal that was completely different from the typical British Raj or CIA roles,” he says of his parts in RRR (2022) and Rocket Boys, respectively. Bennington, who played a Frenchman in the web series, was required to take on a thick accent for the character, which took him some diligent work.
“That’s the trickiest part while playing any character,” says the US-born actor, who is now an India resident. Owing to his Caucasian identity, learning and perfecting accents for a vast spectrum of nationalities that he plays characters of, has been a common feature in his career. “So, I usually pick one person and start emulating their accent, focusing on specific sounds and getting the rhythm right,” Bennington explains.
Switching between accents while shooting for different projects could also be a tough ask, but the actor believes that once he immerses himself into a character, the accent becomes an integral part of his thought process. “By the time I get in the room and we’re actually doing the scene, I don’t have to think about it at all. I can focus on the scene and be in the moment,” he explains.
Bennington, who has appeared in successful projects such as Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (2018) and Inside Edge, emphasises that for him, a character’s screen time isn’t the primary consideration. “I’ve done enough projects where I wasn’t a key player. But now, we’re going to see different kinds of roles for the foreigners that are here. I’ve felt optimistic about this for a while now,” he signs off.