Saas Bahu aur Flamingo actor Mark Bennington: Not playing a token white guy is very satisfying - Hindustan Times
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Saas Bahu aur Flamingo actor Mark Bennington: Not playing a token white guy is very satisfying

Jun 22, 2024 02:51 PM IST

Actor Mark Bennington says that after spending seven years in the Indian film industry, makers have started casting him in diverse roles on streaming platforms

American-Indian actor Mark Bennington says that after spending seven years in the Indian film industry, producers have started casting him in various roles across streaming platforms, moving away from his usual “typical villainous British character”.

Mark Bennington(Instagram)
Mark Bennington(Instagram)

“For years, movies often featured British officers. However, there’s a shift now as people are experimenting and exploring new ideas with me. I played a CIA official with the film Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (2018) and the series Rocket Boys, in Bombay Begums (2021) I was a love interest whereas in Inside Edge (2018) a South African businessman. In Saas Bahu aur Flamingo (2023), I played a strong character that has nothing to do with my white skin and ethnicity. Not playing a token white guy is very satisfying,” says the RRR (2021) and Kesari (2019) actor.

The actor was in Lucknow for as the jury member for the the Lucknow Short Film Festival Season 2.

Mark Bennington at Lucknow Short Film Festival Season 2
Mark Bennington at Lucknow Short Film Festival Season 2

He says that he’s been doing well in his job since he moved to India 7 years ago. “During my time in New York, I found myself at a crossroads in my career. Although I still maintain a photography studio, the amount of work available to me as I was one among many. However, upon relocating to India, I discovered a unique advantage. The demand for foreign actors in projects was high, and as a result, I began receiving numerous opportunities. Admittedly, these roles often fell into the category of typecasting, but the sheer volume of work made up for it. I made a conscious effort to avoid being pigeonholed as just a stereotypical British character and managed to secure diverse roles. Additionally, my photography assignments continue to keep me occupied, granting me the freedom to be selective in my choices.”

Now is he anticipating his return to Hollywood?

“They are so overloaded with actors in LA and I don’t know if opportunities are there, but you never know as OTT is watched across the globe. I am not even thinking about it but I hope it happens. We were recently in Portugal and a waiter recognised me as an actor from Heeramandi so it feels good I am happily living here and want to get more into writing and photography,” he adds.

He will be next seen in the films Maharaja and Indian 2. “I am shooting for a Punjabi film and then Family Man season 3 shooting begins in August,” he adds.

Mark Bennington at Lucknow Short Film Festival Season 2
Mark Bennington at Lucknow Short Film Festival Season 2

The actor says, “Lucknow happens to be my mother-in-law’s native city. I came here a couple of years ago to play Devika Rani. Unfortunately, this time, was not able to venture out but next time I will surely like to spend time here and do some shopping and photography. I witnessed extreme heat in Lucknow, but I could not connect with it as it was dry like my native place where I grew up in Davis, Northern California (the US). Mumbai heat is very sticky and makes me very lethargic, but here it was warm but I felt good with dry heat... nostalgia.”

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