Canadian actor Clé Bennett has a new role – he appeared as Officer Wesley Cole in ABC’s Rookie Blue. The two-time Gemini Award winning actor could be seen in the TV show on September 5 and 12, 2013, continuing into Season 5 with a shocking new story line. Bennett has just returned from Vancouver where he guest starred in The CW’s TV drama Arrow as a murderous gang lord. Clé is currently shooting Murdoch Mysteries for CBC. The multi-talented and respected actor has worked on some of Canada’s best productions – Cracked, Guns, Lost Girl, The Listener, Republic Of Doyle, The Line and the highly acclaimed Flashpoint, where he was nominated for an ACTRA award for his portrayal of Rafik Rousseau.
Bennett also worked along side Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman in Barney’s Version. The versatile actor, not afraid to take chances, took a break from TV and film to appear on stage in the highly acclaimed Soulpepper Production Kim’s Convenience. His nightly portrayal of four different characters garnered rave reviews. The constantly expanding artist directed Bar None, a bravoFact presented short film, starring Megan Fallows and Nicholas Campbell. Bar None is an official selection of the Montreal World Film Festival and Edmonton International Film Festival. Clé Bennett also appeared in the CFC world premiere short film Anatomy of Assistance at TIFF 2013. Whatever project calls to Clé Bennett next, audiences can be assured that they will get the very best the actor has to offer.
Actor Clé Bennett kindly agreed to give us an interview.
Victoria West: How and when did you decide to become an actor?
Clé Bennett: I have always been an actor, even before I knew what it was called. From when I was a child, the one thing I was most passionate about was portraying different characters or playing make-believe. “Acting” is just the professional term for playing make-believe. I didn’t decide to become an actor – I simply embraced the fact that I am an actor, and then acted on it.
Victoria West: When was the first time you worked as a professional actor? Please tell us more about that production.
Clé Bennett: My first project was a short film called Shudder, directed by Brett Sullivan, who I had the pleasure of reuniting with on Flashpoint. I remember being super excited, and maybe just a little too eager to prove myself (laughs). Overall, I remember feeling very comfortable on set. I knew it was where I was meant to be, and I intended to stay for a long time to come.
Victoria West: You’ve worked as an actor for TV, film and theatre – which of them do you love the most and why?
Clé Bennett: I enjoy acting in every medium, but I’d have to say I prefer acting on camera, whether that’s TV or film. I appreciate the challenge, and exhilaration of live performance that the stage provides, but I love rising to the challenge of portraying the realistic human subtlety that the camera demands.
Victoria West: When you act, how easy or difficult is it for you to transport yourself into your character’s skin and shoes?
Clé Bennett: It kind of depends on the role, but I’ve had a lot of practice becoming different characters from when I was a little kid playing make-believe. I focus on “becoming” the character, instead of “acting” like the character. Sometimes the more a character differs from me, the easier it is to play.
Victoria West: Do you find you have a lot in common, or anything at all, with your characters?
Clé Bennett: Again, it depends on the character. But I actually make a point of not injecting myself into my characters. The whole point of acting is to become somebody else.
Victoria West: Who is your favourite character you’ve played so far and why?
Clé Bennett: I loved playing Carlos in The Line. Carlos was a complex, multidimensional character, with big problems. Definitely my favorite kind of character to play.
Victoria West: You currently appear as Officer Wesley Cole in ABC’s Rookie Blue, please tell us more about this project and your role.
Clé Bennett: Wes shows up at the hospital after Chloe gets shot, and he reveals to Dov that he’s Chloe’s husband. Wes and Chloe were former partners in another precinct, and one weekend after a string of back-to-back shifts they took off to Niagara to party, and ended up tying the knot just for kicks. Soon after, Chloe was transferred and they lost contact, but the reality is Wes has strong feelings for Chloe that he’s always kept to himself. Now with her life on the line, he regrets his silence, and believes this may be his second chance with her. Problem is, she’s kind of in a relationship with Dov at the moment! What happens next ought to be interesting!
Victoria West: What’s in the cards for you in the near future?
Clé Bennett: I’m currently working on some new projects, and have a few others on the horizon that I’m unable to mention just yet. But in the short term, look for me to appear as Xavier Reed a.k.a. “The Mayor” on Season 2 of The CW’s Arrow; as Wes Cole in Season 5 of ABC’s Rookie Blue; and as the voice of 2-Bit in the animated series Mother Up.
Victoria West: Can you tell us what are the accomplishment(s) you dream to achieve in your acting career?
Clé Bennett: I’m not gonna say, but you’ll definitely find out after I achieve them!
Victoria West: Do you have a role model, an artist to be your inspiration, your mentor, whom you look up to?
Clé Bennett: I don’t really have any particular role models or mentors, however I’m inspired by many different artists.
Victoria West: And on a personal note, how do you like to spend your free time?
Clé Bennett: Free time? What’s that? (laughs)
RE: last answer – case in point. Now that I think of it, I have given the same answer to this question more than once.