CynbytheSea Interview with Nigel Bennett

CynbytheSea is honored to interview Nigel Bennett, Sir, your work is outstanding and we admire your abilities to the film industry. We are behind you with open arms, and sincerely wish you total success.
Jayne L'argent, we thank you with all our hearts for all that you have done for us, your efforts will never be forgotten.....

1.) In working on La Femme Nikita, Twice. Did you enjoy playing the hard core role?

NIGEL: Yes, very much. And it was fun doing a Russian (or as I was told by one of the extras, an Armenian; Petrosian being an Armenian name!)

2.) Which Episode was your favorite to do? Rescue or New Regime?

NIGEL: New Regime. For a second there I thought I was gonna be the new head of.......but no.

Deb Schwartz ~ Michigan, USA

3.)Mr. Bennett: I know that "Nikita" was a long time ago for you now, but with the recent release of the S2 DVDs, some of us were discussing NEW REGIME and Petrosian's attitude toward Michael (Roy Dupuis) in that episode, as well as in the tag of RESCUE. In your opinion, if you have one, did Petrosian really think Michael was "incompetent" and simply a means by which to control Nikita? Or did he view him as a threat as the obvious "heir apparent" to Section and essentially dismiss him as a means by which to get him out of the way?

NIGEL: As I remember, Petrosian 's attitude towards Michael was that he was a minor inconvenience. I certainly think he wanted Michael out of the way, though. Had he(Petrosian) become head of Section, there would have been MUCH house cleaning!

Kristen Glanzman ~ Maplewood, New Jersey, USA

Mr. Bennett, as a true fan, I've followed your career for many years. Please let me say this is truly an honor to be able to ask a few questions.

4.) In all your many acting endeavors, which is most appealing to you and why?

NIGEL: FK, because of the fan reaction. However, I'm doing lots of theatre at the moment, which I love. There's nothing quite like a live audience.

5.) Forever Knight is one of my favorite series. Did you find it difficult to play a vampire rather than a human and what were some of the unusual "quirks" of the series?

NIGEL: Not really. They may be immortal, but they have all the same problems mortals have. As for quirks....lenses, blood and night shoots!

6.) Did you find the crew of "La Femme Nikita" easy to work with?

NIGEL: Very much so. Both of the episodes I did were directed by Jon Cassar, who had started on FK as a camera operator, and I already knew many of the crew from other work that I had done. And the rest of the cast were great.

7.) Could you share with us any particular scenarios that took place that remain in your memory during the time you spent with "La Femme Nikita"?

NIGEL: I liked his relationship with Nikita, and the way that he played on her need for affection and someone she could trust. And I loved saying "Doz-ed off". br>

8.) What are your future plans regarding your acting career?

NIGEL: To keep working. I love doing television, and would jump at the chance to do more series work, but the parts are scarce. My stage work is very satisfying. I am also Artistic Director of a small theatre company in Halifax NS. I think at my age (55) things can and should start to slow down. Give the kids a chance!

Thank You,
Sandy Meridith ~ Kansas, USA

9.) In the movie Gotti (1996) you worked along with Armand Assante, Anthony Quinn and Alberta Watson. Did you met Alberta before this movie or you just found each other again at LFN?

NIGEL: Anyone who has worked in Canadian television knows Alberta's work, and so did I. I think LFN was the first time we worked together, and as for Gotti, we never actually saw each other during that shoot. Our story lines were quite separate. She is a lovely actress and a wonderful person.

10.) What memories do you have from that movie working with Mr.Assante and Mr. Quinn?

NIGEL: My main memory was of Mr Quinn in an ADR session in New York. They had just flown me from Winnipeg where I was working to New York to revoice one word (actually, I lie. It was two!). I was waiting at the back of the control booth and Mr Quinn was revoicing some of his lines. He was also quite vocal in his criticism of them, and his dislike of doing ADR. Man, that guy could swear!!

11.) In Catch a Falling Star (2000) you shared the another stage with Carlo Rota. It has been said that you both are really good practical jokers. Which one do you consider of the two is best? Yeah I know you are going to tell me that you are, and you're probably right, was the Coke cold, was that a good hiding place that took place at the convention?

NIGEL: When we did "Falling Star" I had no idea who Carlo Rota was. All I knew was that I wanted his part. I suppose he is the best practical joker. I don't do practical jokes. (Well, not much...often...not really!!)

12.) What memories do you have from the filming of Desperate Battle Normandy 1944?
How did you felt doing an epic movie about such battle? Are you reluctant to do that kind of film?

NIGEL: That series took a lot of flak from veterans groups in Canada. I didn't have a problem with it at all. I simply thought it told the truth; that all of the winners are not necessarily good guys, and all of the losers are not necessarily bad.

13.)In the movie The Ninja Mission you portrayed a helicopter pilot. Did you know or met Jean Claude Van Dame who worked as an extra?

NIGEL: Not at that time.

14.) Which kind of character do you prefer to play, and to which one do you feel more identified with?
The bad guy, the man in love?
What is your strongest suit?

NIGEL: I think on all counts, the bad guy. They are just much more interesting.

15.) There is always differences and some preferences toward male directors, what would you say to a female director? Which do you prefer?

NIGEL: I've worked with female directors many times. Frankly , I don't care if the director is a mongoose! So long as they are respectful and get the job done, I'm happy.

Thank you for your time. You are one of the actors from the cast of La Femme Nikita that I would like to direct, your performance has been excellent!!!!
Ana Marķa ~ Argentina

16.) What made you choose to leave England and move to Canada in particular?

NIGEL: At the time, I was married to a Canadian girl. Not any that one, anyway.

17.) Is there anything that you miss about England and do you ever go back to visit?

NIGEL: I miss good cheese, good newspapers, the BBC, and pubs at Sunday lunchtime. And I go back as often as I can. I still have family there.

18.) Did you ever work or holiday up here in Scotland?

NIGEL: Yes, I did. My eldest son's godfather is from Carnoustie, and we spent a weekend up there once. Yes, we did play the Championship course....don't even think of asking the score! We also went over to Pitlochry and played golf there. I loved it there, and don't let anyone ever tell you that the Scots are mean. They most certainly are not.

19.) After living in Canada for quite a number of years you would have picked up a bit of the local accent.
Did this make it more difficult to do the Eastern European accent that you did when playing Petrosian in LFN and were you coached on it?

NIGEL: No. I'm pretty good with accents. They did have a voice coach on set, though.

20.) Did you have to learn the languages of all the different countries that you played roles in? If so, which one(s) was/were the most challenging?

NIGEL: No. All of the work that I have done has been in English. I did pick up the odd phrase, though.

21.) Would you share with us, your experiences of working with the likes of Gene Hackman, Brad Pitt and Wesley Snipes?

NIGEL: I have a theory that all really good actors and actresses are nice people, and so far it hasn't let me down. Gene Hackman is a true gentleman and one of the most generous people I've ever met. Brad Pitt and Wesley Snipes were fine, though very concentrated on what they were doing.

22.) Where did you train to be an actor?

NIGEL: University of Wales..

23.) If you could work with any of the LFN cast again who would you like to work with?

NIGEL: Alberta, Gene and of course, Don Francks. Any of them really.

24.) Where in the world would you like to work that you haven't worked before?

NIGEL: Australia.

Natalie Helmig ~ Edinburgh, Scotland

25.) In Mutant X did you work with Gene Glazer or were you in different episodes?

NIGEL: Different episodes.

26.) How was your experience at Forever Night?

NIGEL: It changed my life.

27.) Would you like to direct sometime? Which would you prefer to direct, a movie, tv or theatre?

NIGEL: Already have directed TV and Theatre. I think TV or Film would be my fave. It's like being a kid in a candy shop.

Claudia Conde ~ Buenos Aires, Argentina

28.) Nigel, I see that you have been to many, many conventions and fan get-togethers. What do you think of this sort of thing?

NIGEL: I think they are great. The fans are who make us successful (That may sound cheesy, but it's true) and I always think that for someone to spend their hard earned cash to get out and see us is very special.

29.)How far would you go, for a convention if you were asked to be a guest-of-honor?

NIGEL: So long as they pay my airfare and give me somewhere to sleep, the sky's the limit.

Warren Stewart ~ Perth, Australia

30.)What are your feelings about playing "good bad guys" or "charismatic bad guys" like Petrosian in LFN?

NIGEL: I think that all bad guys are charismatic in a way. We often can't imagine doing what they do, and so are desperately curious to understand why they did it. I have no problem playing them. There is no clash of conscience or anything like that. It is simply a character.

31.)Was it difficult to fake a Slavic accent? Was there a trainer on the set for it?

NIGEL: No. And yes there was.

32.)Throughout your career, did you receive roles that you definitely knew were for you, or not for you?
What makes you decide on a role?

NIGEL: Usually the fact that they are offered to me! (Seriously)

Dana Vrajitoru ~ Indiana, USA

33.) Can you tell us about your audition for the television series "La Femme Nikita"?

NIGEL: I didn't have to audition as I recall. Jon Cassar simply asked me if I would do it.

34.) Where there any bloopers or out takes in either episode that you were involved with on "Rescue" or "New Regime" that you can share with us?

NIGEL: Not that I remember. Sorry.

35.) What were the locations for the La Femme Nikita episodes that you were involved in that showed outside scenes?

NIGEL: As I remember, there was a disused hospital and a really cold and wet open space near the airport in Toronto. Not very inspiring I'm afraid.

36.) Tell me about the dark side of Nigel Bennett, that allows you to play roles that deal with Fantasy and Sci-Fi films? Where does it stem from?

NIGEL: There's nothing special about playing bad guys. I think the potential for that kind of evil is within us all. I just have a vivid imagination, I guess. It is kinda freeing, though, when you've just done a take that was particularly nasty, and you look up and see the crew all looking at you like......."Oh God!!"

Cynthia Wilkerson ~ Texas, USA

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