Interview With Actor Benjamin Sutherland

By Ruth on April 25, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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I am one who consistently believes in promoting young talent, and whenever a new face appears in a Hallmark movie, I am quick to attempt to promote them in any way I can. At the end of January, I discovered the actor Benjamin Sutherland in a truly special Hallmark film called Love Locks, and he very quickly agreed to an interview about his work leading up to that film and even what we may see from him in the near future. I am sincerely pleased to be able to share this young man with all of my readers. 

RH: Why did you decide to become an actor? What kind of training have you had? 

BS: I came into acting sort of by accident. I was a baseball player in high school, but got hurt at the end of my junior year. I lost my potential scholarships to the two Ivy League universities I had begun talking to, and I needed to find a new passion. Thankfully, I found theatre. As far as my training goes, I’ve trained with a couple private coaches, studied in the UK at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and graduated from The National Theatre School of Canada in May 2016.

What was your first professional job in acting, and how did you get the role? What was that experience like? 

My first job was a Halloween commercial I did for Universal Studios Orlando back in about 2012. It was my first audition; I didn’t really know what to expect or what I was doing. But it was a great experience, I loved being on-set. I loved the buzz and seeing the tricks and magic they use behind the scenes. 

 

I recently saw the episode of Murdoch Mysteries in which you were featured. How did that role come about? What was most memorable about being in that role on that show? 

Yeah, being on Murdoch Mysteries was great; thank you for watching it. It’s a very Canadian show. I know a lot of people who have been on it, so to become a part of that world was really nice. The coolest thing about that role was that I was captain of a soccer team and playing soccer with real-life professional soccer players from around the world. I have a sports background, so even when we weren’t filming we would be playing soccer. I really loved that; it was a great added bonus.

 What can you tell us about Cradle to Grave

Cradle to Grave is a docu-drama that National Geographic just produced. It follows the life of one man, Adam, from his conception to his death, and basically tracks all the changes in the body and what the effects of very emotional moments in life–such as the death of a parent or the joy of having a child–have on the body. I played Adam between the ages of 25-42, so I got a lot of big life moments–weddings, funerals, births, etc.

 

Photo: Jocelyn Hudon, Benjamin Sutherland Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Eric Caro

How did you get cast in Love Locks? What was it like filming in Paris? What was the on-set filming experience like? What was the most challenging about your character Jean-Paul?

My first audition for Love Locks was a self-tape at home, then for my callback, I was in the room with Martin {Wood}. I could tell it was gonna be fun working with him and basically just left the audition crossing my fingers that I would get the chance. 


Filming in Paris was a dream come true. I’d been to Paris once before with my family so I sort of knew the basic layout of the city and what to expect, but it was so much more than I remembered, and to be there to shoot a movie was a bit surreal. I tried to just soak up as much as I could. By some stroke of luck my scenes were spread out throughout the week, so I had a lot of time to just wander the streets of Paris, and I was there on work, but because of the scheduling I wasn’t stressed about the filming, so, it was perfect. 

The most challenging thing for me about playing Jean-Paul was the accent. I had a lot of concerns with it, I lived in Montreal for three years, so the French accent most familiar to me is the Quebecois accent, but Parisians sound a lot different. So the first challenge was trying to find the right sounds. The second was having to change those sounds and the strength of the accent so that it could be easily understood on camera. And the third challenge was that mostly all the crew members were French, either from France or Quebec, and I didn’t want any of them to feel like I was in any way making fun of their accents, so that was a bit of self-consciousness that was always on my mind.

What do you like about working for the Hallmark network? What do you like about the fans of the network?

This was my first time working for Hallmark and I don’t think it could have gone better; I really loved my time with them. They put together a fabulous team of people, and that makes all the difference. I had no idea the following that Hallmark has and I was blown away by the support the film got and continues to get. That’s a special feeling.

 Any other upcoming/recent works you can mention?

Since the beginning of January, I’ve been working at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto on a world-premiere called Peace River Country by Maria Milisavljevic. We’re coming to the end of our run now, but it’s been going really well and it’s been a blessing to share the story. Up next, I’m going to be filming some TV, showing up on Shadowhunters, but that’s all I can say about that right now.

 Any plans to eventually write/direct/produce?

Yeah, absolutely. I do write already, but this summer should be the first time I jump into the shoes of a producer, so I’m looking forward to that. I think directing is an area I might look into down the road, but currently my passions are writing and performing.

 Do you have a favorite type of role? Or do you have a preference? Why?

I love playing characters I disagree with, or people I don’t understand right away. I think that’s one of the best things about being an actor, that you get a chance to practice your empathy on a daily basis. You have to, for me at least, approach your character with love and without judgment and try to understand who they are, why they got that way, why they do what they do, and when you’re playing a character that you disagree with and maybe don’t like from the outside. That makes your job of loving them harder, and I really enjoy challenges like that. I feel like they stretch me as a human being and therefore also as an artist.

Photo: Benjamin Sutherland, Jocelyn Hudon Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Eric Caro

What is your advice to other young people who may be considering a job as an actor?

Do as much of it as you can. See theatre. Watch movies. Figure out what you like and why you like it and then how you can make it your own.

 What would be your dream vacation?

I think my dream vacation varies depending on the season I’m in. Sometimes I just want to run from museum to museum around the world. Other times I want to be back scuba diving in Honduras. But Love Locks was really like a dream vacation though, filming a Hallmark Valentine’s Day movie in Paris? It doesn’t get much better than that.

I simply adore that fact that Benjamin had such a positive initial experience with the Hallmark network (how could he not, right?), and I applaud the warm and kind fans who have reached out to embrace him as a result of his fine work in Love Locks. While Benjamin has probably taken a similar route to other young thespians in order to arrive at the place where he now finds himself, I never tire of witnessing optimistic people in this business, and I am even more ecstatic when these people are relatively young. It is actors like Benjamin, who engender hope that the future of entertainment is in competent hands. It is easy for viewers to become jaded and suspicious of motivation and activity within the world of TV and movies. The examples of negativity constantly bombard us in the gossip columns as well as the nightly news. Thankfully, progressive actors like Benjamin do not seek the notoriety that comes from arrogance and narcissistic actions. In his quiet, but confident way, Benjamin has shown us that integrity, perseverance, proficiency, and humility can bring about success, but in a less obnoxious, more substantial, enduring way. So I would invite everyone to check out all of Benjamin’s links below and consider following him on social media (if you have not previously). I believe we all would agree that Benjamin is just as deserving of our full support as the stars of our favorite Hallmark works, and I hope that all of us join Benjamin on his journey to attain every one of the dreams he is endeavoring to pursue.

FOLLOW BENJAMIN

Website

Twitter

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IMDB

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

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