Mark Bennington: I can never break the ceiling here

Mark Bennington’s journey in Indian showbiz is a compelling tale of resilience. The American actor, recently seen in Maharaj and Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, shares his experiences.

Mark Bennington was recently seen in Netflix's Maharaj and Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar
Mark Bennington was recently seen in Netflix’s Maharaj and Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar

“There are several challenges here in India. For instance, in the West, you never get a script at the last minute; you have time to work on your character. Here in India, it’s often last minute, so I find myself learning lines on a flight or on my way to the set. Another difference is that in the West, actors never negotiate their fees directly; they have agents who handle that. Here, it’s only now that I have an agent,” he says.

When asked about being typecast based on his White heritage, Bennington says, “I usually get offered characters from the British Raj and have turned down several of them. Roles like the one I had in Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo (web show) are very rare.”

He adds that his focus is on making the roles he takes on “as real and interesting as possible”.Bennington also accepts that he might not be able to ever “break the ceiling” here, like foreign actors in the West do.

“I don’t think there has been a non-Indian star in showbiz, except maybe Tom Alter — but that’s also because he was born in India, and his Hindi and Urdu were excellent. So, I am looking at getting into writing and directing, to be able to write and create stuff that is away from this typecasting,” he signs off.

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