nothing but the rain

Trinity In Space Impressions, Matthew Bennett Sunday Panel

Posted by melancholygeek on December 26, 2008

BSGAs promised, here’s the write-up of Matthew Bennett’s second panel at this year’s Trinity In Space convention in Bad Salzdetfurth, Germany.

But before we go on with the coverage, one a little more personal thing.Yesterday’s post got me quite a bunch of linkage and (new?) visitors, which is of course great. I know, I (or better, Matt) might have crushed some people’s hopes concerning the Final Cylon, and I’m sorry for you guys (mainly because you still thought it could be him! C’mon, seriously!). But there is one other thing that strikes me as odd. I got quite some traffic from the Cold Dead Seed forum over at, which is a Buffy/Angel fan-forum. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan myself (Spuffy-shipper, if you need to know), but I can’t remember posting anything about that here. And of course, once again, I can’t access the posts that link here. So if anyone could give me a little heads-up there, it’d be highly appreciated (Hey, I’m curious! OK, probably it’s vanity, but still…)

But enough of that, here you go, Matthew Bennett’s Sunday panel, right here, after the cut:

A hung over Matthew Bennett started his panel, after guest starring along with his wife in Kate Hewlett’s panel beforehand, with a showing of the trailer to his new project, Kick Me Down, which he has written and directed. He created the trailer himself.
Following that, Matt presents us with a little slide show of pictures he took the night before at the con-party. I can’t possibly repeat his poignant comments here (you had to be there), but it seems he shared my opinion of the whole event.
To the actual Q&A:

What was your worst casting experience?
You can probably find that online as ‘Matthew Bennett humiliated’ [I didn’t find it so far]. He was shooting M.V.P. [The Secret Lives Of Hockey Wifes] in a methadone clinic in London, Ontario, a two hour drive from Toronto [he commuted], a place he calls ‘the armpit of Ontario’. His only thought all the time was ‘get me out of here‘. There had been many changes from the pilot to the actual series, which he hated. Especially there was one scene where his love interest was supposed to hit him, but unlike you’d expect it in movies, she did it for real. She hit his ear three times and the camera team showed him a frame-by-frame of the scene afterwards in which you could clearly see the hate in her face. He has no idea how he deserved that.

Concerning Kick Me Down: Is it easy to work with your wife [Brittaney Bennett, female lead in KMD]?
To work with her isn’t hard at all, but the general things like shooting, editing and directing are. It is helpful that they are both actors and know each other well, so they can help each other. He likes working with people he knows personally.

How was your first acting kiss?
Terrible. They knocked teeth and lips, he got a bloody tooth from it. It’s absolutely not sexy but terrifying, you feel like a piece of meat, leading to the expression ‘Is the meat on its mark?‘. But it does get easier over time. Another problem are nude scenes. While shooting Sabbatical, Matt had a nude shower scene. At first he was to wear flesh-colored briefs but they showed, so he had to take them off. He tried his best to turn and hide his junk and at least some people on the set had the courtesy not to stare, but not all of them. But the less you think about it, the easier it gets.

How easy is the transition from actor to director?
He’s never done short-film directing as many other actors-turned-directors did, but directly started with a feature film. But he has a lot of experience on set, he’s an actor and thus knows what actors are like. In general there are two kinds of directors, ‘editor-directors’ who give very precise instructions and ‘actor-directors’ who basically let the actors do what they want with very little interference. The latter being Matt’s way of directing. The most important thing being talent though. With talent, you can turn a stupid script into a good movie, without it even the best script can turn into a stupid movie.

Concerning Doral: Who decided on the horrible hairdo?
He calls it his ‘plastic hat’. Doral was described to him as a public relations type with not a hair out of place, so that’s what he went for by the letter. He actually (apart from the last three episodes) did his hair himself, because he hates the make-up trailers and people touching him. It breaks his concentration. “I had unsexy hair on Battlestar

Could you describe this convention in five words?
“I had a great time.”

What actors or directors would you die to work with?
Al Pacino, Tom Tykwer [Lola Runs], John Sayles, Tom Cruise [My guess: because he’s even shorter than him]. In general: As many people as possible.

What do you do in your leisure time? What music do you listen to, what books do you read?
Music is very influential for what he’s doing and he’s got a ‘bizarre’ music collection, ranging from Kings Of Leon, Depeche Mode over ZZ Top up to Edith Piaf. Still sometimes month pass without him consciously listening to music. Right now he’s reading a book about the Russian mafia, because he’s researching for a cop-show script he’s writing. In general he likes reading short-stories and owns a hole bunch of self-improvement books. He hasn’t watched a movie in a long time but is a great fan of Paul Thomas Anderson [Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood] and Ridley Scott (especially after seeing American Gangster). He collects movies of certain people and sees Denzel Washington as one of the most powerful actors. He asks if anyone has seen the new Bond, but there’s not much reaction from the audience.

Seeing that he’s a replacement guest for Callum Rennie, are there any questions for him, he [MB]’d try and answer them.

How was it kissing Katee Sackhoff?
[In what was the worst CKR impersonation ever, I don’t really know whether he actually tried though] “I was so nervous, brushed my teeth twice and flossed…” blablabla.

Matt asks the audience whether someone attended the Galactica Four convention in London and if Callum was good there, funny. People agree he was.

Obviously for Callum it’s very awkward to get a camera pushed in his face while filming or in interviews, so whenever Matt saw someone on set with a camera he’d ask them to go to Callum Rennie and do just so. People who meet Callum should ask him about his obsession with his hair and scissors, and must not let him refuse to answer.

Are you a prankster on set?
Definitely. While Tricia [Helfer] and Grace [Park] are very focused on set, people like him, Callum and Aaron [Douglas] just pop into character when they hear ‘Action!’, so there’s time for them to go around and pull pranks on people. Callum and Matt always make fun of people around the set [and annoy the hell out of people, my guess].

Which role you played did you like best?
Len Harper on Cold Squad. With 41 episodes in eight years it was his biggest role so far and it was written especially for him. The producers at one point fired nearly everyone in the show and brought new characters in, one of which being his. He had a lot of storylines and he liked that. In general he liked a lot of the stuff he’s done and is basically just glad he’s able to work as an actor.

What will you remember most about Battlestar?
Working on The Plan. After 22 episodes over five years it was a worthy conclusion [What? No more TV movies?!]. They had to stop using his teal suit because there were only two of them and Doral got shot all the time. The plan was insane concerning blood packs, and Edward James Olmos [director in this case] was always yelling ‘Blood, blood, give me more blood!‘. And the opening scene of the Miniseries (on board Galactica). The whole thing was done in one long shot, that was definitely memorable.
Another memorable job concerning blood was his part on HRT, where he had to play a terrorist. He got shot (again with a lot of blood packs), surrounded by oil barrels filled with propane gas, which would explode. They used so much blood on him that he actually stuck to the floor, exploding barrels all around him, and they had to scrape him from the floor afterwards.

What’s the difference for an actor between shooting on film or digital?
Mainly the lights are different. When shooting on film, the lights are more intense and it’s hotter on set. Shooting digital is faster, you don’t hear the cameras and you can look at the picture right away. Plus you don’t have to check for ‘hairs’ on the film (the tiny cracks that show up occasionally in some pictures).

Thank you Matthew Bennett, that’s it. And thanks to the folks over at who did help my memory a lot with their write-ups. Final TiS Impressions, featuring my conclusions should follow shortly, right here, on this blog.

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4 Responses to “Trinity In Space Impressions, Matthew Bennett Sunday Panel”

  1. Lex said

    And thanks to the folks over at who did help my memory a lot with their write-ups.
    You’re most welcome. Thanks for your reports. It was a fun read and brought back some great memories. TiS was a fun convention.
    Please, if you ever see someone with a Caprica City shirt on a convention, be sure to say “hi!”

    Merry Christmas!
    (CC Admin)

  2. Will do. You folks are doing an awesome job!

  3. cooljacque said

    Love your Blog. Just so you know Cold Dead Seed is a James Marsters site, the actor who brought Spike to life.

  4. Thanks for the heads-up!

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