This is an interview with Sam Benjamin who has a new movie out called The Pay Day. His TV credits include Doctor Who.
Can you tell me about the film of Pay Day and what kind of character do you play?
Yes. The Pay Day is a crime keeper heist movie with a bit of romance. I play a character who appears and calls himself John Smith. And he claims to be an employee of a company that the main character, Jennifer, is trying to steal from. But soon we realize he's not who he says he is.
What about your character do you want viewers to really remember about him?
I would like people to have fun with the character and hopefully have opinions about him at the end that are different from opinions about him they had at the beginning.
I appreciated the humor in the movie. How did you and Kyla come up with the funny bits?
Kyla and I are friends in real life. And we have a silly connection, you could say. So a lot of the humor came from her and I brewing the characters and basing it on the chemistry we have, as well as the film takes characters on a crazy heist. So a lot of the humor comes from how ridiculous the situation is.
Is writing a role for yourself different than writing a role for other people? And if so, in what way?
That is a great question. I think it depends on the project. With this project, because Kyla and I knew we were playing the characters from the beginning, we knew we wanted to write the characters and I wanted to write the characters that leaned into our strengths as performers and writing elements that we knew we could execute, generally, I think it's important to write a story and tell the story first rather than get too bogged down in worrying about who's going to be playing the role. So there's a balance to be achieved. But with this one, Kyla and I and our energy very much influenced how they were written.
What do you like about writing screen productions?
I like the reward of seeing people bring scenes and events to life that began in my head. There's a real reward and high that you get from seeing things come to life that you have thought of initially just on a page.
Do you ever get writer's block? And if so, how do you cope with it?
Great question. Yes, I do. The best way is to either force myself to make some decisions and challenge myself to put something down on paper. For example, let's at least get to this scene or let's at least put down this plot line. Or the other option I do is I completely walk away from it. I go for a walk. I meet some friends. I watch a movie. I do a workout, take my mind off it and forget about it, and hopefully, it'll adjust things in my head so when I return it'll be much easier.
What kinds of productions do you like producing?
Another great question. I would say I love all kinds of movies and I love all genres of movies. So if I get to create any genre of film or TV that has a great story, and most importantly, takes the audience on a ride and gives them joy, inspiration, entertainment, and thought-provoking things, then I'm happy.
What were the main challenges involved in creating the web series The Few?
The main challenge with The Few was our lack of budget in making it. So we shot some scenes gorilla. We shot some scenes in locations that we knew we had access to for free. And we were limited on time in terms of how long we had to shoot each scene. So that was the main challenge in addition to the fact that it was a sci-fi show. So we had effects and high concept visuals that aren't cheap to execute.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career?
I guess I could say getting started was the biggest challenge and taking the leap into the profession. But this career is a big challenge most days. Even today has been a challenge. Things coming up, things not working out the way you maybe thought they would work out. So it's a constant challenge.
What do you enjoy about being an actor?
I love being able to escape into someone else's experience, into someone else's shoes and see the world from their perspective. Even if it's for a brief moment, it's great to step away from myself and get some perspective on my life through borrowing someone else's or a character's life for a bit. Obviously, there's a real high as well from an audience enjoying something that you created.
How did it feel to act on an iconic TV show, Doctor Who?
It was an absolute honor. It was one of my favorite experiences in television so far in my career. Great cast, great crew. And it's got such a big audience internationally that it's so great that when you do something that so many people get joy out of, and I've had many fan mail letters from super fans of Dr. Who and collectors, so it just incredible. And I'd love to go back and do another part in that series.
If you could play any role from past TV show and movies, what role would you have liked to play?
Oh, that's a great question. I have a few answers. I would've loved to have played Columbo, the classic TV detective. I'd love to have been in ER to play a doctor in ER, the medical drama. And akin to the rumors, if that's the right word, that I've had recently, it'd be great to play a DC superhero in the future from the past.
Where can people follow you and your work?
They can follow me at SamBenjaminNow on Instagram and Twitter or just Google me. And you can go to paydaymovie.com to follow the links to watch The Pay Day.
Share on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Google+