Ladies, hold onto your… erm, hats, as we sit down with homegrown hottie and SA Style’s one to watch, Benedict Samuel. You may recognise this brooding bad boy from his most recent role on a little series called… The Walking Dead! Or perhaps you’ve seen his equally sexy older brother Xavier Samuel on the big screen in Twilight (hello future Hemsworth brothers!). Either way, you can thank us later!
Fresh from the US and having featured in a variety of film, television and theatre in Australia and overseas (Home And Away, Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, Asthma, The Walk), Benedict Samuel has returned to his home soil to star in Foxtel’s new political thriller Secret City. The exceptionally talented cast is no joke, with a string of familiar Aussie and international faces including Jacki Weaver, Anna Torv, Alan Dale, Dan Wyllie and Alex Dimitriades.
We sit down and chat about the new highly-anticipated series, those luscious locks and of course, what he has missed most about his hometown RAD-elaide. Something makes us feel as though this is just the beginning for the humble Mr. Samuel. Get ready for another talented Aussie to take over…
Tell us about your role on Secret City?
Benedict: I play University Lecturer, Felix Crawford on the show, who is quite a wiz with computers and technology, unlike myself who is still on analog time… There are so many story lines going on and it’s a real pleasure to figure out how they all get tied together. That’s the real success of the show.
You work with a pretty talented cast. Was there anyone you looked up to prior to working on the show?
Benedict: I had most of my scenes with Anna Torv [Benedict’s love interest on the series], she’s a heavy weight and highly skilled, so one of the best things about working alongside people like that is that you learn so much from them. It was a pleasure to see how she works. A talented cast really brings you up.
The viewers are introduced to your character while he is in fact shirtless? Do you do anything to prepare for shirtless or love scenes?
Benedict: I actually wasn’t even aware it was going to get that far [laughs] but in all honesty I try not to get caught up with all that stuff.
Your character is described as gentle, sexy and always thoughtful.
Benedict: Thank you very much!
Would you say that is how people would describe you in real life?
Benedict: I try to be as gentle as I can. That’s the best way to be.
SA Style were treated to a sneak peak viewing of episode one. The series looks fantastic! How was it filming in some incredible locations across Sydney and Canberra?
Benedict: Watching the show again recently, I can say it’s the first time I have seen Canberra caught in a really interesting light – the art deco buildings and style of architecture – the city itself plays a real character in the series. The grand landscape is pretty spectacular!
Secret City also includes a transgender role. What are your thoughts on the importance of including more transgender roles in Australian television?
Benedict: I think it’s fantastic that this is demystified and it’s not an issue, and it shouldn’t be. We are coming a bit too late to the age where we should be accepting these things and not drawing them out as an ‘Oh my god’. People come in all different shapes and sizes and some people are trapped in a body that they don’t feel like they belong and it’s wonderful that part of this show explores a really important aspect of society today and how things should be.
*couldn’t have said it better ourselves Benedict
Sooo, how does it feel being back on home soil?
Benedict: It’s wonderful, I find myself trotting around the place, it’s always nice to come back to Australia and work on interesting and quality roles. I spent great years here and have had some wonderful times. It’s a fantastic city – I see some of the ads that promote Adelaide and think, ‘I miss it’. It’s amazing to see it grow!
What are your favourite places to shop, eat and drink while you’re home?
Benedict: One of my favourite places is Sugar on Rundle Street; love a game of pool. It’s probably my favourite club in the world! Then you have the rest of Rundle Street and the back alleys. Also, Ying Chow is a must, and The Central Markets are unlike any other markets in Australia.
Tell us about your personal style. Are you more of a jeans and shirt or ‘suit up’ kind of guy?
Benedict: I always love putting on a suit, makes you feel pretty nice! But recently I culled my wardrobe, so I basically took it back to basics. I want to be able to put on anything and feel comfortable.
One personal item you cannot live without?
Benedict: My little notebook.
You have a very nice head of hair; do you do anything special to maintain it?
Benedict: [laughs] Not really, a little bit of Moroccan Oil every now and then.
What is a usual day off for you?
Benedict: Spending time in my veggie patch! Cultivating my winter vegetables, with a nice espresso and a good book. Most recently I have been reading the fantasy novels by Japanese writer, Murakami.
Anyone in the industry you haven’t worked with yet that you would love to?
Benedict: There are so many actors and directors creating amazing work. I really admire the likes of Mark Ruffalo and Casey Affleck. I suppose one person who I really haven’t had the chance to work with that I would love to is my brother, Xavier. It would be great to find the right piece to work on, that would be the ultimate goal.
Your brother Xavier has had great success in the industry. Does he ever offer you any advice or tips?
Benedict: We have such a close relationship and we talk about everything, however there is never an air of ‘I know best’ about Xav, which is what is so great about him. I feel very lucky in that way!
Don’t miss the first episode of Secret City premiering June 5 at 8:30pm on Showcase.