With appearances in two UK prime-time programmes (EastEnders, Casualty), a starring role in gangster movie, King of Crime (out now in cinemas) and currently filming Pennyworth, Epix’s new Batman prequel, Londoner Hainsley Lloyd Bennett’s star is certainly on the rise. We chatted with him recently on his inspirations, career and plans for the future.
What inspired you to pursue acting?
I always wanted to perform but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. I wanted to be a comedian for a period, then a television presenter. I’ve always been fascinated with people and loved English language. I’ve adored film since I was a child so acting was something I took to quite naturally.
Who are your top three acting heroes?
Tough one there. Leonardo DiCaprio is the reason I started acting so I have to put him in there. There are so many incredible actors out there, but for the other two I will probably say Jake Gyllenhaal and Guy Pierce for sheer chameleon-like talent and versatility.
What is your dream role?
I like too many genres and stories to have one favourite role to play. Give me anybody that has an interesting journey and an amazing internal monologue or conflict, and I’m involved.
Give us an overview of your character in King of Crime?
Anthony Tully is a gifted hacker straight out of university. He’s mild mannered and somewhat shy, but he has an intricate story arc and is definitely a lot more than he seems. Keep an eye on him.
Why should readers watch King of Crime?
The film takes a classic old school East End gangster story and pulls it in to the modern era with cybercrime. It juggles intricate themes of love, family, loyalty and revenge with a beautiful aesthetic and style of storytelling that will have you engaged at every turn. Not to be missed.
A little birdie tells us you’re in Pennyworth, the drama series based on Batman, Bruce Wayne’s legendary butler, Alfred Pennyworth. What can you tell us?
I’m lucky enough to be part of literal comic book history. Alfred Pennyworth is a national treasure and has been portrayed by legends. This is his story growing up in London as he’s just left the SAS and is trying to figure out who he is. Reconciling the charming, optimistic boy he is with the killer he was asked to become. It’s set in the 60s and is a beautiful ode to the era with their own take on London in that universe. I play one of his best mates and army buddies, Deon Bashford “Bazza” who runs a security firm with him when he meets Thomas Wayne in London. It’s one hell of a ride and not to be missed.
Any plans to get behind the camera?
I have written two shorts films I would like to have made at some point. One could definitely be a tv show and the other a feature. I’ve always loved writing and directing and love every step of the creative process in film. When I’m at a point in my own career and have the time, I will take that plunge for sure.
Where would you like to be in the next 10 years?
Just stable and carving out a free-flowing creative career as an actor and content creator. I don’t like limits or to be typecast and as long as I can move in this world and create content that I want to do, while making a living I will be happy.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in north west London. Wembley. Went to school there and spent most of my life in that area of London. I will always have fond memories of there. Loved it.
Where is home now?
I live in Surrey now. Surbiton. A beautiful leafy, suburban area just outside London. Quiet and idyllic. I can travel in and enjoy London easily but can escape it at the same time.
What’s your favourite dish?
If I’m honest I just love meat! I’m basic. Give me steak, chicken, lamb, beef in any form and I’m happy. I do love salmon too.
What’s your favourite place to relax?
On my sofa in front of the telly or on a beach somewhere. Turn off, wind down and just disengage from it all. Bliss…
King Of Crime is out in select cinemas from 2 November 2018 and out on Home Ent and Digital release early next year. For more information go to: kingofcrimemovie.com