INTERVIEW: Benjamin Wadsworth talks ‘Deadly Class’
Our exclusive chat with the star of the gritty SyFy adaptation!
Benjamin Wadsworth stars in Deadly Class as Marcus Lopez Arguello, the new kid at a school for training killers. The show, adapted from the critically acclaimed graphic novel series of the same name, has been a crazy and wonderful television adaptation so far. Which is no surprise, given it’s led by none other than the creator of the comics, Rick Remender. He developed the screen version alongside Miles Orion Feldsott, and they both serve as executive producers.
We’ve followed the misfits through their violent adventure of a first season, but now it’s come to the finale. Recently, Pure Fandom got to talk with Benjamin about he got involved with the project, what his favorite scene was to film, and a lot more!
Pure Fandom: To start off, how did you get the role of Marcus?
Benjamin Wadsworth: Well, I’m an actor from Houston, Texas and I got a self tape for Billy actually, the guy with the Mohawk, and they didn’t like as Billy because I was basically playing Marcus as Billy, and then they sent me a Marcus audition and they liked me, so they flew me out to Vancouver to do a screen test.
On top of playing a character that already exists in the graphic novels, did you feel any pressure about representing Marcus as Hispanic?
Oh, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I’ve gotten a certain amount of crap because people don’t really know my background. But my cast supports me. We’ve surprisingly got a lot of Deadly Class fans who support me as well.
What about Marcus’s mental health issues, like his depression. How did you approach that?
It was just a lot of talking to Rick and kind of pulling from my own personal experience. I mean, I’ve dealt with anxiety like a lot of other people and I’m a depressive. You know, I can just pull from my past experiences to get into the melancholy state.
Marcus obviously has strong opinions. Do you agree with everything he says?
I agree with Marcus on some of his philosophical questioning, and things like that, but not everything. Marcus is a flawed teen and he even changes his mind and realizes that he can be a bit of a hypocrite sometimes.
What would you say are Marcus’s strengths and weaknesses?
I would say his strength and his weaknesses, is his ability to never lie, or at least try not to.
Can you talk a bit about Marcus’s relationship with Master Lin? Because a lot of that is new to the show.
It’s this strange father-son dynamic where, you know, this kid looks up to this guy and he wants to rebel, but also listen, because he’s given him some sort of home and family. And Marcus really doesn’t like it when Lin punishes him, like a father would.
What was it like getting to work with Benedict Wong?
Oh, it was amazing. I mean, Benny’s a pro. I mean, I used to watch him, you know, I still do, he’s on the Avengers, but he’s just the nicest guy ever. He’s just very inviting and friendly and down to chat, and he’s always asking you if you need anything during the scene.
What was the hardest scene to film, emotionally or physically?
It was probably the interrogation scene, in the previous episode or I think the episode before that. Because I was really sick and it was my birthday, and my girlfriend was trying to see me. So it was just a combination of a lot of things making it a bit difficult.
For episode nine, how did they film the punk rock concert scene?
They rented out a venue in Vancouver, BC and they got a band to look like The Adolescents and lip sync their songs. And they had a bunch of dancer extras to create a slam dance circle, and they played the music over the top.
I really liked the visual effects in that episode, it was super cool.
Oh, yeah. Our DP (Director of Photography) is amazing. He does phenomenal work.
The show is a really good adaptation, and has a lot of space to develop the relationships more, like Maria and Saya. Who would you say, out of the main group, is most important to Marcus?
Oh, man. That’s a tough one. Probably Saya, but if Marcus had to pick a dude it would probably be Willie.
I think Willie’s a better role model for him.
Favorite scene to film during the season?
It was probably the slam dancing scene in 109. It was the most fun I had on the show, besides the acid episode. It was just really cool to like get out all this energy or angst I’d been having throughout the season, and just fucking dance and not care who was watching.
What does it feel like to have this be your first big TV show and you’re the lead?
It’s cool. I mean, I try my best not to get any kind of big head. I keep close friends and family around to keep me grounded. It’s exciting, you know, it’s gotten me a lot of opportunities, made my career grow in such a huge way.
If you guys get a season two, is there anything, like any character or storyline, that you want elaborated on in any way?
Yes, because I’m a fan of the graphic novels as well, so I really would love to see Marcus’s kind of spiral into drugs after Maria [Spoiler]. As an actor, that just seems really juicy.
I interviewed María (Gabriela de Faría) as well, and she said that this is a possibility, but do you think they’re going to bring in LGBT representation in season two?
Yeah, absolutely. There’s a character in the comics named Kendall, and we’ve already been talking about casting for that, if we get a season two.
Any specific 80’s songs or albums that you associate with Marcus?
I mean, you got to bring up The Smiths. I mean “Please, Please, Please [Let Me Get What I Want]” like, that’s Marcus’s song. He just wants to get what he wants because he’s always getting shat on, and not, you know, (laughs) not getting what he wants.
Last question, what’s your favorite episode of the first season?
Five, easily. The Vegas episode.
Go catch up on Deadly Class on SYFY. Keep tweeting and talking about the show!
(Featured Image: SYFY)