“Home & Away” is the latest gig for actor Dylan Benson – the son of Greg Benson and Amanda Newman – who is now out to carve a career for himself in the world of film and television. Benson, who is preparing for his debut on the same series that helped put his parents on the map, explains why soaps are the perfect training ground for any actor.
Meagan Meehan (MM): Where in Australia are you from?
Dylan Benson (DB): I’m currently living in Rose Bay, Sydney. I’ve lived in Sydney since I was 20 and moved there from the Central Coast, where I grew up.
MM: And you come from an acting family, I believe?
DB: You bet! Both my Dad and Mom are actors and were on the Aussie soapie Home and Away. That’s actually how they met. Mum still does acting, but Dad moved on many years ago
MM: So, it’s a given that you’d be an actor too? Was it encouraged?
DB: I actually didn’t fully commit to being an actor till I was around 20. I’d flirted with the idea but had so many other obsessions, finance being one of them. I graduated with a degree in finance from The University of Sydney. However, my heart was in acting. I remember doing a few classes and falling in love with acting. I didn’t want to do anything else from that point and haven’t since
MM: Did you study acting?
DB: I didn’t formally study it but I do classes and private sessions with an incredible coach, Les Chantery. He runs a studio called The Actors Station and I try to do classes as often as possible. I’ve also read a lot of books on my own from the likes of Meisner, Larry Moss, Adler, Stanislavski, and more. I’ve also audited Larry Moss workshops and done a bit of improve and standup comedy
MM: I imagine you were quite young when your father, actor Greg Benson, was at the height of his fame? Do you remember that time at all?
DB: Not at all. I vaguely remember him doing a few reappearances on Home and Away for an episode or two. Other than that, I completely missed the height of his fame and when he was on the show
MM: What did you take away from your father’s experience as an actor? Did you learn some tricks of the trade?
DB: When I really went after the acting, he had been out of the industry for over 20 years or so. However, he’s definitely been supportive and given me some tips. He’s a very big proponent of voice work. Which has helped me a lot and many acting coaches recommend too!
MM: And now you’re on the same series your father was!?
DB: That’s right! So far only for one episode but who knows, I may get lucky and written in. Kind of weird following in his and my mother’s footsteps. They both met on the show
MM: Is the role you play on the show much different to the one your dad played?
DB: The characters were quite different. Dad’s character was a school kid, surfie dude and quite a likeable character. My character, Jack, is the ringleader of his posse and quite the arrogant antagonist on the show.
MM: What else can we see you in?
DB: While I love to act, I’m also a model, love to train in the gym and cook. Cooking is almost a form of therapy for me; I love nothing more than spending hours cooking different dishes from choc chip pancakes to making my own pizza dough to make pizzas in the wood fired oven at home. My Instagram is basically just food stories
MM: They say working on soaps is an amazing training ground for an actor. Did you find that?
DB: Working on a soapie is insanely fast paced. Normally they only do two or three takes then move on to shoot the next scene. This means you learn to nail the scene quickly and get to do hundreds of scenes over time. This is the perfect formula to cultivate solid acting skills. I definitely felt this during my day on set and could see how over time I would sharpen a lot of my skills.