In the lead-up to our big season premiere (June 12th at 10:00 p.m. on SyFy, in case you were wondering), I thought I’d start the ball rolling with some insight into our actors, their characters, and the process by which they won their respective roles. First up, appropriately enough, is the character of ONE played by Marc Bendavid.
This was the casting breakdown that went out for the role:
“ONE: AKA Hero, AKA Jace Corso. HANDSOME, BOYISH, GOOD-LOOKING. CHARMING BUT A BIT OF A GOOF, HE IS THE CREW’S MORAL CENTER, A GUY WHO ALWAYS TRIES TO DO THE RIGHT THING, despite the odds being stacked against him and no matter how unpopular the course of action. HE IS A SPACE COWBOY, A BIT OF A DAREDEVIL, AND THE CLOSEST THING TO A HERO ONBOARD THE SHIP. Sure, he screws up – but he means well.”
To which I added: “If it helps, in terms of character and tone, think of Ben Browder’s character (John Crichton) from Farscape.”
What I absolutely loved about Browder’s portrayal of Crichton was his everyman quality. I imagined viewers at home watching Farscape thinking: “That could be me!” More often than not, he was way over his head, struggling to keep up with his far more seasoned crew mates but, at the end of the day, he was three very important things: heroic, funny, and incredibly charming.
Which is what I was looking for in the character of ONE. He was our unlikely hero, the fish out of water who, despite the odds stacked against, always managed to persevere – in amusing fashion. We wanted him to be principled, a little vulnerable and, possessed of a sense of humor. I’d often described him as the voice of reason, an individual driven “to do the right thing even though, at times, doing the right thing wasn’t necessarily the right thing to do.”
The casting process inevitably defies expectations. Roles you figure will be easy to cast prove exceptionally difficult while those you assumed will be a challenge END up being slam dunks. In the case of ONE, it was the former, not because we couldn’t find anyone for the part but because we had several worthy candidates, each of whom brought very different, equally interesting interpretations to the table.
But, in the end, one stood out above the rest. Marc Bendavid was talented, good looking, and funny. And he delivered that crucial vulnerability I was looking for in the character. I wanted our audience to sympathize with the rest of the crew, but empathize with ONE.
On set, Marc is soft spoken but incredibly focused. He is a true student of the craft, constantly considering and questioning his character’s motivation. He’s one of the kindest individuals I’ve ever had the good fortune to work with. And, when he’s not working, he’s an avid reader and gardener.
And a not so avid tweeter: https://twitter.com/marcbendavid