Kimberly Spice –
It was a natural progression for actor Matthew Bennett to start his own production company, Blue Rage Entertainment Inc., after 20 years in the business and to produce his own major motion picture, Straight Kill.
Based in Toronto’s own St. Jamestown, the thriller is based around two individuals whose lives—and those of their loved ones—are in the balance based on the outcome of a dice game commonly known as street craps.
Bennett (who has lived in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood for eight years) supports the local angle of the feature since many motion pictures, although shot in Toronto, divert to the illusion that the story takes place in the USA.
“I always thought it was interesting that productions would shy away from using Toronto as Toronto,” Bennett told The Bulletin. “I always thought that was a very bizarre thing. Now it’s the fourth largest city in North America. It’s a huge urban center and everybody knows about it in the world but still productions that go out and shy away from that and insert a US postal code. I wanted to make a project about Toronto. I’m a huge fan of the city and I love the country. This city is pretty spectacular.”
Bennett took the opportunity to build on his acting skills (he has appeared in more than 30 films and in a number of high profile shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Cold Squad, Flashpoint, Saving Hope and Orphan Black) and add a producer’s credit to his resume. Having been on the opposite side of the lens, the King and Jarvis area resident can relate to the stress his acting peers go through when trying out for a movie role. It makes him careful about revealing too much about a project.
“I don’t offer anything to anybody and I really don’t talk that much about what I do,” Bennett commented. “I will say I’m developing a project or I’m writing something right now, but I don’t put anything out until it’s time to really pull the trigger on it. I’ve had things promised to me as an actor throughout the years that never materialized and that’s a very difficult thing to deal with. That’s a blow to the ego as well.”
Bennett now works alongside his wife Brittaney who is also an actor and is a partner in the production company. They’ve acted together in the past: Brittaney appreciates the support that they provide one another and although Bennett has had more success, he is the number one supporter of her career.
Right now, Brittaney is “in the early development stages of a project to do with women entering into perimenopause and midlife and what that entails. There seems to be secrecy around it.” She explains, “I hear women talking and struggling and I’m interested in getting information out.”
The couple are also real estate agents and work together on each deal. Their tag-team approach works well: if one of them is away or scheduled to do an acting job the other can continue the deal.