The Malta Independent 21 November 2018, Wednesday

FIRST: Conversation with Ben Camille

First Magazine Wednesday, 6 December 2017, 13:10 Last update: about 13 months ago

First magazine speaks to Ben Camille, Strada Stretta actor and protagonist of his own new reality show ‘Benjamin’.

You've recently launched your new Reality TV show - 'Benjamin'. How is it going and how does it feel to get on with life with cameras around you?

It's going very well - the feedback has been enormous. To be honest with you, I didn't think it would be this big. It was very strange to be surrounded by cameras all the time. I mean, I'm used to having cameras around me, but I'm either acting or presenting: this is very different. Having said that, like most things - I guess - you get used to it and I now forget that the cameras are around me (I look up and made sure the cameraman is still there as I write this!)

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From where did the idea originate?

There was an opportunity in the market. A number of commercial entities were approaching me, wanting me to endorse their services/products. However, from what they were telling me, they were all finding it difficult to find the right, innovative mediums by which to communicate their particular brand/service with their target audience. They all wanted something different, fresh and entertaining, yet real.

Having said all this, initially I was wary about the whole reality show idea. It sounded a bit too ego-centric for my liking. However, after a number of meetings and convincing from various influential people in the industry, I accepted the challenge.

One of the most important things for me was the production house that was to produce this reality show. This is my life and the lives of my family that I was dealing with here, so I needed to feel very comfortable with the people we would be working with literally every day.

 

What do you hope to achieve through this new show?

With the huge exposure that Benjamin is getting on a national level, I am better able to achieve the goals I am working towards. In-between all the entertainment and 'straight to the point' re-makes from Carina, I am able to work towards creating more awareness about medical conditions, helping abandoned animals, working hand-in-hand with the Malta Community Chest Fund and L-Istrina as well as visiting schools to keep fighting the fight against bullying and spreading positivity in general.

 

You recently received some backlash on social media after your TnejnTnejn talk show with Peppi Azzopardi and Mark Lawrence Zammit. Looking back now, do you think that the game you played on air was a bad idea?

Not at all. I think the game was a fun and innocent idea, which is why I was so worried - and sad - when I read the comments. It is sad and worrying to see how some people's first reactions to such a light-hearted and innocent game (with no bad intentions whatsoever) was interpreted as something negative and 'evil'. Some people even when to the extreme of saying that it was promoting 'rape culture'... come on! I could not believe my eyes when I read this. It is worrying to see this.

Due to the viral backlash it created, out of respect I contacted almost all the girls who featured in the photographs and asked how they felt about it. They all laughed when I asked if they were offended by the game. They all knew the intentions were purely fun and light entertainment with no mal-intent.

I was further surprised about a week or so after this video, when the same video, playing the same game, was posted on my Facebook page again, but this time around it was Claudia Faniello playing the game and she was choosing men instead of women. And this time the comments from the public were completely different. When Claudia was playing it was "cute and funny".

 

I'm sure you're at the point where, wherever you go in Malta, someone approaches you. How does this feel?

It feels nice. I love it when people come and say 'hello', ask for a photo or just want a chat: I really do enjoy it. Being in front of a camera, as opposed to being on stage for example, eliminates the live and immediate interaction from your audience, so having people stop you in the streets and give you their feedback is great.

 

If you could choose to play a role in any movie, what would it be?

I don't know! I'm quite open to any role, given the right production team and story line. Maybe playing a political character, as I would really like to do a local drama based on politics.   Malta's most loved actors/actress in a local TV drama combined with Malta's most loved topic; politics, on prime-time national TV - what more can you ask for! 

 

 

 


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