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Max Bennett (actor)

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Max Bennett
Born (1984-11-24) 24 November 1984 (age 37)
EducationThe Latymer School
Alma materQueens' College, Cambridge École Jacques Lecoq
Years active2004–present

Max Bennett is an English actor. On television, he is best known for playing Monk Adderley in Poldark on the BBC, and Robert Southwell in Will for TNT. On film, he is best known for playing David in the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and Brown in Guy Ritchie's crime caper The Gentlemen. He has worked extensively in London theatre, with leading roles in the West End, as well as for the Donmar Warehouse, Royal Court, Young Vic, Shakespeare's Globe and the National Theatre.

Early life

Bennett was born in Leytonstone, London,[1] and attended The Latymer School in Edmonton,[2] where he was Head Boy and played the title role in Hamlet in his final year.[3] He trained with the National Youth Theatre, appearing in their production of The Master and Margarita at the Lyric Hammersmith.[4] Bennett studied Modern and Medieval Languages (French and Italian) at Queens' College, Cambridge. Whilst there, he performed with the Footlights and the Marlowe Society and was named in Varsity's 'Talent 100' as "without doubt the most sought-after actor in Cambridge".[5] He trained at the École Jacques Lecoq in Paris.[1]


Bennett's first professional role was in film, while he was still living in Paris. He appeared opposite Jean Dujardin in the 2007 French comedy 99 Francs, following this up with another cameo the following year, in Saul Dibb's The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley.[6]

After spending a year establishing a stage career, including a role in Samuel West's 2008 production of Waste at the Almeida that The Times named as one of its "Productions of the Decade",[7] in 2009 Bennett won second prize in the Ian Charleson Awards[8] for two performances: as Frank in George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession[9] and as Claudio in Measure For Measure.[10]

Leading roles followed, notably as Ferdinand in 2011's Luise Miller in Michael Grandage’s critically acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production.[11] Bennett played the tragic hero opposite Felicity Jones. The Arts Desk wrote, "Max Bennett is terrific as the hotheaded young Ferdinand, very fit in his hussar’s uniform".[12] Soon afterwards, Bennett began filming on Joe Wright's film adaptation of Anna Karenina, released in 2012.[13]

He then began his association with the Royal Court, appearing in Dominic Cooke's 2012 production of In Basildon by David Eldridge,[14] before joining the cast of Posh, as it transferred to the West End later that year.[15] After another Donmar Warehouse production,[16] he returned to the Royal Court in 2013 for A Time To Reap, where he brought "a thrilling sense of danger" as Piotr.[17]

After more film and television roles,[18] Bennett appeared as Greg in 2013's hit West End revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy Relatively Speaking at the Wyndham's Theatre,[19] the Telegraph remarking he "memorably captures the confusion of the gawky young innocent abroad".[20]

He followed this by playing Edmund opposite Frank Langella in the Chichester Festival Theatre production of King Lear,[21] which transferred to the Harvey Theatre of New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2014.[22] The Hollywood Reporter wrote "excelling on the villainous side is Max Bennett as Edmund", Variety noting "he’s a fantastic actor. Vocally assured and quick on his feet, he claims the stage with total assurance. But it’s not all for show. There’s an intelligence to his delivery that makes every word of every line of every speech perfectly understandable."[23]

He was back on the London stage later in 2014, playing the lead in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe,[24] the acclaimed production[25] courting controversy as Transport for London banned its posters.[26] Bennett's first leading role in film followed, playing Sal in "weirdly warming, visually affecting fable" Set the Thames on Fire.[27]

More television was next for Bennett, with a 2015 stint on CTV’s medical drama, Saving Hope,[28] before an episode of ITV’s Endeavour in 2016.[29] He went back to working with classical text, but still on the small screen, appearing as John Talbot in the BBC/NBC mini-series The Hollow Crown, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch.[30] Bennett then played Coottsey in Mike Bartlett's BBC film King Charles III in 2017,[31] after their previous collaboration on 2015's Young Vic production of Bartlett's play Bull.[32]

Bennett took on a series regular role in Craig Pearce and Shekhar Kapur's Will released on TNT in 2017. He played Jesuit poet, priest and martyr Robert Southwell, Shakespeare's cousin in the show and the most wanted man in England, "a messianic, charismatic leader bent on fomenting Catholic rebellion".[33]

In 2017, it was announced that Bennett would be joining the cast of the fourth series of the BBC’s Poldark, as "unscrupulous society figure" Monk Adderley,[34] a "psychopath with a death wish", according to The Guardian, "played brilliantly by Max Bennett".[35] The Telegraph described him as "seized by the kind of malign competitive lust not seen on screen since Dangerous Liaisons".[36]

The following year saw Bennett appear in the record-breaking and multi-award-winning Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, playing David, Mary Austin's new partner following her split from Freddie.[37]

In 2019, a return to the stage followed for Bennett as he appeared in ANNA at the National Theatre, Ella Hickson's sound-led collaboration with Ben and Max Ringham, directed by Natalie Abrahami. Playing "sinister boss Christian",[38] The Stage's five-star review found him "tall and threatening with bright blond hair and a voice that could cut glass".[39]

Bennett was on the big screen again in 2020, playing privileged junkie Brown in Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen.[40]



Year Title Role Notes
2007 99 Francs Salaud #1
2008 The Duchess Lord Walter
2012 The Sweeney Symes
Anna Karenina Petritsky
2013 The Numbers Station Intern at Hospital
2015 Set the Thames on Fire Sal
Moth Matthew Short film
2016 The Rain Collector Captain Fitzwilliam Wilmington Short film
The Family Short film
2017 King Charles III Coottsey TV film
2018 This Damnation Manny Short film
Bohemian Rhapsody David
2019 The Gentlemen Brown
2021 Censor Mike Shepherd


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Big Bad World Sandy Episode: "Series 1, Episode 5"
2015 Midsomer Murders Kevin Paynton Episode: "A Vintage Murder"
Saving Hope Dr. Patrick Curtis Recurring role, 4 episodes
2016 Endeavour Gideon Finn Episode: "Arcadia"
The Hollow Crown John Talbot Episode: "Henry VI Part I"
2017 Will Robert Southwell Series regular, 9 episodes
2018 Poldark Monk Adderley Recurring role, 4 episodes
2021 Leonardo Cesare Borgia Recurring role, 2 episodes


Year Title Role Director Venue Notes
2004 The Master and Margarita Elgar-Delius John Hoggarth Lyric Theatre, London with National Youth Theatre
2007 Cymbeline Iachimo Trevor Nunn Cambridge Arts Theatre, Cambridge with The Marlowe Society
2008 Finisterre James Max Webster Theatre503, London
The Herbal Bed Jack Lane Caroline Leslie Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury
Romeo and Juliet' Benvolio/Friar John Tamara Harvey Theatre of Memory, London
Thyestes Thyestes Libby Penn Battersea Arts Centre, London
Waste Walter Kent Samuel West Almeida Theatre, London
2009 Measure for Measure Claudio Jamie Glover Theatre Royal, Plymouth also, UK tour
Mrs. Warren's Profession Frank Gardner Michael Rudman Comedy Theatre, London
2010 Danton's Death Marie-Jean Hérault de Séchelles Michael Grandage Royal National Theatre, London
Fabrication Son Lucy Bailey The Print Room, London
2011 Luise Miller Ferdinand Michael Grandage Donmar Warehouse, London
A Midsummer Night's Dream Demetrius/Tom Snout Natalie Abrahami Various locations with Headlong
2012 In Basildon Tom Dominic Cooke Royal Court Theatre, London
Posh Harry Villiers Lyndsey Turner Duke of York's Theatre, London
The Promise Marat Alex Sims Donmar Warehouse, London
2013 King Lear Edmund Angus Jackson Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester & Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City
Relatively Speaking Greg Lindsay Posner Wyndham's Theatre, London also, UK tour
A Time to Reap Piotr Caroline Steinbeis Royal Court Theatre, London
2014 'Tis Pity She's a Whore Giovanni Michael Longhurst Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London
2015 Bull Tony Clare Lizzimore Young Vic, London
2019 Anna Christian Neumann Natalie Abrahami Royal National Theatre, London

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Production(s) Result
2009 Ian Charleson Awards Best classical stage performance
by an actor aged under 30
Mrs. Warren's Profession and Measure for Measure Second Prize[8]


  1. ^ a b "20 Questions: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore's Max Bennett". Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Drama and Theatre Studies: Activities and Recent Highlights". The Latymer School. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  3. ^ "The Latymer Link, February 2003, Page 4". The Latymer School. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Past Productions" (PDF). National Youth Theatre. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  5. ^ "The Varsity 100" (PDF). Varsity. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Max Bennett". IMDb. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Best Theatre of the Decade". The Times. 13 December 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b Peter, John (20 June 2010). "Stairway to success". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Mrs Warren's Profession". London Theatreland. 19 June 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Tour archive for Measure for Measure (Play). 13 March 2009 – 18 April 2009". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Luise Miller". Variety. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Luise Miller, Donmar Warehouse". The Arts Desk. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Anna Karenina 2012". IMDb. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  14. ^ "In Basildon". Royal Court Theatre. 5 April 2012. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  15. ^ "Posh Tickets – Theatre Tickets For Posh The Play at Duke of York's". ATG Tickets. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  16. ^ "The Promise, Trafalgar Studios, SW1 - review". Evening Standard. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  17. ^ "A Time to Reap, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, review". 28 February 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Big Bad World – Episode 1.5. Episode Five". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Review Round-up: Critics convinced by Relatively Speaking". 21 May 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Relatively Speaking, Wyndham's Theatre, review". 21 May 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Frank Langella in King Lear By William Shakespeare". Chichester Festival Theatre. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  22. ^ "King Lear". Brooklyn Academy of Music. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  23. ^ "Off Broadway Review: 'King Lear' Starring Frank Langella". 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  24. ^ "Max Bennett and Fiona Button lead 'Tis Pity in Sam Wanamaker Playhouse". What's On Stage. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  25. ^ "'Tis Pity She's a Whore, by John Ford". Shakespeare's Globe. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  26. ^ "'Tis Pity She's a Whore, review". The Stage. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  27. ^ "Set the Thames on Fire". Little White Lies. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  28. ^ "New Doctors. New Drama. New Hope. Season 4 of SAVING HOPE Premieres September 24 on CTV". Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  29. ^ "Endeavour series 3 episode 2 review: Arcadia". 11 January 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  30. ^ "BBC Two - The Hollow Crown, The Wars of the Roses, Henry VI Part I". BBC. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  31. ^ "BBC Two - King Charles III". BBC. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Casting Announcement - Bull's return to the YV". Young Vic. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  33. ^ "Will: Max Bennett Joins TNT Drama About Young William Shakespeare". Deadline. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  34. ^ "Poldark series 4 casts major new villain to go up against Aidan Turner". Digital Spy. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  35. ^ "Poldark recap: series 4, episode 7 – pistols at dawn and dark times ahead". The Guardian. 22 July 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  36. ^ "Poldark, series 4 episode 7 review: this is the most entertaining Poldark of the series, by far". The Telegraph. 22 July 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  37. ^ "Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) - Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  38. ^ "Anna — binaural mics play a role in this ingenious cold war thriller at the National Theatre, London". Financial Times. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  39. ^ "Anna review at the National Theatre, London – 'slick, stylish, tech-savvy spy thriller'". The Stage. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  40. ^ "The Gentlemen (2020) - Full Cast and Crew". IMDb. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2020.

External links