Gracing international covers such as Muscle and Fitness and Men’s Health Manu Bennett is capturing the attention of filmmakers and fans with his extraordinary presence and talent.
Of Maori descent and born in Auckland, New Zealand to a singer and a fashion model, Manu’s family relocated to Australia soon after his birth. During high school Manu played representative rugby and studied classical ballet and piano, before attending University of NSW to study Drama.
Manu currently stars as Azog, king of the Orcs, in The Hobbit trilogy, a role which won him exceptional praise from Director Peter Jackson who stated that he was “the breakout performance” of the film.
Manu could most recently be seen in the CW network hit, Arrow, playing legendary comic book character, Deathstroke AKA Slade Wilson. Huffington Post said about his performance “Manu Bennett has been terrific as the quietly maniacal Slade Wilson. His rage and controlled obsession gave the season a great deal of focus and drive (…) it’ll be a challenge for the show to come up with a bad guy who presents such a charismatic and personal challenge to Oliver.”
Prior to that Manu won the hearts of his fans with the portrayal of the powerful gladiator Crixus on Starz’s hit series Spartacus.
Manu appeared on various TV dramas before landing his first feature film, multiple award winning “Lantana,” opposite Anthony La Paglia. His feature credits include major supporting roles in 20th Century Fox’s “The Marine” opposite Robert Patrick, Sony’s “30 Days of Night” opposite Josh Hartnett and produced by Sam Raimi; the Japanese film “Tomoko” opposite award-winning Japanese actress Rumiko Koyangi and a lead role in Lionsgate’s “The Condemned” alongside Vinnie Jones and Stone Cold Steve Austen.
Previous TV credits include starring roles in successful New Zealand productions “Shortland Street,” “Street Legal,” “Mataku,” “Creature Of Quest,” “Going Straight,” and as Marc Antony opposite his “Spartacus” co-star Lucy Lawless in Tapert and Raimi’s hit series “Xena: Warrior Princess.”