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August 2006
ANGELA’S EYES: An Interview with Lyriq Bent


An Interview with Lyriq Bent
By: Wilson Morales
August 28, 2006

After graduating with high honors from Seneca College with plans on becoming a computer graphic technician, Lyriq Bent took up acting on a dare.  Since then, Bent’s career has gained considerable momentum, appearing numerously in both film and television. His eclectic mix of roles has made him one of the most sought after actors working today.

Prior to landing a co-starring role on Lifetime’s “Angela’s Eyes,” Bent guest starred on the UPN series “Kevin Hill” and USA’s “Kojak.”  Additionally, Bent had recurring roles on the CBS series “Platinum” and the ESPN series “Playmakers.”  He has since been featured in Showtime’s “Street Time.” Bent also appeared in Robert Townsend’s multi award-winning television movie “10,000 Black Man Named George” and “Jane Doe” alongside Teri Hatcher. 

Bent’s film credits include starring opposite Mark Wahlberg and Andre 3000 in the John Singleton film “Four Brothers;” “Take The Lead” with Antonio Banderas and Alfre Woodard and most recently “SAW II” with Donnie Wahlberg.  He also appeared in “Honey” alongside Jessica Alba and Mekhi Phifer and “Crime Spree” with Gerard Depardieu.  Bent also starred in director Michael Mabbott’s critically acclaimed debut feature film, “The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico,” which premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, winning the award for Best First Canadian Feature Film.  Most recently, Bent co-starred in Liondgate horror film “Skinwalkers,” with Jason Behr and Rhona Mitra due for release later this year. In speaking with blackfilm.com, Bent talked about his character on “Angela’s Eyes” and the his upcoming films, including “Saw III”.

Having done numerous episodic roles, what’s the appeal of television for you?

Lyriq Bent: Actually, my thing is film really. I guess it’s because of what’s out there right now being that I’m from Toronto and a lot of TV shows come here and the projects are pretty good. My focus is films and “Angela’s Eyes” is one of those TV projects that has some good TV concepts behind it and good writing.

How did “Angela’s Eyes” come about for you?

LB: It actually came about by way of Michael Watkins, director of the pilot episode. He’s also the creator of the feel and look of the show. I worked with him on the television show, “Kojak” a year ago and brought this project my way and was adamant that I be in it.

How would you best describe your character?

LB: This is definitely my opinion of the character and I thank the creators who shared these thoughts, but based on what I felt I had to do with the character, Leo Jenkins. He’s an everyday guy that everyone can relate to. He has the same issues and problems that everyone else has. I think the difference with Leo is how he deals with the issues. He’s not a superhero or FBI agent; he’s a real guy with a little bit of skills and a little bit of emotion. He’s just a real cat. With one situation you’ll like him as to how he deals with the situation and the next minute, you won’t because he dealt with it differently but it’s all subjective so I try to make as real as possible with every situation he finds himself.

Do you see the character growing with each episode?

LB: Absolutely. From the first episode to the seventh, which they are airing this week, you see the change with his character. I think it’s for the better.

Within the film world, your career is starting to take off with recent roles in “Four Brothers", and "Take the Lead", and last year’s “Saw II”. How did you manage to stay alive in “SAW II” being the black guy and knowing what awaits the black guy in horror films?

LB: Good question, because we all know that the director would kill us off to help propel a story, but “SAW” in particular is a smart franchise, and I think they know how to tell a good story. They know when to kill a character and when to keep a character around, and with that said, let’s see what they do with the third one.

You’re back for the third one, right?

LB: That’s correct.

What’s expected of “Riggs” in this film?

LB: Because of my gruesome schedule, I wasn’t able to participate as much they would have liked me to so they cleverly brought it down to a point where my character creates a lot of questions for the audience and those questions are touched upon a little bit but not fully so it keeps you wondering and I think there were successful in doing that to accommodate the scheduling.

Who did you mostly work with on the film?

LB: Dina Meyers and Tobin a little bit.

What role do you play in “Skinwalkers”?

LB: I play this character named Doak. He was a good werewolf and was the male-man of the town. That was his disguise. He was also really good friends with the little boy who was basically the savior for all werewolves who didn’t want to lead that life. He had to free us of our demons but the bad werewolves didn’t want that. My character understood the little boy and he was his protector. He would protect him to the death and Doak was a likable guy. He was the type of character that you could easily warm up because of his friendly presence, but he was also a warrior.

ANGELA’S EYES airs on Lifetime TV on Sundays 10 p.m ET/PT



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