For Ben Kindon, the star of Australian coming of age mini-series Barracuda, his role of the ‘golden son’ who was never able to reach the heights set by his parents, comes naturally to the gifted actor who loves taking on the challenge of a screwed up character.
The 21-year-old was originally from Canberra before heading to Perth to spend three years at the world renowned Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).
In that time he managed to set himself apart from many of his peers and win the role of Martin in the ABC TV series Barracuda before he had even graduated from the school last year.
Before Kindon headed to WA, he spoke with The Canberra Times about his passion for the art of character performing.
“I don’t think there’s anything better than being able to sink your teeth into a character that’s really screwed up,” he said to The Canberra Times.
“It’s a confronting thing but an amazing thing. I just think there’s so much to discover … Most people, I think, get to experience just their lives; actors get experience of other people’s lives.”
In Barracuda, Kindon’s character Martin Taylor comes from a very wealthy family. He is a handsome and privileged ‘golden boy’ and initially is lead character Danny Kelly’s(Alias Anton) biggest rival in and out of the pool, and he’s threatened by Danny’s natural ability.
He soon becomes best friends with Danny and the two boys come to rely on each other’s support. Outwardly confident and charming, Martin struggles with his own demons of self-belief.
Martin is attracted to Danny’s raw honesty and singular ambition as it equates to a kind of freedom that he can’t have in his privileged world, full of pretence, social constraints and expectation.
In one scene Danny is so happy that Martin has agreed to spend the Commonwealth Games with him that he thanks him with a kiss in the swimming changerooms, their relationship changes from this point with disastrous consequences.
Kindon’s WAAPA Experience
WAAPA is a well-known star factory with many actors, singers and dancers across Australia and The World gaining their starts and big breaks while studying there.
The likes of Hugh Jackman, Frances O’Connor, William McInnes, Lisa McCune, Eddie Perfect and Tim Minchin, have all called WAAPA home.
Kindon is one of the lucky ones amongst a graduating year that has got potential star power in spades.
Fellow graduate Dacre Montgomery won the role of the Red Power Ranger in the new Hollywood blockbuster set to premiere in 2017, Kindon and Shalom Brune-Franklin were lead and co-star in the ABC series Barracuda and Andrew Creer is set for the ABC series Tomorrow, When the War Began.
Another eight of WAAPA’s 18 acting graduates have found positions in the 2016 Black Swan State Theatre Company season.
Speaking about his time at WAAPA, Kindon told Arts Hub that he didn’t even know what acting technique was before he attended WAAPA.
“I had always prided myself on being untrained; I believed that it just came naturally to me, but it wasn’t until I had an analytical understanding of what I was doing that I was able to harness it, and it also teaches you what to do on those days when maybe it isn’t coming naturally,” Kindon explained to Arts Hub.
“I didn’t even know what acting technique was when I was seventeen years old and doing the audition rounds for the higher institutions.”
“You do ten plays during your time at WAAPA, and chances are that seven of them will be directed by artists from all around Australia and sometimes even the world.
“You feel like a professional actor, and it brings so much diversity into the course.
“You also make contacts and friendships that can really help you when you get out into the real world.”
Even though his portrayal of Martin in Barracuda has been so well received, Kindon knows that three years of WAAPA and a starring role straight out of the college is no guarantee of having a long and successful career.
“Even if my acting career doesn’t flourish after this,” he said to Scoop Online.
“I’ve learnt so much about myself just from being here – like how to be a better human being.”
The ABC TV Series Barracuda concludes on Sunday 31 July but can be viewed worldwide on iView.
See one of Kindon’s pieces from WAAPA below.