Jonathan Manu Bennett (born 10 October 1969 in Rotorua, New Zealand), also known as John Bennett or Jon Bennett, is a New Zealand actor.
Of Māori descent and born in Auckland 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.
He appeared in
- Blue Heelers (1994) as Mark Daivies
- Beast Master (1999) as Terron Leader
- Xena: Warrior Princess (2000) as Marc Antony
- Shortland Street (2000 — 2001) as Jack Hewitt
- The Marine (2006) as Bennett
- The Condemned (2007) as Paco
- 30 Days of Night (2007) as Deputy Billy Kitka
- Spartacus (2010 — 2013) as Crixus
- Arrow (2011 — 2017) as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke
- The Hobbit trilogy (2012 — 2014) as Azog the Defiler
- The Shannara Chronicles (2016-) as Allanon the Druid.
- Ability over Appearance: The producers of Arrow had the choice of either staying true to the comics and finding an American to play Slade Wilson, or altering the character to be Australian and hiring Bennett.
- Badass Baritone: Has a very deep, husky voice.
- Creator Backlash:
- He was very disappointed by his guest spot in Season 3 of Arrow, where Slade suffered serious Badass Decay, and said it would be his last time playing the role. Luckily, the producers were able to placate him with a much better designed return in the Season 5 finale, leading to him becoming a recurring cast member again.
- In an interview before the premiere of the Finale Season of Spartacus, he lamented his belief that the show could go for one more season (seeing that said season is a Compressed Adaptation, he may have had a valid point).
- The Danza: Played a character named Bennett in The Marine (the first one).
- Dyeing for Your Art: While the rest of the cast of Spartacus underwent this, Manu took in to another level by growing both his hair long and a Badass Beard to fit Crixus' Character Development.
- Fake Nationality: Rarely ever plays an Australian or someone from New Zeland.
- Mr. Fanservice: He is a Tall, Dark, and Handsome man who is also incredibly ripped. He even showed it frequently on the Spartacus Series, and we really mean show.
- Production Posse: With Sam Raimi but more so Rob Tapert, who cast him in both Xena and Spartacus. He also frequently appeared in WWE films during the middle of the Turn of the Millennium.
- Rated M for Manly: Is frequently cast in these type of works, his Star-Making Role included.
- Star-Making Role: He's been around since The '90s, but his role as Crixus gave him recognition and boost.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He stands 5'11.
- Those Two Actors: With Lucy Lawless and Cynthia Addai-Robinson.
- What Could Have Been: Was up for the title role in Conan the Barbarian (2011), Ronon Dex in Stargate Atlantis (both went to Jason Momoa) and Terry Sheridan in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (went to Gerard Butler).
SHALL WE BEGIN?!!!!!!!!!