Eliza Bennett: Actress, Singer & Songwriter Takes Us Through Her Journey From Screen To The Stage
From singing to writing to acting, English performer Eliza Bennett does it all. Bennett first began her career in the entertainment industry as a child actress with one of her first major roles as Meggie in the film Inkheart. Since then, Bennett has also become known for her work in MTV’s series Sweet and Vicious in which she played Jules Thomas, as well as her work on major series such as The Connors, This is Us, and Broadchurch. Additionally, Bennett stars in the upcoming dark comedy titled Do Revenge with Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke which premieres on Netflix September 16. Most recently, however, Bennett’s role in CW’s remake of the series Dynasty has earned her nationwide attention.
In Dynasty’s 5th and most recent season, Bennett first made her appearance starring as Amanda Carrington, a long-lost British relative of the Carrington family. Bennett’s portrayal of Amanda stirs up the series creating new and exciting storylines and relationships that fans love and enjoy. The series finale also premieres this September 16.
Eliza Bennett has also created gorgeous music alongside her career as an actress. A talented singer and songwriter, Bennett has been creating music for about as long as she has been acting. She first recorded music at Abbey Road for the ending track of Inkheart, called ‘My Declaration’ back when she starred in the movie in 2008. Bennett began releasing more music as an artist in 2019, with the release of her first single ‘Stole Me.’ She then released three more singles in 2020 and 2021 including ‘Do You Think About Me’ and ‘Metal Heart.’ Her newest single ‘Hate To Love You’ just dropped this August and precedes the imminent release of her debut EP Late Twenties.
‘Hate To Love You’ ponders the various elements of life in Los Angeles that left Bennett with conflicting feelings of both hatred and love for the “city of broken dreams” that “mend[s] [her] broken seams.” Having moved to L.A. from London for her acting career, Bennett experienced many growing pains during her transition to L.A. life. She has masterfully drawn from this experience as well as others of her early adulthood into what we will soon hear in Late Twenties.
We sat down with Eliza Bennett to learn more about her career as an actress and as a singer-songwriter and what projects she’s working on next.
You’ve played a variety of roles in your time as an actress. Some might recognize you as Jules Thomas from MTV’s Sweet and Vicious or even from your earlier work such as Meggie in Inkheart. How would you describe your career in three words?
Try Anything Once
Who has been your biggest inspiration in your journey as an actress overall? I think when I was a child actor it was Natalie Portman because I remember seeing her in Leon: The Professional and it was the first time I’d really been moved by a performance, and I thought it was cool that a child stole the film. I also thought she had a really elegant transition from child to adult actor. In this very moment, I’ve been watching Black Bird on Apple and I can’t stop talking about Paul Walter Hauser. He has worked forever, consistently whipping out extraordinary performances and now he’s really getting attention with this performance, and it’s just cool seeing him get the accolades he deserves. Hard work pays off.
What has been the toughest challenge you have faced in your career, and how have you worked through it? I could say the long filming days or being away from home but honestly, I love working and most of my friends in the business do too. The worst part is the unemployment. It’s brutal. I’m currently so lucky to be in a season where I’m working a lot and I would never feel the level of gratitude I feel now if it wasn’t for the tough years. I learnt resilience and I learnt to believe in myself when others stopped and most importantly, I created fulfilling relationships and creative work on my own that I’m now able to share.
You recently joined CW’s remake of Dynasty this season, season 5, as Amanda Carrington who has now become a fan favorite. In what ways does Amanda’s character challenge you as an actress and what have you learned this past season by playing her? Amanda is pretty strong and doesn’t have an issue articulating her boundaries. I, on the other hand, am the girl who hates the haircut but says it’s great and cries in the car on the way home. Playing Amanda exercises that muscle for me so maybe she’ll rub off on me. The biggest challenge? Acting in 6 inch stilettos and spanx.
What has been your favorite part of working on Dynasty? The clothes. I have never worn such beautiful designer clothes before. The costume department are a joy and I’m definitely going to miss being head to toe in such pretty things. That and working with such a lovely, hardworking crew every day. Our crew were the best.
How do you feel about the upcoming finale? What do you hope fans’ reactions will be? I think the fans are going to be happy. Making a perfect finale especially after five seasons is near impossible but I think the fans will like what we’ve done. There’s a couple surprises in there for them.
In addition to acting, you have also released four singles as a musical artist including ‘Stole Me’ and ‘Metal Heart’. How does music compare to acting for you in terms of your creative expression? What artistic gap does music bridge? They feel very different to me. Acting has always been something I’ve been employed to do, I get brought on to a project to be a cog in a huge machine. I love being a cog, I love how collaborative it is, I love working with different directors, actors and crew to make something beautiful together. Music however, started with just me in my bedroom on a piano. It has always felt more personal, more revealing.
Although I get to work with producers and engineers, my music is all written by me and if I decide not to do it, then it doesn’t happen. There’s a freedom and a weight to that. It took me a long time to shake the feeling of embarrassment asking anyone to be a part of it because I was like ‘why would anyone care about a song I wrote in my bedroom?’. But now I’m like, who cares? I like it and if anyone else does then they’ll come along for the ride and that’s just what happened.
You will also be releasing your first EP, ‘Late Twenties,’ soon. You have described the EP as a representation of your experiences in your twenties that have shaped you as the person you are today. What point in your twenties would you describe as your ‘turning point?’ I think there’s definitely a few. There’s just these moments or seasons that you look back on and they become a before and after snapshot. Moments that kind of split your life into pizza slices. For example: moving to LA from London. Before and after that move feel like completely different sections of my life, I can barely relate to the person before that move. It really forced me to change and grow and live in the uncertainty. My first single ‘Hate to Love You’ is about that first couple years in LA.
What do you hope listeners will take away from this EP? Oh wow I really have no idea. On a very basic level, I just hope they like the songs and vibe with them. Someone may listen to ‘Hate to Love You’ and relate to it because they felt that way about an ex-boyfriend even though I wrote it about a city. That’s the beauty of music, I wrote it one way and now you get to take it and make it feel like it belongs to you.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2023? I just wrapped Dynasty and have started shooting a new project “Sexy Beast” for Paramount Plus which is a prequel series for the iconic movie in the 2000s. It’s an exciting script to work on and I’m getting to film back home in England which is a real treat to be near family again. On top of ‘Sexy Beast’, I will be continuing to release new music so keep your eyes peeled! This is a very chaotic fun season in my life so I’m trying to hold on and enjoy the ride!
The definition of ‘Contrast’ is to be strikingly different. What makes you strikingly different? Well, it was incredibly freeing when I finally admitted I hate peanut butter, despite the fact everyone gasps when I say it. Apparently, that’s shocking and I’m the only one. That falls under the definition of strikingly different right?