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, Irish and Scottish descent and born in Rotorua, New Zealand to singer Ted Bennett and bikini model Jean Bennett, 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 is best known for his portrayal of powerful gladiator Crixus on Starz hit series Spartacus. Manu can also be seen in the CW network hit, Arrow, playing legendary comic book character, Slade Wilson.
On the big screen, Manu 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 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.”
Most recently, Manu has received both critical and fan acclaim for his portrayal of the iconic Druid Allanon in the MTV series “The Shannara Chronicles,” which has just been began filming its second season. Manu also recently starred as the lead in Hollywood legend Roger Corman’s recently-released “Death Race 2050.”