Acting experience: Previous paid speaking roles
- UK English
- USA New York
- USA Southern
- Latin American
After my BA in Filmmaking I was involved in number of various productions.
As a musician I am a natural in front of the camera (numerous music videos, hundreds of TV appearances, My band was one of my Country's biggest in the '90s: Kojoti (and also Cool Shakes).
I am Croatian, grew up in Belgrade: I can put on an authentic Eastern (South) European accent. I speak: Serbian, Croatian, English, Russian (not fluently), German/ Swiss German.
With my old school tattoos and experience of observing the 'Balkan gangster' type of characters, I can transform into one of them, with tough, Slavic flavour.
This helped me get a major role in HAVANA MARKING's (director of 'Afghan Star', Sundance film festival winner) new film 'Smash and Grab' (BBC Storyville and UK Film Council, 2011) about the Pink Panthers, glorified Balkan diamond robbers (Premiere in London at the East End Film Festival on 27 June 2013; in New York on 31 July 2013).
The film is partially animated (rotoscoping): they aged me a bit adding wrinkles and my tattoos were easily hidden too.
Trailer : - http://youtu.be/szIwZ7JQRhk
Another clip: - http://youtu.be/9hz6cJrzg6g
Facebook page: - http://www.facebook.com/smashandgrabthemovie
- Film release date in US: http://www.hollystarz.biz/upcoming-movies-in-july-2013-2/
- Film review by Scott Foundas (Chief Film Critic, VARIETY): http://variety.com/2013/film/reviews/film-review-smash-and-grab-the-story-of-the-pink-panthers-1200571579/
- Film review by Frank Schleck (THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER): " 'Mike' (Tomislav Benzon) [...] describe(s) the gang's activities in great deal and touches of dry humor."
* VOICE OVERS:
I also work as a voice over actor.
My profile video by Blockmedia, a production company I did various voice over jobs for: http://youtu.be/0bnEYOLR-5k
* ACTING & MUSIC:
20 years of professional musicianship made me into what I am, so roles which require musicians are perfect too.
Cast by GAIL STEVENS for ANGELINA JOLIE's directorial debut, 'In the Land of Blood and Honey', playing a guitarist who ends up killed.
I also helped with the arrangements and recorded guitars on 4 songs for the film soundtrack.
1. RUN'N'HIDE - Cool Shakes
A soulful explosion of Rock'n'Roll and R'n'B
Guitar ability: Expert
Vocal ability: Lead singer
Bass Guitar ability: Expert
Vocal range: Tenor
Double Bass ability: Expert
Influences: Stevie Ray Vaughn
, Brian Setzer
, Cliff Gallop
, Django Rainhardt
2012 - 2013:
with JACK SAVORETTI's band, The Dirty Romantics (Doublebass)
2012: recorded his album "Before The Storm", co-written by STEVE BOOKER (DUFFY, ALEXANDRA BURKE); produced by MARTIN TEREFE (MARY J BLIDGE, JAMES MORRISON, BEVERLY KNIGHT, TRAIN, KT TUNSTAL).
"Lifetime" (http://youtu.be/Zz-54AB9hyk ) is played daily on BBC Radio2 A & B playlists, Smooth FM and across Europe, like the previous 4 singles. Some tunes from the album were in One Tree Hill, Grey's Anatomy, Sons of Anarchy, Vampire Diaries.
Sir Terry Wogan, Graham Norton, Jo Whiley, among others promote our album frequently on radio. On top 20 Indie charts, the album reached number 1 and is currently number 5.
Played guitar with soul diva Alexia Coley...
2012-13: Toured the UK twice, selling out in every town in venues like the Jazz Café (Camden, London); Madame Jo- Jo's (Soho, London), Scala (London). Also Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) and major UK Festivals (Hard Rock Calling,Glastonbury,T In The Park. One of the biggest UK tour was with Jooles Holland, selling venues like Royal Albert Hall...
*TV & RADIO SHOWS APPEARANCES:
- Sunday Brunch (Channel 4)
- BBC Breakfast (BBC1) - http://youtu.be/9kHPRJX1mo0
- Live on the Sunday Night Sessions (BBC London 94.9) - http://youtu.be/VGfXrkvloiA
- New Britannia (Sky Atlantic), hosted by Morgan Spurlock (from Supersize me!);
- Got to Dance (Sky1),live with dancer Adam Garcia tap dancing -http://youtu.be/yNqIribeMVM
- Mark LaMarr show (BBC 2),twice...band of the year with Congo Faith Healers
And many more...
I worked on ANGELINA JOLIE's directorial début, "In The Land of Blood and Honey".
As well as appearing as a musician in the film, I recorded the music for it: 4 songs (guitar).
with the band 'Dado Dzihan and Waves and Patterns' (created specifically for this this film). One of our first official gigs was at the première on 23th of December 2011.
In the '90s I lived in Croatia and played guitar for the rock band KOJOTI: 3 albums with Warner Bros, a dozen of number 1 singles, numerous TV and radio appearances.
I then fronted my my own band (vocals and guitar),THE COOL SHAKES (signed by Dinaton / Sony BMG Croatia), and we had an album out. At the time I was touring Europe extensively.
2006-2011: with SONNY WEST and THE CONGO FAITH HEALERS (playing doublebass), a culturally diverse band, unusual style mix: gypsy swing, blues, Cuban and Latin grooves with r'n'r mixed with my own South Europoean musical heritage. Worked with producer CHRIS KIMSEY. KT TUNSTAL and FRANZ FERDINAND were big fans.
'The best of the year' (BBC2 and MARK LaMARR - we performed live twice on his show).
'Amongst the '10 top UK bands you must see!' (The Independent)