Take a trip to the dangerous '80s through the eyes of actor Benjamin Wadsworth in DEADLY CLASS

— January 15, 2019

By BILL HARRIS Special to BellMedia PR School can be a traumatic time for anyone, but DEADLY CLASS takes it to a whole new level. Based on a graphic novel of the same name, DEADLY CLASS debuts Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 10 p.m. ET on Space. The story takes place in the late 1980s and follows a disillusioned teen named Marcus, played by Benjamin Wadsworth, who is recruited into an elite and secret academy that essentially trains assassins for the purpose of political upheaval. Can Marcus maintain whatever moral code he has left, while dealing with this deadly curriculum, not to mention classmates who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart? We caught up with Benjamin Wadsworth, who filled in some of the details about his troubled character Marcus, a downtrodden young man who is a victim in some ways but far from helpless in many others. Q: This is set in the 1980s, and former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is mentioned quickly. But you’re a young man, and the ’80s were a long time ago. Did you even know who Ronald Reagan was? Wadsworth: “I didn’t know anything, actually. I started doing all my research, because everyone kept telling me how much they didn’t like him. So I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to see who this guy was for myself.’ ” Q: Calling this a retro show quite doesn’t do it justice, because it feels very relevant to today. Wadsworth: “Absolutely, I think a lot of teens can relate to Marcus’s anger towards ‘The Man.’ ” Q: Right from the beginning, this show surprised me by how dark it is. My first thought was, ‘What the heck happened to Hogwarts?’ Wadsworth: (Laughs) “When I first read the comics, I was a little shocked, too. But then I was really excited, because the dark and gritty, that’s my niche. I love that stuff. And it gets darker! I would just say, watch out for Episode 5. It’s my favourite, it’s the favourite of a few other people in the cast, and I think it will be a fan favourite, too. But the show is not salacious with the violence. It tells a good story with these kids. Everything has repercussions. It kind of tells you why you shouldn’t do these terrible things, because bad things will happen to you. And in Marcus’s case - at least, what I think - he might be experiencing a bit of trauma. So I think he’s seeing and hearing things, you know? A bit of psychosis, possibly.” Q: This is an interesting role for you, because we have to like your character and feel badly for him, and yet we also have to believe and accept that he’s capable of doing some of the violent things that he does. Wadsworth: “I remember when I was reading the comics, I thought Marcus was this relatable character, but there also were moments when I was thinking, ‘Oh man, I really don’t know if I should root for this guy.’ But that’s what drew me to him. He’s complex and very compelling.” Q: Ronald Reagan aside, there are some basic technological things about the 1980s that might have seemed odd to you. Like, when I see your character with a Walkman. Wadsworth: “I liked the Walkman, but the crew were making fun of me, because I didn’t really know how to put the tape in properly, the cassette. They were like, ‘Ha, you don’t know much about the ‘80s.’ And I was like, ‘Ha, the joke’s on you guys, because I don’t know much about the ‘90s, either.’ I was just making them feel a bit old.”   billharristv@gmail.com @billharris_tv
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