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Posted On : 19 Mar, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : New Delhi 
B'wood works like family, H'wood's about business: Bennington
The nonchalant Bollywood camaraderie perhaps seemed novel to New York-based photographer Mark Bennington, who says "business always comes first" in Hollywood, while actors here work like a "family".

"Things are different here. The acting community in Bollywood works like a family...a tight knit family.

Obviously, in a family you have brothers and sisters who at times love to hate each other. But, nonetheless they know they are a family.

"In Hollywood, things are more business oriented. There it is always business first and relationships second. There can be an exception, but generally it works that way," Bennington told PTI.

Bennington recently launched a coffee table book of photographs on the who's who of Bollywood.

"Living the Dream: Life of the 'Bollywood' Actor", which consists of photographs and interviews of 112 Bollywood stars, tells the "story of many, that only few know".

While the Foreword to the book has been penned by filmmaker and producer Karan Johar, casting director Shanoo Sharma has written the Afterword.

Bennington insists that the book follows no hierarchy - while the ruling superstars conspicuously make the chunk of the book, newbies and yesteryears' legends also find space in the tome.

"On one page you will find a photograph of Rani Mukherji and on the other there is a photograph of someone you probably never heard of.

"Be it a one-hit wonder, a struggler or a yesteryear star, the book follows no hierarchy whatsoever. It is a book with no table of contents," he says.

Like most photographers, Bennington's shots are also "candid" and "off-screen". But, the element of freshness is rendered through his uncanny compositions. For instance, he has captured Bollywood's Dream Girl, Hema Malini watering plants sporting a pair of jeans.

"Have you seen something like this before ever?" Bennington questions in rhetoric.

"There might be books where they have written about individuals, but not about the entire acting community. And if there is one, then surely it is not a book of photographs," he says.

Out of the galaxy of pictures that he clicked for the project - from Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha to Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh - the photographs of Irrfan Khan and Boman Irani are his personal favourites.

"I love the photograph of Irrfan. It looks as if he is posing, but he was simply pondering over a question I had asked. I happen to capture that moment, and it has come out amazingly.

"Even the Boman Irani picture...he is not making any face.

I asked him a question and that was his reaction to it. Now, we know that he has built an entire career out of that look.

But, look is not manufactured. It is completely organic," he says.

A trained actor, Bennington has also essayed several roles in films including the character of police commissioner Wilkie in Dibakar Banerjee's "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!", but he says he always considers himself a "photographer first".

"To be frank I will never like to pursue acting ever again. 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy' happened because I am a great admirer of Dibakar's work, and then things just fell into place for the movie. But other than that, I love being a photographer, and that remains my 100 per cent focus," he says.

Bennington's next project is also set in Mumbai, and will release in 2018.
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