July 11--The daughter of a McDermott man will portray the head of Russian counterintelligence in tonight's episode of Burn Notice on the USA Network.
"My father, Cass Benedict, is a transplant to Portsmouth," Benedict said. "He fell in love with an amazing woman named Jamie in Seattle and they relocated to McDermott. I am very lucky to be connected to the whole family in Portsmouth. They are so supportive and loving. I have a whole team rooting for me in southern Ohio."
Benedict said she grew up in Seattle and started her arts training as a very young girl.
"I was classically trained as a dance in ballet, modern jazz and theater dance," Benedict said. "I started acting quite young as well. I was part of a wonderful peace activist theater ensemble as a kid. It really helped shape who I am and my love for storytelling. I have continued my training throughout my life. I still love acting, music and dance and I am lucky enough to get to do it every day."
In addition to her father and stepmother, another of her big supporters is her mother, Mary Benedict, who resided in California.
"I am the Dance Theater Division Co-Chair and Enrichment Director at the Los Angeles campus of AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts," Benedict said. "I work with young artists who want to become professionals. I especially love working with young dancers who are interested in becoming triple threat performers. Dance is an incredibly powerful medium and when you broaden the training of a dancer to include vocal and acting work, it expands the possibilities for that expression."
Her credentials go deep into the world of TV, having been on such successful shows as "Without a Trace," "Desperate Housewives," "CSI:Miami," "Southland," and 14 episodes of "Nikki."
"I audition regularly for television in Los Angeles. I have a wonderful manager. I have had a great year," Benedict said. "I had a great role in True Blood, shot a pilot for CBS with David Nutter, played the head of Russian counterintelligence in Burn Notice and had a great time playing a schizophrenic on the show Perception on TNT opposite Eric McCormack."
She said she had a great time shooting tonight's episode.
"I shot in Miami and it was truly one of the best set experiences I have ever had. The team is amazing- from the writers, producers, director, crew, and cast. I felt so welcome and well cared for. I can't say enough good things about the people working on Burn Notice," Benedict said.
Benedict has also had the rare opportunity to work with cult movie hero Bruce Campbell, sometimes call the best of the B-movie circuit. Bruce also acted as the recurring character "Autolycus", the King of Thieves; he portrayed this villain with zest in both "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (1995) and"Xena: Warrior Princess" (1995). Bruce's latest television venture, outside of his supporting role in Burn Notice, was starring as the title rogue of "Jack of All Trades" (2000).
"He is a hoot!" Benedict said. "He is warm, approachable and personable. We had a great time. I would love to work with him again. He is a true pro and a just a really cool guy."
So will we see her again soon?
"I hope so! You never know in television. Maybe Oksana (Russian agent) will return. I really hope you enjoy the episode as much as I enjoyed doing it. I have so much love for the Portsmouth community. The people there have made my father's new home a treasure. I can't wait to come back. Hopefully I can visit this fall to see the leaves change," Benedict said.
Burn Notice airs tonight at 9.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.
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