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Lyriq Bent, TITI Lead Actor Q&A

Please introduce yourself and share some career moments that you’re most proud of.


Lyriq: My name is Lyriq Bent, I’ve been an actor for 24 years. That didn’t sound right but that’s my truth. I’m not most proud of any moments of my career, I’m most proud that I choose acting as my career and proud of all the decisions I’ve made. 


At this point you’ve been acting for over two decades. Bringing it back to the beginning, what inspired or motivated you to pursue acting as a career? How did you go from dream to reality?


Lyriq: No real inspiration was responsible. It was more desperation meeting unseen opportunity. I only give myself credit for embracing something foreign/unknown to me. It was never a dream to become an actor. I didn’t even know it was an option. My reality was life needed to be lived and my new baby boy was my motivation. 


You’ve had a variety of opportunities, both as a co-star and a lead in films. Is there any difference in how to approach a role as a co-star versus a lead or is it all the same process focused on embodying that character as believably as you can?


Lyriq: That’s a subjective question. A great question nonetheless. I believe creatively the process is the same for lead and co-lead characters. However, socially my approach as a co-star is a large part of my process. I take the time to understand my leads personality and temperament to understand how to best assist them to be their best. 


In TITI, you’ll be playing the lead role, Titi Adroniki. What are you most excited about in regards to this role? Also how good of a rapper are you given that will he central of the Titi character?


Lyriq: I’m excited because it’s very different from what’s out there right now. Terrified because we’re turning Shakespeare upside down and making it our own. I’m not a rapper or musically inclined. That is also terrifying but also excites me. What can I say… I’m an artist.


You mentioned on one of the Mogul Live Spaces that when Richard Short approached you about doing something Shakespeare related, Titus Andronicus was the play you wanted to explore and reimagine. What about Titus Andronicus did you find more compelling than the other options?


Lyriq: I felt Titus Andronicus lacked courage. Not the character. The author. I felt like the characters were judged by the author, leaving no room for character growth. That concept goes against my belief when bringing a character to life. So not that Titus Andronicus was compelling, but more so lacking. 


Given your roles in the Saw franchise, which is known for its depravity and gruesome scenes, is there something you find interesting about films that depict humans at their worst? After all, Titus Andronicus is certainly one of Shakespeare’s more depraved works. Do you find these films offer unique challenges or opportunities for an actor?


Lyriq: I do believe such films offer unique opportunities and challenges but not for the reasons you mention. Part of my role choice was what was on the table at the time. Part me wanting to stretch myself creatively. It was never deep approach at that time.


With TITI what are you hoping audiences end up taking from the finished product?


Lyriq: I hope the audience walks away entertained! That’s it. And I hope we do it well enough that they can have conversations about why they were entertained. 


Now you’ve been involved with Mogul Productions for a little bit now. What attracted you to Mogul and what are some ways you think working with Mogul to develop TITI will be unlike other experiences you’ve had making films?

Lyriq: With Mogul getting the opportunity to build an organic fan base for TITI, and showing independent filmmakers a new way to go about making a film from the cradle to the grave is what’s attractive to me. TITI will be the blueprint.