TV persona parallels actor

Actor Benjamin Arthur says there’s a lot of himself in his Josh Blecher character on TV’s Less Than Kind.

Actor Benjamin Arthur says there’s a lot of himself in his Josh Blecher character on TV’s Less Than Kind.

Which is a surprise. Though they are both actors, Josh is also a conceited bully/exhibitionist with little ambition who takes great delight in torturing his younger brother.

“I’m in there, absolutely,” says Arthur, 28, whose Less Than Kind role has been nominated for a Leo Award.

“I was preparing for the part for 28 years. But I’m a ‘one’ normally. And you need to turn the dial up to 10 to play Josh.”

Now filming its second season, Less Than Kind is a dark comedy about a dysfunctional Winnipeg family and its perpetually embarrassed teen son Sheldon (Jesse Camacho).

It’s Sheldon’s poor luck in life to be stuck with a self-destructive criminal dad (Maury Chaykin), and pyromaniac mom (Wendel Meldrum). Then there’s brother Josh, whose idea of high comedy is to shake his “junk” in Sheldon’s face (which he does in Arthur’s Leo-nominated episode).

”Josh runs completely off of bravado and ego. He’s pure manic energy,” says Arthur.

The actor admits he needed some of that excess energy to stay warm during the making of the first season of Less Than Kind, which was shot in the dead of winter in Winnipeg.

“Last season was ridiculous. I mean, I lived in Kitimat (B.C.), so I’m used to cold. But this was like minus 52 C. You had 55 seconds of shooting before you have to stop or your skin freezes. And I’m there dressed in my torn Josh jeans and V-neck T-shirt.”

Arthur says his nomination for a Leo Award — given to the best in British Columbian film and television — is a big deal to a guy from Kitimat, though a little bit weird.

“It’s for Best Supporting Actor In A Dramatic Series. But I’m in a comedy. So I’m up against actors in serious shows like The Guard. I can see them announcing my nomination by running a clip of me shaking it naked.”

• The Leo Awards will be presented this weekend in Vancouver. Reruns of the first season of Less Than Kind air on City TV.

 
 
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