Benjamin Wadsworth is the character of Marcus, according to his Deadly Class co-star Lana Condor.
"You are Marcus," she interrupted as Wadsworth explained his connection to his character. "And he specifically gets more and more Marcus as the night goes on. Like as the hours pass on set, I see a transformation where it's like not Ben talking anymore. It's really amazing."
When Marcus Lopez is recruited for Kings Dominion, a high school for assassins, he's the new kid showing up with a reputation.
"It kind of puts everybody back on their toes, 'cause it's this kid, this new kid with all this rep, and some people are afraid of him and some people are really curious to see what he's all about," Wadsworth explained. "And so all these characters are coming to check him out."
In the beginning, Marcus is unsure about the other students at Kings Dominion, and rightfully so. But he quickly discovers the best way to survive is forming alliances. One of those alliances is with Saya (Condor), who reluctantly takes Marcus under her wing when Lin (Benedict Wong) assigns him to be her pledge. But the two eventually form a bond.
"Well, I think it's 'cause you know they're teens, and when you're seeing each other like hurt, especially like how Marcus was, he was going to kill himself, and that's why Saya stopped him," he explained. "That's why Marcus trusts Saya."
As the show begins, Marcus is homeless, living on the streets with no one to turn to. But then Saya appears, offering the chance to come to Kings Dominion. Sure, it's a school for assassins, but what other choice did he have?
"I think he's just glad that he's somewhere. I think he's glad he's in a bed," said Wadsworth. "He just really wants friends and a family, and that's what he's creating over here. But he does not like violence. When he was on the streets, he saw that all the time. He saw homeless guys beat up women. He saw money stolen. He's forced to get in these violent situations, and he personally gets to feel the ramifications of violence. There are repercussions. And it kind of teaches everyone at the school, when we do this stuff, it's going to affect us physically and mentally."
While Wadsworth obviously hasn't been in the exact same situation as Marcus, he said he can relate to so much of what the character is feeling.
"I feel like I have sort of a responsibility because I'm playing the lead, so I'm kinda leading the pack in some ways," Wadsworth explained. "I gotta be the quarterback and set examples sometimes. With Marcus, it was really nice to be able to play a character like this and be the face in some ways, because I feel like I related a lot whenever it came to how he deals with certain things, you know, depression, isolation. I was homeschooled, so I felt a lot of isolation. So I felt I could really get into that."
Despite Condor's insistence that he is Marcus, Wadsworth still studied up on the character by reading the comics by Rick Remender.
"I studied Marcus' physicality and his facial expressions and what he likes, what he dislikes, what he likes to wear, how many times he likes to smoke, stuff like that,” he noted.
And it all paid off. When it came time to audition, Wadsworth said he knew he was ready and really felt like he was the best choice for the part.
"It feels like a win, but it was something that I was prepared for. I felt like I was prepared for and I'm still learning to get better at."
Deadly Class is currently airing on SYFY.