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Happy Birthday to Manu Bennett!

Manu+Bennett+Premiere+Starz+Spartacus+War+A4c2i1nR7zFxHappy Birthday to Kiwi actor Manu Bennett, who is 44 today!

Manu plays the pale orc Azog the Defiler in The Hobbit movies.

“I was really scared, being used to walking on set and having arenas falling down around me or seeing 1,000 soldiers go into battle. But then I got this call from New Zealand. Peter Jackson had already cast someone as Azog, but when he got to the editing room, he wasn’t sure it was working. I’d auditioned for the role previously and so they thought of me,” he said.

Manu was born in New Zealand in 1969, and his family moved to Australia when he was just a few months old. In 1986, he moved again to New Zealand to attend Te Aute College. Manu returned to Australia to take part in the New South Wales Schoolboys Rugby Union Team, and then attended university to study modern dancing, classical ballet, and drama. Finally, he completed his course of study in Los Angeles, attending the Lee Strasberg Theatre Insitute.

Manu’s acting career began in 1993 with the soap opera Paradise Beach and guest roles in other Australian TV dramas. In 2006, he wrote and directed the short film The Bridge. The short film revolves around two families from different racial backgrounds who cross paths on Sydney Harbour Bridge. He is best known for his role as Crixus, the Undefeated Gaul, in the TV series Spartacus and also as Slade Wilson in Arrow, where he will be in the main cast during the second season.

We recently saw Manu Bennet at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con in July and at the 2013 Dragon Con in September.

The Middle-earth News Team is pleased to wish Manu a very Happy Birthday!

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