One of the reasons for the success of the series is the work of actor Benjamin Hollingsworth who plays controversial character Dan Brady. Benjamin has made quite the impression on audiences with projects like Code Black, Cult, Debris and Motive to name a few.
We had the chance to talk with Benjamin about his character Benjamin, if he thinks the character is a “bad” guy, who shot Jack and what fans can look forward to with the third season of Virgin River.
Pop Culture Principle – When you do a project, you never know how the audience will react to it, but Virgin River has become extremely popular. That must make you and the cast and crew feel pretty good.
Benjamin Hollingsworth – You are absolutely correct. You just never know how an audience will react to something. You put it out there and you see what happens. To everyone’s surprise, the show really did resonate with a lot of people and of course, we are happy about that. I am so happy that people are loving the show and it really has been a blessing. I love playing Brady. He is such a fun guy to play.
Pop Culture Principle – In the second season of Virgin River, Brady had seen his share of ups and downs, mostly downs. For you as an actor, how much do you enjoy getting to play a character that has several layers to it?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – The first thing I look for when I am contemplating if I am going to take a role is layers. When you sign on to a project, it’s usually a six- or seven-year contract and it could be a long seven years if it’s not something that you enjoy doing and enjoy sinking your teeth in. In the third season, I think people will dig what he will be up to in the that season.
Pop Culture Principle – Do you see Brady as a bad guy or someone who lives life in the “grey” area?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – Yea, I see him as a guy who lives in the grey area. This season, you will find out a lot about his past and how he grew up. I’m not giving away too much here, but Brady really didn’t have a father figure or a big brother figure or someone of authority that would show him what is right or wrong. Then he went into the Marines and that person became Jack. Being in the Marines was very much order and a structured environment, and I think Brady thrived in that.
When he came back, all of a sudden there wasn’t the structure that he was used to. Jack had his own life and Brady has his own life and he didn’t know what to do. He became like this lone wolf and stray dog who doesn’t really have a home. His brothers were still his brothers, but he didn’t take orders from them anymore and so that left him in a grey area. I still think that Brady is still trying to get Jack’s approval and when he didn’t get that in the second season and went to the dark side with Calvin, it was because he was looking for that. He was looking for someone to take him under their wings and show him the ropes and I think he needs that in his life.
Pop Culture Principle – Will the third season of Virgin River pick up right after Jack’s shooting or will there be a time jump?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – There is a time jump. SPOILER ALERT! Jack is ok. He survives, but I think they pick up a month or so after the incident and he’s back on his feet again. Obviously, the big question this season is who shot Jack and being that Brady had this relationship with Calvin, he is on the top of everyone’s list of suspects.
Pop Culture Principle – The creator of Virgin River, Sue Tenney, said in an interview that we may not find out who the killer is for a couple of seasons. Is that true?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – I would believe what she says. You can cross some people off the list by the end of the third season. Is Brady one of the people you can cross off by then? Who knows?
Pop Culture Principle – We see that Brie, played by Zibby Allen, will be a new character in the third season and from some Netflix publicity shots, it seems that she and Brady could possibly be an item? Is that true?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – I can’t divulge too much other than that is very possible. I can also divulge that if that were possible, I think that is a very difficult line to walk considering that she is Jack’s sister.
Pop Culture Principle – It also seems that Joey will be returning in the third season. Could that also put a monkey wrench in Brady’s love life?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – It certainly could. I wonder where they are at with things because after she leaves, you never really see them talk, so I am curious to see what happens in the third season. It is a small town and if she does make her way back, that could definitely be interesting.
Pop Culture Principle – Will we see any more interactions between Brady and Calvin?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – Yes, you will for sure. There will be more Brady and Calvin stuff. Will it be friendly? I don’t think so. I think Brady and Calvin will not be friendly for quite some time since Brady busted up his operation with not killing Spencer and then turning the evidence to Mike so that they could raid the business. Let’s just say it’s going to be awkward.
Pop Culture Principle – Since the series Virgin River is about connection with family and community, do you feel those aspects of the show are what audiences are connecting with since we are dealing with this pandemic?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – I do. Everyone has been in their little bubble for the past 18 months. I grew up in a small town, not as small as Virgin River, but small enough that people on your block looked out for each other and you had block parties in the neighborhood. We were all experiencing this pandemic together, but we weren’t actually together, we were separate. As many Zoom calls or Facetime calls that you can have, it’s not the same at all. People need connection.
In this series I think you find that reminder of the unparalleled fulfillment in community and the importance it still holds in our society. Whether that community is a town or a collection of people with the same beliefs or a group who supports people who have been disenfranchised. Community is so important and is paramount in Virgin River and I think the show reminds viewers that eventually we will be done with this, and we will be able to go back to how it was and how great it was. I will tell you in Season 3 of Virgin River, you will really see how community changes people’s lives.
Pop Culture Principle – What can fans look forward to with the third season of Virgin River?
Benjamin Hollingsworth – There is going to be a funeral, a divorce, a fire, a new romance and a hurricane. I can tell you that Brady is a part of one of those. Brady will be doing stuff yet again that he shouldn’t do, but he does it anyway. You’ll be seeing parts of Brady that you’d never thought you would see.
A huge thank you to Benjamin Hollingsworth for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk with us. The third season of Virgin River premieres July 9th exclusively on Netflix!
**Main photo courtesy of Brad Everett Young**
**Virgin River photos courtesy of Netflix**