New York based photographer’s book on Bollywood stars is full of candid pics and untold stories

New York based Mark Bennington is a mult-talented person, he’s an actor, photographer, musician, author and professor. Bennington, who acted in the Bollywood film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, is also the author of “Living the Dream: The Life of the ‘Bollywood’ Actor” and reveals some finer points about this coffee table book on Bollywood stars.

Living the Dream: Life of the ‘Bollywood’ Actor consists of photographs and interviews of 112 Bollywood stars, and tells the “story of many, that only few know”. The Foreword to the book has been penned by filmmaker Karan Johar, and casting director Shanoo Sharma has written the Afterword.

Here’s what Mark Bennington has to say about the coffee table book, and also about Bollywood in general.

  • “Things are different in Bollywood (compared to Hollywood). The acting community in Bollywood works like a family…a tight knit family. Obviously, in a family you have brothers and sisters who at times love to hate each other. But, nonetheless they know they are a family. Hollywood, on the other hand, is more business oriented. There it is always business first and relationships second. There can be an exception, but generally it works that way.”

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  • The book has no hierarchy – and includes a mix of legends, current superstars as well as newbies (and strugglers). It’s a book with no table of contents.”
  • Most of Bennington’s shots are “candid” and “off-screen”, but they all have an element of freshness, thanks to his uncanny compositions. For example, one of the photos is of Bollywood’s Dream Girl, Hema Malini watering plants sporting a pair of jeans.

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“There might be books where they have written about individuals, but not about the entire acting community. And if there is one, then surely it is not a book of photographs,” Mark Bennington.