Ben Camille: I’m learning to deal with the negative remarks about me on social media

From playing a leading role in Strada Stretta, to having his own reality show, Ben Camille is one of Malta’s best-known actors

Ben Camille, with wife Kristina (left) and mother Carina
Ben Camille, with wife Kristina (left) and mother Carina

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Get smooched by my dog Simba! Simba waits for me near my pillow and licks my face from top to bottom as he wags his tail… I love it!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

One of the most precious arts of the world, is the art of making others happy.

What do you never leave the house without?

My keys.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Creative, hard-working, loyal.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

It’s hard to say. I don’t really take the time to enjoy any achievements because I’m always thinking about how I can move on to the next bigger, better project. When I take a second to stop and think, I’m very proud of where I have come today. I am humbled that I have been able to use my influence for brilliant causes such as L-Istrina, the recent ‘Unchained’ campaign we launched to stop the chaining of dogs, and much more.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Haha, it has to be food! Lots of food! I love my cheat meals… burgers in particular! And of course my cheesy music.. currently have the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman on loop, “This is Me” in particular.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To keep calm when things go wrong and take a few breaths before acting on impulse. Also not to take negative remarks about me and my loved ones on social media and other outlets from people I don’t know too personally. This wasn’t easy for me at the beginning, now I’ve learnt to deal with it.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

The new home Kristina and I will soon be moving into.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

That my Nanna was going to pass away when she did, so I’d spend more time with her before she died.

What has been your biggest challenge? Why?

Trying to make everyone happy all the time. My dad always told me, you can only make half the people happy, half the time. Life is proving my dad quite right. The fact that I have an outspoken mother comes with its challenges too, as when she voices her opinion in the way she does, unfortunately some people automatically assume that her opinion is mine too. Nonetheless, I love her to bits as every other son loves his mum.

If you weren’t a model and TV presenter, what would you be doing?

I love sport and fitness, so something on those lines. I also studied and worked in photography which I love, so something on those lines too maybe.

Do you believe in God?

Yes I do. I pray every night (or try to at least).

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

My Nanna.

What’s your worst habit?

I turned to my wife for this one… she said being late and forgetting names.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My watch maybe. It was a gift from Kristina which symbolised her wanting to spend the rest of her life with me. I look at it and appreciate that.

What is your earliest memory?

My mum watching me at every single football game I played, screaming at the top of her lungs (this hasn’t changed .. with my brother’s games now obviously).

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

To see my Nanna and spend time with her.  Wouldn’t care where, as long as it was with her.

What book are you reading right now?

Andre Schembri’s autobiography

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

To seek all the abandoned animals who are being maltreated, punish the people who maltreated them and find the animals a loving home forever.

When did you last cry, and why?

Recently when I watched the film ‘A dog’s purpose’.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Tough questions... I really do not know. I love Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter in Suits) - but I think it’s more a case of me wishing to playing him rather than the other way around!

Who would you most like to meet, Why?

Ryan Seacrest. To collaborate on a production together. I would also love to meet Barak Obama, a great mind and super politician whom I admire.

What’s your favourite food?

I have many. But I love a super burger.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

It’s between Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Being double faced.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Something up-lifting.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Something that will make a difference. Even if just on a local scale, I’d like to make a difference, for the better, of course.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Plenty of songs. I love music. The ‘cheesier’ the better while were working out. My personal trainer, Dale, and I were buzzing working out together to songs from Five, Backstreet Boys and One Direction.

Who’s your inspiration? Why?

I consider myself lucky as my line of work takes me along paths that allow me to get to know a lot of inspirational people, such as the likes of Bjorn Formosa, The President of Malta, Mrs. Muscat, Katriel Zahra, Rosalind from the AAA and all the other voluntary workers at the animal sanctuaries who dedicate their lives to help dogs and animal in general. These people are an inspiration for obvious reasons. A number of enterprising business members whom I meet along the way also inspire me.

Does your mother give you fashion advice?

Yes, always. She is also my manager and helps me deal with all the requests I get with bookings, campaigns, appearances and so on. She is much better at it than me as she manages a number of other talents and models through her modelling agency, Models M.

What’s the most frustrating thing about filming ‘Benjamin’ ?

You might have thought it would be being followed by cameras all the time, but it’s not, I actually got used to that very quickly, surprisingly enough. The most annoying thing is probably the constant worry of offending or hurting someone by something said on the show. Unfortunately people out there thought that the production of Benjamin was my production, when in fact it was not, I was simply part of this show. Benjamin was in fact a co-production between PBS & Sharp Shoot Media, the latter being responsible for producing the program, filming it and editing it. This annoyed me (the fact people thought it was my production) because the viewers out there would associate everything that happened in the program and everything said, with me. So if my mum said something, or Kristina said something, people would automatically think that I had the same opinion on the matter, when more often than not, I did not.

Would you ever consider going into politics?

I’d never say ‘never’, even though I don’t like how personal it gets at times. I love the idea of serving for the greater cause of making a difference as I said before.

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