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Gods, Generals, and Enlisted Men

Potomac native makes his silver screen debut.

He may be difficult to recognize with his hair grown out, but Potomac’s David Benson can be seen in “Gods and Generals.” Although he has been in several smaller productions, the 2001 Whitman graduate is making his film debut as an extra in the production.

He filmed five scenes, but, as is the case with many small parts, Benson had run a risk of being cut out of the movie. He didn’t find out until he saw the movie himself that he learned he appears in three scenes.

“I went with about eight friends, so I was pretty nervous,” Benson said. Although he has no lines, “you can see me,” Benson said. He walks across the screen in one scene and pets a horse in another.

In one scene during filming, he got to see some of the big stars in the movie.

“I met Jeff Daniels — I was in the same scene as he was,” Benson said. Daniels, however, was not interested in talking to any of the extras in the scene. “I guess when you get that big, you get a big head,” Benson said.

Benson has not always been interested in drama. “When I moved to Potomac, that’s when I actually picked up acting,” Benson said. He was told he wouldn’t make the soccer team at Whitman, so he went into drama instead.

He has appeared in numerous commercials and other short works.

“I was in a Marine Corps commercial,” Benson said. He’s also appeared in short films fo high school health classes and in a program on the Discovery health channel.

In spite of his many appearances on the screen, Benson prefers live performances. “Stagework is what really interests me,” he said.

“He’s got a multitude of talents and he’s full of energy,” said Linda Townsend, Benson’s manager.

Even with his acting career on the rise, Benson is still keeping his academic option open. He is currently working on a degree in exercise science — sports medicine — at George Washington University.

“When I first started it was, ‘maybe I want to do this as a career.’ Now I feel like it’s more important to get an education.”