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Do strangers constantly suggest you to try your hand at modeling or acting? Yeah, me neither.
But while working as a door-to-door salesman, Jamaican-born Lyriq Bent heard it daily. He could only ignore the advice for so long before finally meeting with an acting coach and starting to audition.
And a good thing he did. Ten years and more than twenty film credits later, this Canadian actor is carving out a name for himself in the industry, by making socially-relevant films that inform audiences and create awareness.
In his latest, Home Again, Bent plays an American criminal who is deported back to Jamaica; a homeland he has relatively no connection with. While the premise of the film makes for riveting storytelling, it also mirrors an incredibly serious and relatively unrecognized immigration issue. Each year, 3,000 immigrants are deported to the Caribbean nation from countries like Canada, the US and the UK. Often they're long-established residents convicted of relatively minor crimes.
As someone who was born in Jamaica and grew up in Toronto's notoriously hardened Jane and Finch neighbourhood, Bent feels an understandable connection to the film and its message. This comes through in both his performance and his passionate argument against Bill C-43, the "one strike and you're out" legislation that's currently before Canadian Parliament.