Grew Up… as the right-hand man of Lil Z, the City of God’s most powerful gang lord. Benny was always something of a counterpoint to Lil Z’s sociopathic killing. Benny didn’t seem to have too much conscience as a young’un, but he quickly realized that his cool head is the only voice of reason that Lil Z will listen to. They complement each other well, and never leave each other’s side.
Living… the cool life in Rio de Janeiro. Benny gets really into designer fashion. He becomes a playboy and gets crowned “the coolest guy in the City of God,” a “favela” (slum) in Rio. He promises to buy nice shirts for a guy he doesn’t even know that well. He even gives a great camera to his photographer friend Rocket. Everyone loves Benny and he knows it, but it doesn’t go to his head. He remains the coolest guy around.
Profession… Lil Z’s second-in-command in their criminal organization. Benny did some killing while growing up, but now it seems like his major job is keeping Lil Z from going crazy and killing more people. Still, the life of a murderous gangster starts to weigh on Benny. Even though it makes him rich and powerful, he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep it up.
Interests… Italian shirts, cycling, and being nice. Benny likes things that result in other people’s pleasure. That’s why everyone loves him. And if he disappeared, the City of God would immediately become a much less interesting place.
Relationship Status… he’s got a girlfriend, Anjelica. She’s the apple of his eye – and the eye of many guys in the favela. But Benny swoops her away; his good looks and charm win out in the end. And soon, his devotion to her becomes stronger than his love for the thug life.
Challenge… taming Lil Z. When it finally becomes too much for Benny, he tells Lil Z, “You think everyone’s a bastard. That’s why I’m leaving.” Lil Z takes this guilt with him, but it doesn’t seem like he changes his ways – even for Benny’s sake.
Personality… confident and level-headed. He’s easily the “coolest guy” in the City of God, just like they say. He’s also probably the nicest. He’s saved countless lives by talking Lil Z out of killing people; that must count for something. He’s devoted to his friends and his lover, Anjelica, and although he’s faced with some tough choices, he tries to remain as righteous as a “hood” can.
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