Ben Foster – MovieActors.com
About Ben Foster (1980 – )
Ben Foster was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of restaurant owners Gillian Kirwan and Steven Foster. In interviews he has described his parents as "free-spirited, Vietnam-protesting hippies". He has a younger brother, Jon, also an actor. When Foster was four years old, his family moved to Fairfield, Iowa, after their Boston home was broken into by robbers while they were in the house.
Foster was raised Jewish, and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony. His paternal grandparents were Celia (Segal) and Abraham Foster, who was a prominent judge and Boston politician, whose families emigrated from Russia. Foster practices Transcendental Meditation, and, while living in Fairfield, attended the Maharishi University of Management.
He began to realize his passion for acting after attending the Interlochen Theater Arts Summer Program. After writing, directing, and starring in his first play at the age of 12, it wasn't long before the acting bug had worked its way into him, and he dropped out of high school and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. In 1996 and 1997 he appeared in the TV series Flash Forward, and auditioned unsuccessfully for the lead in Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko. Over the next three years, Foster got small roles in two made-for-TV movies, as well as two episodes of the TV series Freaks and Geeks.
In 1999, Foster won his breakthrough role in Liberty Heights. Set in 1950s Baltimore, he starred as a Jewish high school student whose socially taboo relationship with a black classmate (Rebekah Johnson) brings intense pressure from family and friends. In 2001, he had a role in the film Get Over It, as well as a recurring role in the HBO series Six Feet Under. After appearing in the films 11:14 and The Punisher, Foster won a part in the movie Hostage alongside Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak and Michelle Horn. In 2006, he appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand as the comic-book hero Angel/Warren Worthington III. In the crime thriller Alpha Dog, he played the character Jake Mazursky and went so far as to add glaucoma drops to his eyes to simulate the appearance of a drug addict. He made a strong impression as the cold-blooded killer Charlie Prince in the modern Western 3:10 to Yuma, with Ed Harris and Russell Crowe. In 2013 he was set to replace Shia LaBeouf in the Broadway play Orphans as his first theatrical performance. The same year he played William Burroughs in 2013's Kill Your Darlings and also appeared in Ain't Them Bodies Saints and Lone Survivor. In 2014 it was announced that he would star opposite Gillian Anderson and Vanessa Kirby in Benedict Andrews' revival of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic in London.
Ben Foster's notable movie credits include...
|1998||I've Been Waiting for You||Charlie|
|1998||Breakfast with Einstein||Ryan|
|1999||Liberty Heights||Ben Kurtzman|
|2001||Get Over It||Berke Landers|
|2002||The Laramie Project||Aaron Kreifels|
|2002||Big Trouble||Matt Arnold|
|2002||Bang Bang You're Dead||Trevor Adams|
|2002||Phone Booth||Big Q|
|2004||The Punisher||Spacker Dave|
|2004||The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things||Fleshy Boy|
|2005||Hostage||Marshall "Mars" Krupcheck|
|2006||Alpha Dog||Jake Mazursky|
|2006||X-Men: The Last Stand||Warren Worthington III / Angel|
|2007||3:10 to Yuma||Charlie Prince|
|2007||30 Days of Night||The Stranger|
|2008||Birds of America||Jay|
|2009||The Messenger||Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery|
|2011||The Mechanic||Steve McKenna|
|2013||North of South, West of East||Cass|
|2013||Kill Your Darlings||William Burroughs|
|2013||Ain't Them Bodies Saints||Patrick Wheeler|
|2013||Lone Survivor||Matthew "Axe" Axelson|
|2015||The Program||Lance Armstrong|
|2016||The Finest Hours||Seaman Richard Livesey|
Ben Foster's television credits include...
|Flash Forward||Tucker "Tuck" James|
|Freaks and Geeks||Eli|
|2000||Family Law||Jason Nelson|
|Boston Public||Max Warner|
|Six Feet Under||Russell Corwin|
|2005||The Dead Zone||Darren Foldes|
|2007||My Name Is Earl||Glenn|
|2012||Robot Chicken||Orville Redenbacher / Time traveller|
“I'm so sick of sarcasm and irony, I could kill! Sincerely, the real root of things is love and sacrifice. Everything else is an illusion. I'm not trying to preach here. I can't tell anybody anything. But I will say, if you're available to them, there are so many great secrets in the world, so many signs. It's when we stop for a moment and listening that the world gets interesting.”
“When X-men came around, it was a vacation. Like living in a theme park for six months. I got to fly around and kick bad guys' asses.”
“The heat around young actors burns out. Natural ability and magnetism only get you so far. The rest is hard work.”
“[on his Jewish upbringing, in Iowa] There was a Catholic church that got renovated, and they put a Jewish star on it and called it Beth Sholom. That was our temple... [while I'm not] that religious, Judaism has put a great deal of spirituality in my life which I value deeply.”
“[on director Nick Cassavetes] Nick is magic. He doesn't tell you what he wants, he allows. And as long as you're taking chances and he feels that you are being truthful to yourself, then you can do no wrong.”
“(On creating his characters) "Every role, every gig, you have to find a quality and you have to love the person. Not just like him, but love the person so you can care about what they care about."”
“[when asked for acting advice] [...] be bad. Give yourself permission to be terrible and celebrate that 'cause it's really about moving through a room in the darkness, and you're bumping into furniture.”
Did You Know
At age 12, he won second place in an international competition for a play that he wrote and directed.
Casting director Cecily Adams saw the homemade audition tape Foster had sent from his home in Iowa. She called his parents and told them that, while she could make no guarantees, they should put him on a plane to Los Angeles, immediately. They did so and he landed the lead role in the pilot she was casting, Flash Forward (1996).
Has been practicing Transcendental Meditation since he was four years old.
Risked his sight while filming Alpha Dog (2006) by adding glaucoma drops to his eyes for much of the shoot to dilate his pupils, making him appear to be high. He'd hide in the bushes at night and cover his eyes between takes to keep the lights from shining into them and also had to talk to director Nick Cassavetes with his eyes closed.