Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Ben Foster: He Was Willing To Risk Blindness For A Role

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Ben Foster is a talented American actor. Coming to terms with his enthusiasm for acting, Ben rose to fame in his teens through stage performances. In 1996 he landed his first on-screen role in the Flash Forward series. In the last 2 decades, Ben achieved great recognition for the movie Hell or High Water, where he played the character of Tanner. His flawless portrayal of this character earned him an Independent Spirit Award, as well as an Award from the DC Area Film Association Washington. Clearly, the man is talented, and we’ve discussed some of the extreme preparations he did as an actor. 

His method of acting and his desire to get directly into the shoes of the characters have helped him deliver some memorable performances, so let’s get started! 

Ben Foster: 11 Biography Facts About The Actor That Will Surprise You! 

1. Quick Facts:

Birth name: Benjamin A. Foster

Home: New York 

Religion: Judaism 

Birth date: 29 of October of 1980

Sun sign: Scorpion

Place of birth: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Nationality: American 

Manager: Ben Foster is represented by the Beverly Hills-based United Talent Agency

Height: 5 ft 9 in or 175 cm

Weight: 70 kg or 154 pounds

Hair color: Blonde (Natural)

Eye color: Blue

Sexual orientation: Straight

Spouse: Laura Prepon ( matr.  2018)

Sons: 2

Occupation: Actor and Producer

Years active: 1995-present

Awards: SAG Awards, Best Cast in a Television Series (Drama), 2002 Six Feet Under, Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor, 2016 Hell or High Water.

Best known for:

  • Being cast in the role of Charlie Prince in the popular western movie 3:10 to Yuma, which had Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the lead roles.
  • Having played one of the leading roles in the crime thriller, Against the Wind and Tide
  • Being cast in major roles in popular movies like The Punisher, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Mechanic, and Kill Your Loved Ones.

First movie:

He made his film debut as Travis in the crime thriller Kounterfeit in 1996.

First television show:

In 1996, Ben Foster made his first appearance on a television show as Tucker James on the Disney Channel series, Flash Forward 

Favorite things:

  • Bands – Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Radiohead
  • Actress – Gena Rowlands
  • Actor – Gary Oldman, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Movies – Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Love the Bomb (1964), Husbands (1970), The Idiot (1979), All That Jazz (1979), The Iron Giant (1999)

2. Family and Childhood: 

  • Father – Steven Foster (restaurant owner)
  • Mother – Gillian Kirwan (owner of the restaurant)
  • Brothers – Jon Foster (younger brother) (actor and musician)
  • Others – Abraham Frank Foster (paternal grandfather), Celia Segal (paternal grandmother), Paul F. Jackson (maternal grandfather), Sophie Louise Jones (maternal grandmother)

Ben Foster is a Jewish actor, son of Stephen Foster, who owns a restaurant, and has a younger brother, Jon Foster, who is also an actor. His paternal grandmother emigrated from Russia to escape the pogroms. Parents of Foster, whom he describes as “hippies free spirit and opponents of the Vietnam War ” moved to the small town of Fairfield, Iowa, when Ben was four years old, after his house in Boston was burglarized while the family was present.

3. Education:

At the age of 14, Ben attended Interlochen’s Summer Theater Arts Program in Interlochen, Michigan.

Ben Foster dropped out of high school at the age of 16 when he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. 

4. Ben Foster’s Ethnicity Is Mixed:

He has Ashkenazi descent from his father. While on her mother’s side, she is of French, English, Irish, Scottish and distant Welsh descent. As he was raised in a Jewish home, he even had a Bar Mitzvah. However, his religious views as an adult are not known.

5. Early Acting Career At Age 12: 

At age 12, Ben managed to secure second place in an international competition for the play he had written and directed. The talented youngling managed to impress a casting director named Cecily Adams with the home audition tape he had recorded at his Iowa home. Adams contacted his parents and told them that although she could not offer any guarantees, he certainly had talent and they should send it to Los Angeles.

His parents followed Adams’s advice and put him on a plane to Los Angeles. He eventually managed to land a role on the television series, Flash Forward. Cecily Adams was the casting director for the show.

6. Ben Foster Girlfriend / Spouse:

  1. Kirsten Dunst (2000-2001) – Foster began dating actress Kirsten Dunst in 2000. They had met on the sets of the teen comedy film Get Over It. Based on their performance, they even shared a Teen Choice Award nomination for Chemistry of Choice. However, when the movie was released, they had ended their relationship.
  1. Ellen Page (2006-2007) – In 2006, Foster reportedly began dating actress Ellen Page. They had worked together on the film X-Men: The Last Stand and had reportedly grown closer while working on the film.
  1. Zoë Kravitz (2007-2008) – Ben Foster reportedly hooked up with actress and singer Zoë Kravitz in the late summer of 2007. They dated for less than a year and split during the summer of the following year.
  1. Antje Traue – Antje Traue is a German actress who revealed in an interview that he had dated her. Pandorum co-star, Ben Foster until they decided to end the relationship in 2010.
  1. Jenna Danneberger (2011) – Model Jenna Danneberger and Foster were spotted together on the red carpet at a couple of official events such as the BlackBerry Inside Film Lounge at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2011.
  1. Robin Wright (2011-2015) – He began dating actress Robin Wright towards the end of 2011. Their relationship became public in the first months of 2012. They got engaged approximately 2 years later. But in November 2014, they decided to cancel their engagement. They managed to get back together early the following year. They even got engaged a second time. But again, it didn’t work out for them and they decided to end their relationship for good in August 2015.
  1. Karen Elson (2016) – In the early months of 2016, Foster had a brief affair with British model and singer Karen Elson.
  1. Laura Prepon (2016-present) – Ben Foster officially began dating actress Laura Prepon in June 2016 and in the same year around the month October, they announced their engagement. One year later in January 2017, the Hollywood stars revealed that Laura was expecting her first child with Ben. and finally in August 2017. Prepon gave birth to their daughter, Ella. They married in June 2018 in a simple and low-key wedding ceremony.

7. Extreme Career Preparations:

Benjamin “Ben” Foster is an American actor, winner of the Daytime Emmy Awards and the Screen Actors Guild. He is known for his roles in teen films such as Liberty Heights and Get Over It, as well as action films such as Hostage (2005), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Alpha Dog (2007), 3: 10 to Yuma (2007), Pandorum (2009), Lance Armstrong’s biopic The Program (2015) and Hell or High Water (2016).  

  • To prepare for the role of disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong in the biographical drama, The Program, Ben followed a special training regimen. It started with weightlifting sessions at the gym, followed by focused cycling routines.
  • He even worked with Armstrong’s former mechanic and nutritionist to achieve a perfect physique for the role. Foster was so obsessed with landing the right role that he even took performance-enhancing drugs like Armstrong.
  • He was immense in his portrayal of Lance Armstrong on The Show. And his preparation for the role, which even involved copying Armstrong’s sitting style and cycling style, was a testament to the efforts he put into preparing for his roles.
  • He has a predilection for western movies and his performances at 3:10 to Yuma and Against the Wind and Tide are among his best performances, in fact for his role in 3:10 to Yuma, Foster received special training from renowned Hollywood weapons trainer Thell Reed.
  • While filming the movie Alpha Dog, he used to add glaucoma drops to his eyes to dilate his pupils, which would make him appear tall. Between takes, he used to cover his eyes from the lights and used to talk to the director with his eyes closed. By using glaucoma drops, he also ran the risk of long-term vision loss.

No wonder why Entertainment Weekly ranked him 16th for their 30 under 30 actors list in 2008! 

8. Ben Foster’s Other Interests:

He relies on Transcendental Meditation to clear his mind of the mental clutter caused by his need to fully immerse himself in his various characters.

9. Acting Career Starting At 16: 

At sixteen, Foster dropped out of school and moved to Los Angeles. 

In 1996-97, he appeared on the television series One More Year and, for the next three years, had small roles in made-for-television movies and in two episodes of the Freaks and Geeks series. 

In 2001, he acted in Get Over It. Foster also had a recurring role (22 episodes) on the HBO series Six Feet Under, for which he received an Actors Guild Award for Best Cast in a Drama Series.

After filming 11:14 and The Punisher, he appeared on Hostage alongside Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak, and Michelle Horn. In 2006, Foster starred in X-Men: The Last Stand, playing the comic book hero Angel / Warren Worthington III. One of his most notorious roles was in the thriller Alpha Dog, where he played a drug addict named Jake Mazursky. Foster used mydriatics in his eyes during filming to show off drug abuse. 

In 2007, he played the killer Charlie Prince on the western 3:10 to Yuma, earning him a Screen Actors Guild nomination and another for the Saturn Awards. In 2015 he starred in the biopic The Program, playing the cyclist Lance Armstrong.

He appeared in the 2016 movie Warcraft: Inception, based on the popular video game Warcraft. Also in that year, he played the role of Bertrand Zobrist in the feature film based on the novel Inferno by writer Dan Brown, directed by Ron Howard.

10. Foster’s Marriage to Laura Prepon:

Ben got engaged to actress Laura Prepon in July 2016 and almost 6 months later in January 2017, they announced that they were expecting their first child, Ella (daughter), who was born in August 2017. They married in June 2018 and reside in New York. In October 2019, they announced on social media that they were expecting their second child. His son was born last year in February 2020. 

Prior to June 3, 2018, when he married actress Laura Prepon, he was engaged to Robin Wright for 3 years.

11. Religion

Ben has a connection to Judaism through his grandparents. Just when he was a teenager, Ben had a Bar Mitzvah (a ceremony marking Jewish coming of age). His religion is unknown but we know he believes in Transcendental Meditation and practices it regularly.

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