Hey TWIST readers,
We recently chatted with Ken Baumann, who plays Ben Boykewich on The Secret Life of the American Teenager! Ken was super friendly (not to mention cute!) and spilled to us about working with the Secret Life cast, what's in store for his character Ben this season (get ready for some drama!), and his new novel - coming out next spring! Too cool! Check out Ken's shoutout to TWIST readers below, and click "Read More" for our exclusive interview with Ken! Also, don't forget to tune into Secret Life - the new season premieres Monday, March 26 at 8/7c on ABC Family!
TWIST: So, can you tell us what's in store for your character Ben on the second half of this season of Secret Life? KB: Sure. This upcoming season Ben is getting to know a new girl in this sort of girlfriend capacity - and [he is getting to know] her friends too - and they may not be very good influences on Ben. He may get into some trouble because of them - not necessarily because of them but with them. So, it's tricky - he's in a new, tricky place. TWIST: Wow! Do you have a favorite behind the scenes memory from the set of Secret Life? KB: [Picking a] favorite's hard because it's just a good time; we have a great time. It's very social, everybody gets along great, and for the most part, everybody acts like an idiot, you know, when they're not filming and just constantly making jokes and trying to make each other laugh and it's just good - we're all friends. So I'd say that I like the big days and the big episodes when everybody's there at once, for a scene - for whatever scene. The most recent scene I can think of is the graduation, and that was amazing because everyone was on set at the same time and that was really cool. So those are my favorite - the days when everybody's together - the original group.
TWIST: That is really cool! Can you tell us what it's like working with the cast? You guys have been together for so long, do you have anyone that you've gotten particularly close to? KB: I'd say we're all pretty close. I know Francia [Raisa] and Allen Evangelista are like best friends, but I'm really close with probably the boys more so than the girls - although, sorta everybody. You know, I was at Allen Evangelista's baby shower, and I went to the premiere of The Descendants for Shai [Woodley], and... [I'm] just close to everybody! I went to Mexico with Greg [Finley] and Daren [Kagasoff] and Francia a little while ago, and everybody's pretty tight! Yeah, everybody's pretty close. And on set, as far as just having a good time, like I said, we're all friends and just easy to hang out with, you know? Or at least with each other, we are. I don't know, maybe other people will think differently. But yeah! It's all good. It's all very casual.
TWIST: Oh, good! So, your first novel is coming out this year, which is pretty awesome because you're only 22! Can you tell us what it's about? KB: Of course, of course! It was gonna come out this year, it got pushed to next spring because the publisher got a better distributor which is great. It's called Solip, and it's a weird book. Very, very weird! I would say that primarily it's about a narrator. His voice is sort of odd and peculiar and eventually we find out it's because he's sort of signed away his soul. And he's gone and been contained in this one room for, nobody knows how long - it almost may be longer than physically possible. So basically it's about what this guy's thought process would look like, if he could still communicate. It's weird. It's very, very weird. I even have trouble describing it because it's sort of more about a voice than a particular plot. But I enjoy it! It's certainly odd and it's unique I think. I don't think I've read anything like it.
TWIST: Yeah, I would probably say that's pretty unique! KB: Yeah! It's a weird one! I know. I'll be curious to see reactions. But, it's weird in the same way that some certain books felt weird to me when I was younger and it made me really fall in love with literature. So, if I could write something that made one person sort of go, 'Oh wow. This, this speaks to me and it speaks to me in a way that sort of not a lot of mass-produced stuff does.' If I could do that for one person, that would be great - it would be like, mission accomplished.
TWIST: So, do you have any advice for our readers about how to succeed and achieve their goals? KB: Sure! You know, it's tried and true, and of course, everybody hears it - but work hard! Work really hard. And just trust your instincts. If your instincts drive you to do something, don't question it. You know, if you're in school and you want to sing and dance, sing and dance! Don't let anybody tell you, 'No, you're not. Your career isn't gonna be...' Don't listen to that! Just do what you want! Or, if you're in a school for performing arts and you just want to be an engineer, or you love math - just do what you love! Don't do what somebody guides you to do. Just trust your gut, do what you love, and you know, if you love it, if you're getting told 'no', it probably doesn't matter that much. You'll probably want to keep doing it. So just keep doing it!
TWIST: Okay, great! Lastly, do you want to tell us about any upcoming projects you're doing? KB: Yeah, [my new movie] The Cottage is coming out, which is exciting! I don't know how or where that will end up, but it's in post-production now. I know the director a little bit now, we're friends, and he's a great guy. And I've got hopes for the movie! I think it will be a pretty cool little thriller, you know, especially since we had like no money to make it, so it was a cool thing. But back to Secret Life! And I always have my writing and the publishing! I have the next book I'm going to publish, I'm working on that now: editing it and designing the cover and all that. That's exciting; that's always fun for me. [I'm] always writing, always trying to make stuff happen. I wish I had something big for ya, but maybe next time! TWIST: That's great! Thank you very much! KB: Of course! Thank you! My pleasure.