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Benjamin McKenzie: If James Dean had worked for Fox


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#1

Zbyszko

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 11:47 AM

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal yesterday had an article in their Cue section on what is in for 2004 - including this bit on Ben McKenzie -

....is drop-dead sexy when he's angst-ridden...



#2

ctoan

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 11:50 AM

I would argue that he is drop-dead sexy even when he's not angst-ridden, but maybe that's just me.

#3

Peachy Keen

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 4:17 PM

Ctoan, he's really only sexy two times.

Daytime. And Nighttime.

#4

crimsonclad

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 8:07 PM

What about dawn and dusk?

#5

Cradle Robber

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 8:12 PM

Sorry: 24/7/365 (or 366 for this and other Leap Years).

#6

Peachy Keen

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 8:37 PM

Dawn and Dusk are merely extensions of the moments I mentioned earlier.

MMMMmmmm...McKenzie at dawn....or dusk....sigh

#7

Bosco

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 9:31 PM

seeing as my name is Dawn, it would be more like "on Dawn"

#8

kth201

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Posted Jan 9, 2004 @ 4:00 PM

Hello everyone!
This is the first time I've posted in this thread, but I have a "proud to love the O.C." moment re: Ben McKenzie...

I just got a new roommate and it turns out she went to UVA with him. They were in a couple of plays together, went to a couple of cast parties, and she drunkely insulted his height. I convinced her to watch the show for the first time this past wednesday. Her reaction? "He's really good! This show is a lot better than I expected!"

Ah, the joy of passing the O.C. on!

Edited by kth201, Jan 10, 2004 @ 8:05 PM.


#9

Joanna

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Posted Jan 9, 2004 @ 4:44 PM

Please remember that TWoP does NOT stand for Television Without Punctuation. Check out the FAQ!

#10

Kareny

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Posted Jan 9, 2004 @ 7:24 PM

So this morning I was having breakfast with my company mentor, one of the department heads of the theater company I work for.

I'm all trying to be sophisticated and mature, look like the poised, intelligent intern that I am, with insightful commentary, and we're talking about playwriting versus screenwriting.

He starts talking about the legal dispute over Lord of the Rings and writing credits, and tells me about a guy he knows who he thinks is involved in the whole thing.

He's halfway through the story before he tells me that he's talking about Robert Schenkkan! As in, Ben McKenzie (Schenkkan)'s uncle Robert Schenkkan! (Him: "He wrote 'The Kentucky Cycle'". Me: "Oh, right, right." Because I actually did know that. Me: "And he won the Pulitzer, didn't he?")

Apparently Schenkkan is somehow involved in the Writer's Guild disputes in LOTR? Go figure. I hadn't heard that anywhere else. I googled it and I think he might have been confused and it was The Last Samurai instead.

Being the poised, intelligent intern that I am, I did not start screeching, "Oh my god! You know Ben McKenzie's uncle!"

(I merely kept it to myself. But it was difficult. Heh.)

This is like connection number sixteen that I have to Ben. Oh, well.

Hey McKenzie, they're getting scary again!

#11

Cradle Robber

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Posted Jan 9, 2004 @ 8:19 PM

The Los Angeles Times on Sunday printed a long article about disputes over writing credits in general and on LOTR in particular. The SOBs at the Times will make you not only register but also pay for Calendar Section materials unless you're a print subscriber. Hence my quoting rather than linking:

Extensive documentation filed with Monday's complaint shows that Interscope paid Eddy as the original writer of a script called "Eastern Western." Eventually, according to the complaint and accompanying documents, Interscope hired a second writer, Garner Simmons, who rewrote the script, by then retitled "West of the Rising Sun." After that, the script fell to a third writer, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan.

In the mid-1990s, the complaint says, director Vincent Ward became involved with the project. Ward, according to the complaint, then gave a draft of the "Rising Sun" script to Zwick, who directed the Civil War drama "Glory." Zwick said that first version he read involved a Westerner leading a cattle drive across Japan, rather than the solider eventually played by Cruise.

Ultimately, Zwick joined Herskovitz and "Gladiator" writer John Logan in writing the "Last Samurai" script for Warner Bros. and what had by then become Radar. Warner submitted to the guild a tentative list of credits that failed to include Eddy's name (or, for that matter, Simmons' or Schenkkan's).

I'm so mad about the boy that I read about his relatives! Seriously, The Kentucky Cycle is amazing.

#12

Kareny

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Posted Jan 9, 2004 @ 11:41 PM

Yep, that's the same article I read.

I have got to read The Kentucky Cycle. Is it really about Kentucky? Is that a stupid question?

So I guess Schenkkan's writing for film and not stage these days? Yep, that pretty much goes along with the whole discussion that I had over breakfast this morning... darn it.

Still, he was smart enough to tell Ben that The OC was the role of his lifetime. Good uncle.

#13

SHHS Lancer

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 4:05 AM

So I guess Schenkkan's writing for film and not stage these days?

I think he has before. He wrote the screenplay for "The Quiet American," with Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser.

Being utterly ignorant of the theatre world... how would I get my hands on "The Kentucky Cycle" to read it? If I remember right from when it was here in LA, it's really, really long, as in 6-hours-needs-an-intermission long, which suggests that it probably won't be making a come-back any time soon. And, yes, I think it's really about Kentucky, or several generations of a family in Kentucky.

#14

Cradle Robber

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 11:50 AM

Your best bet is to find it used--used bookstore, Amazon or your local library.

#15

SHHS Lancer

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 12:09 PM

Thanks, Cradle Robber. I'll check it out.

#16

EyelinerCrush

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Posted Jan 21, 2004 @ 4:51 AM

So I can't sleep, and I decide to check the online version of our newspaper (because I hate inkstains). Anyway, to my surprise, Mr. McKenzie had quite the lengthy write-up about him in today's paper. I didn't like him that much before (frankly, it was all about Adam Brody), but after reading the article, I'm hopping on the Ben train!

He sounds like a very nice boy (yeah, I'm younger than he is and yet I sound like a grandmother), but more importantly, and more so than the Russell Crowe resemblance, I think he looks like my (former) favorite figure skater, Alexei Yagudin. It's gotta be those chubby cheeks.

#17

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Posted Jan 21, 2004 @ 11:22 AM

Thanks EyelinerCrush! It sounds like tonight's episode is going to be painful for Ryan fans, so it's nice to start out the day with an uplifting story. And I love the photos of Ben in that blue shirt!

#18

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Posted Jan 21, 2004 @ 2:55 PM

Thanks for the link, EyelinerCrush! That was a very well-done interview. Ben sounds really sweet. And if I didn't tihnk he was hot enough, now I have the image of him playing rugby in my head. Holy hotness, Batman! Oh, to live in my brain.

#19

gingerfirst

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Posted Jan 21, 2004 @ 7:31 PM

Now I want to know what conversation it was that turned up in the script. Anyone have any ideas?

I know I'm gonna get a smackdown on these boards for even mentioning this but I can't decide whether Ben McKenzie can act or not. I'm in Australia where evil channel nine has only shown three eps but from what I remember the guy only has one facial expression. Shifty eyes and sideways looks seem to be employed in place of actually emoting.

I do really like the show and Joanna's recaps have kept me enthralled but nobody else has really mentioned this criticism of BMcK and I thought here would be the place for it. Am I alone? Because everyone I've mentioned it to in RL has agreed with me and I thought perhaps there were some lurkers out there too scared to face the wrath of all you BMcK fans.

Edited by gingerfirst, Jan 21, 2004 @ 9:48 PM.


#20

jjfruits

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Posted Jan 21, 2004 @ 11:27 PM

Gingerfirst, I can see where you're coming from, having only watched 3 episodes. But if you ever see him in an interview, you can see how not him that whole silent, brooding thing is. I think that one of the marks of a really great actor is to become someone else so entirely that people dont see you anymore, they see the character. And from what I've seen, BMcK does that really well. That's just my opinion of course, I'm sure there's plenty of people out there who disagree, but I think Ben does an amazing job of portraying Ryan and his steadily growing catalogue of emotions. Tonight when he asked Sandy and Kirsten if they were going to kick him out, there were so many emotions present in just that one sentence, it broke my heart into tiny little pieces. There have been a few lines that have just killed me with how much is conveyed in his delivery that isn't written in black and white on the script, and this was one of them. Anyway, that's my take on the question.

#21

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Posted Jan 21, 2004 @ 11:32 PM

I have to chime in with jjfruits- this show revels in subtleties and complications of human emotions, and I really think BMck has done an amazing job bringing those out in Ryan. He's a guarded character who is forced to use his face as a mask- remember, there are no emotions other than torment in Chino.

But examine The Gamble more carefully, gingerfirst. When Dawn- oh, in the Poolhouse when he says she left a note, and then the wave when she leaves- too much. Look closer, truly- he does a lot with a little.

Edited by crimsonclad, Jan 21, 2004 @ 11:33 PM.


#22

Walter

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Posted Jan 21, 2004 @ 11:43 PM

First off, gingerfirst, just so you don't feel alone _ there are actually quite a few people at these forums who agree with you, and they do state their case from time to time.

That said, I am very much not one of them. I think he's an insanely good actor, and for all of the reasons that jjfruits and crimsonclad have already mentioned. I honestly don't get the complaints about his acting, but to each his (or her) own.

#23

Wolfie

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Posted Jan 22, 2004 @ 3:13 PM

Ironically enough, I was just coming here to heap tons of compliments on BMcK.

In the conversation with Oliver, you can *see* Ryan willing his fury to stay in control. Not only does a vein in his neck throb rather convincingly, but everything - the tense way he held himself, the jaw, his tight but angry "I'm not going to let this happen" - just screams that his emotions are right under the surface and it's taking everything he has to keep them in check. I think "holding back serious anger" is even harder to portray than serious anger itself, and it was an incredible job from the actor. Not to mention the broken, hysterical demand/plea to leave Marissa alone. BMcK just rocks every scene he's in six ways to Sunday, IMHO.

#24

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 1:11 AM

OK, this is my firt posting in the OC thread, and I must say that all this attention to Ben McK is overwhelming. I knew him back in high school, when he was still Ben Schenkan. And he wasnt even the cute one from school!!!! Actually, I just had him in a couple of classes, we werent friends becuase he hung out with the football jocks and preps, and I hung out with the theater people. He was pretty nice, and pretty quite, and yes, he had that cute stare.

Its so strange to now watch Access Hollywood, and ET and these forums and see him as a pin up hunk. Takes me back to the days of high school, which is not that long ago, he is Class of '97.

#25

gingerfirst

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 8:24 AM

The strange thing about it is that I have seen his interviews and he seems completely different in real life. Very engaging, intelligent and amusing, my only problem with him is that as Ryan I (very unfortunately) cannot interpret his "emotions" at all. From my admittedly vague recollection of the scene with Dawn, Ryan looked sleepy and confused but I couldn't see any hurt or disappointment in his expression which is what I would have expected from his character (at the very least).

I am currently trying to download (naughty I know) episodes because I hope to be proven wrong.

I must say that hasn't stopped me from becoming a teeny tiny bit obsessed with BMck - he's just so darn smart and that article in which he did the whole "five words to describe yourself" tipped me over the edge. If worst comes to worst I shall just have to read the recaps and settle for pictures on the web. God, how sad am I?

#26

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 8:42 AM

Very engaging, intelligent and amusing, my only problem with him is that as Ryan I (very unfortunately) cannot interpret his "emotions" at all.


This seems odd to me, because I can totally read him all the time (as can most of the Ryan threaders, if I may speak for them). I haven't done a study on it or anything, but I'd guess that Ryan (BMcK) probably has the least lines per screen time ratio of all the cast; he doesn't say much. But he conveys a LOT with just his face, IMHO. Angst!Ryan, Happy!Ryan, Brooding!Ryan, PinkPanther!Ryan, Chino!Ryan, Sexy!Ryan... you get the idea.

And Natalita, lucky much? You MUST share some anecdotes, gossip, casual observations, anything. Anything. You MUST! I'm afraid it's, uh, mandatory for posting at TWoP. Yeah... that's right, ah, mandatory. So spill!

#27

Natalita

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 10:55 AM

OK, so I really dont have much to spill. He was a pretty quiet guy and we hung in different crowds. What I can tell you though, is that I was in the Theater crowd, and he NEVER had anything to do with school plays. We had a bunch of talented people, and Austin is very film friendly, so it wouldn't have surprised me to see a classmate in TV that much. After the whole Bush Twins on TV thing (who also went to Austin High School) its not that crazy an idea.

I just had no idea Ben acted. He played football, and hung out with "in" crowd, as far as I know. He was nice enough, had the same haircut as he does now. He was not a troubled kid at all, pretty easygoing actually. And funny. His brother was the actor, I was in a silly Middle school play with his younger brother, and he was the actor one. I read he went on to study theater in Yale. But BEN???? I never saw that one coming. What I cant get over is that he was jsut a standard guy from school, nice but not anything to write home about. Cute, but not the school hunk. And now I see him on TV, and he is so believable as the brooding, deep Ryan Atwood, and he all of the sudden seems so hot now. What a missed opportunity. Let this be a lesson to you, the standard guys in high school go on to be famous.

#28

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 12:51 PM

Let this be a lesson to you, the standard guys in high school go on to be famous.

If you didn't already believe this, just wait until your 20th (or 30th or...) class reunion. You'll be amazed.

#29

cdnchatrbx

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 2:02 PM

I'm in Australia where evil channel nine has only shown three eps but from what I remember the guy only has one facial expression. Shifty eyes and sideways looks seem to be employed in place of actually emoting.


Not that Benjamin's acting needs defending, but... I'd like to add my two cents in for Gingerfirst.

Keep watching, trust me, your Ryan/Ben love will soon surface!

In upcoming episodes watch for his reactions to people. Those sideways glances are what people do when they don't trust other people's motives or kindness.

You'll see expressions of fear, longing, pent up anger - sometimes all in one look! I don't know many actors or actresses that can pull that off.

I didn't necessarily see the subtelties at first either because it was a new show and was watching for content but then I started to notice his ability to portray raw and honest emotions in just a look/glance.

That is the reason many of us are now obsessed with the show and Ben in particular. As you've noticed, the boards are filled with love for Ryan Angst/Happy/Chino - in all different flavours!

It is a testament to Ben's acting skills that we have vested many hours pouring over his character's background, who he is, where he's come from, his home...on and on it goes.

Of course, it goes without saying, pretty much everyone on the show is great. Josh Schwartz and company have put together a very talented group that work well together.

BTW, Ben said himself he's still pretty new at acting and is learning on the job.

I'll watch him learn!

#30

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 2:39 PM

I think Ben's acting is strong, but I think sometimes he tries to do too much with one look. Example: the scene where Luke threatens to beat up Oliver. He should have went with "well at least someone has my back." Instead he tried to something more complicated. And watching that scene, I said to myself, why is Ryan bringing HoYay!