About a Boy | Tuesdays 9:30/8:30c | NBC
14 year-old Benjamin Stockham plays Fiona’s (Minnie Driver) overzealous son Marcus on the NBC hit show About a Boy. Marcus and his mom move in next door to a happily single and social Will Freeman. Adventures ensue as a an unexpected friendship develops between Marcus and Will. The actors and the writing are superb and I like that a non-traditional family is at the core of the show. Does it takes a village to raise a child? Or perhaps in this case, does it take a child to raise a village? Marcus just seems to bring out the best in everyone.
I visited the set of About a Boy and chatted with the very down-to-earth Stockham. He is funny, confident and seems untouched by his celebrity status. He’s been seriously acting for 5 years and landed his first TV role at the age of 9. About a Boy has been an amazing experience for him, “this is probably the best set that I’ve ever been on everyone is so nice, it feels like I’m part of the family.”
1. Stockham gets to flex his acting guns as the show’s main character. Benjamin likes playing Marcus because he gets to play a wide-range of emotions. “He can be angry, he can be a little bit sad. I like doing a wide range of emotions,” he says.
2. So are there similarities between the actor and his character, we asked him. “Marcus really loves his mother, and I do too,” Benjamin shares. “I’m a little bit friendly, he’s a sweetheart and I would like to think that I am too.”
3. Stockham says being on set is almost like going to school. When other kids join the set for guests roles, it’s similar to having peers and classmates. He meets people when he auditions. Some of those people are turning into lifelong friends which is especially nice since Benjamin is an only child. “I like being center of attention and not sharing,” he jokes. But in all seriousness, he has friends who he can see frequently to fill that single child void–it’s not really a void.
4. So, why does he wear hats so often. “Well, if my hair is perfect, I go hatless. If it’s terrible, I put on that hat. Simple as that,” Stockham says with a laugh.
5. How was jumping off the high dive in Season one? He says the first couple of times were scary for him, but he had been standing on the diving board all day without getting to jump. He got used to it, and it was exhilarating when he finally did jump off.
6. What is it like working with Minnie? “She’s very motherly. It’s almost like having a second mother. She’s very nice and understanding when I mess everything up,” he says. “It’s like having a close friend, and I”m honored to be working with her.”
7. What would he do if he weren’t acting? He says he would want to be an animator. He spends some of his free time drawing and from what I’ve heard, he’s really good at it! He’s also interested in voice work. “We’ll see what the future holds if not animating or acting,” he adds. “But, I definitely would love to do this for all my life.”
8. How was the audition process for About a Boy? He says he had to sing in the audition and that really worried him. He sang a portion of a song and was cut off half way through it. Apparently in the audition he wasn’t supposed to sing all of it. Benjamin thought he had lost the the role but tells us, “it wasn’t because the audition was bad, the audition was just over.”
9. He says being recognized is exciting for him. “Are you on that show? Yes, I am! That’s fun, ” he shares. Attending parties and VIP screenings is also a great perk. Access to before everyone is just one more privilege he appreciates. Being a kid in Hollywood can be fun. “There are definitely hard parts,” but he repeats “I want to do this for the rest of my life so I have to get used to this.”