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Ben On Rubbish TV and American Accents

WWD recently spoke with Ben about ‘Westworld’, how he ended up playing so many American roles, acting in jeans and T-shirts, and his favorite bad TV to binge-watch. You can read the interview below and view the accompanying photoshoot in our gallery.

On getting cast as Logan, another American character for the British actor:

Ben Barnes: I found myself playing more and more Americans — I don’t think I’ve played a Brit in years, I’ve kind of been just playing Americans. I’ve always loved doing accents and things. My first film ever was playing a Russian and I haven’t really looked back.

In terms of accents — I’ve only played a Brit about four or five times ever in my life which is slightly odd because I haven’t sort of been gunning for that if you [will]. I thought I’d be in the sort of Hugh Grant casting bracket, but it seems to have taken a bit of a turn.

On first receiving the “Westworld” script:

B.B.: You spend so much of your time reading scripts and trying to decipher what you think would be a story worth telling, and obviously when you start out you don’t really have a choice, you just have to say yes to everything and it’s always complete crap. But as you progress, more choices will make themselves available to you and then eventually you end up in the position where when a script comes across your kitchen table and you can recognize it as something magical.

On his first reaction to the plot:

B.B.: At the time when they were casting the pilot episode, nobody knew anything about it at all and there was sort of rumblings about “maybe it’s set in the future, and maybe there’re cowboys and maybe you’re robot,” and it absolutely just sounded mad. It was something that I thought, “Oh, that’s a cool new show on HBO, I’m definitely going to watch every episode the day it comes out.”

On signing up for a TV show versus a film:

B.B.: I’m the opposite of those people who are like, “I don’t have a television.” I’m the person who is very happy to say I have binged five episodes of something and call that an evening and not feel shameful about it.

On the intimidation of doing TV:

B.B.: I haven’t ever done any television before I always knew what the beginning, middle and end of the story was and what the full character was before. So this is a bit unnerving, feeling like I knew where the character began but nothing else. It was kind of exciting because it felt like you were watching the sort of big [thing] — you know, I’ve never read something with more incredible plots and twists and turns and surprises in my life, and we would wait for these scripts to come out on our biweekly or monthly basis, and then you sit and read them and you’ll start buzzing with texts like, “Oh my god did you read that!”

On the genre of futurism and Westerns:

B.B.: I’ve done a lot of fantasy and period stuff in my life, so the notion to me working in jeans and a T-shirt is fascinating. I’ve never been involved in something so layered, so convincingly thought out.

On his favorite bad TV:

B.B.: I have no problem watching bad TV, as long as it has it’s tongue slightly in cheek in terms of making something that’s supposed to be fun. When something that’s crappy pretends to be high brow, it upsets me. I like — it’s not really rubbish — but I like to watch things where you don’t have to engage your brain, like “The Great British Bake Off” or reality, anything with a competitive edge.

It’s crazy to me how television and society have trained our brains to invest — you can watch something you don’t watch on a regular basis, like one of the singing competitions, you can watch it for 10 minutes and immediately be engaged with someone you’ve never met from Iowa who’s trying to get over an obstacle course or map their way through a Lauryn Hill song, and you’re on their side immediately. And I sit there having an existential crisis about a society that’s made me invest in this person that I don’t know — I’m sure other people don’t watch it in the same way.

Source

Comments

F2write said:

Incredible to see Ben in WWD! What a surprise!

Already tweeted at WWD, though. Media still posting photos of Rodrigo Santoro thinking it’s Ben. Easy to see the mix-up, but not as excusable after the premiere ep. has aired. Where are the fact checkers?

October 3rd, 2016

Carol said:

Wow! It’s been a long time since Ben gave an interview about something. So it’s great to see him in this interview about Westworld!
I like his clothing in WW. Clothes for a perfect gentleman! Who’s agree with me? ;)

October 3rd, 2016

Dianna said:

Thanks Stephanie for yet another splendit post. We’re spoiled.
The pictures are awesome.
And I liked the interview.
Watched Ww today, twice and I must say I’m very much impressed. Can’t wait for next week when Ben makes his entrance and show us his unlimited desires lolol

October 3rd, 2016

Dianna said:

Hey Carol, I certainly do agree with you.
Too bad he doesn’t use his beautiful British accent more often in movies/series.

October 3rd, 2016

LaRose said:

Good interview. I do wish Ben would do more films using his own accent. His lovely accent is part of his appeal. Great new pics too. I love Ben in the western outfit.

October 3rd, 2016

CindyDakin said:

LaRose I agree with you. Would love to see him in british projects again. So in love with his british accent! :)

October 3rd, 2016

Luiza said:

Hi Ben:)
Although you’re very intersting man this interview was boring :(
Sorry, Ben but that’s true. You didin’t tell anything special.
However, I still keep my fingers crossed for you!:) and I’m still madly in love with you :) Your Luiza

October 3rd, 2016

cheryl said:

I’m worried that Westworld viewers are going to get Ben and Rodrigo mixed up, if even magazine editors are doing it.

After all, there are still people watching Game of Thrones who think that Danaerys’ name is “Khaleesi.” LOL

October 3rd, 2016

CindyDakin said:

Luiza the interview was boring??
I have never read a boring interview with him!

October 3rd, 2016

Marie said:

Boring? Don’t think so… Love learning new little things about him and it’s so funny how he turns into a philosopher about everything (‘And I sit there having an existential crisis about a society that’s made me invest in this person that I don’t know ‘). *lmao*

And these new photos… <3 Just when you think he can't look any better… Yes he CAN! *lol*

October 3rd, 2016

Julie said:

I’m worried that viewers will mix the two as well. But Rodrigo does have a scar and an accent so I hope that will be enough.

October 4th, 2016

Marie said:

The outtakes are absolutely mesmerizing… *_______*
The sun is shining so bright on my computer screen, thank you Stephanie! *hugs*

October 4th, 2016

CindyDakin said:

Another great photohoot with Ben! Can’t get enough of him!

October 4th, 2016

LaurenBrych said:

What a lovely interview. <3 I think it's great that Ben is stepping into a variety of different genres. I love that he's up for trying all sorts of different accents, but I do miss his normal accent quite a bit. But all the same, WestWorld has been phenomenal so far. I can't wait for when Ben makes his appearance!

October 4th, 2016

Carol said:

This latest photoshoot of Ben has got to be one of his hottest one so far and that’s no lie! <3

October 4th, 2016

LaRose said:

These latest pictures!! OMG!!

October 4th, 2016

Elizabeth Anne said:

Ben looks so incredibly handsome in all these pictures! I especially love his smile! Thanks so much for posting these Stephanie. I have binged watched tv shows on hulu, so I can certainly identify with him there.?

October 4th, 2016

Elizabeth Anne said:

Oh and those muscles! I’ve noticed that too and he looks so hot!??

October 4th, 2016