Benjamin McKenzie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the American actor. For the Australian Idol contestant, see Ben McKenzie (Australian Idol).
Benjamin McKenzie
Benjamin McKenzie at the Paley Center for Media, New York City, New York - 20110531-02.jpg
McKenzie at the Paley Center for Media in New York, May 31, 2011
Born Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan
(1978-09-12) September 12, 1978 (age 35)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Other names Ben McKenzie
Education University of Virginia, B.A., Economics and Foreign Relations, 2001
Occupation Actor, producer
Years active 2000–present

Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan (born September 12, 1978), known professionally as Benjamin McKenzie or Ben McKenzie, is an American actor and producer. He is known for playing Ryan Atwood in the television series The O.C. and for playing Ben Sherman in Southland. He appeared in the films Junebug[1] and 88 Minutes which earned him a Sarasota Film Festival nomination. His first starring role in a feature film was in the 2008 indie release Johnny Got His Gun[2] which garnered excellent reviews for his solo performance. He is currently set to play James Gordon in television series Gotham.

Early life[edit]

McKenzie was born Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan, in Austin, Texas, to Mary Frances (Victory), a prize-winning poet, and Pieter Meade Schenkkan. He is a nephew of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, and a second cousin of actress Sarah Drew.[3] His younger brother Nate is a Yale graduate working in avant-garde theater in New York. His youngest brother Zack is the current Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Law Review. He changed his name for screen-credit purposes because there is an actor named Ben Schenkken registered with the Screen Actors Guild.

For middle school, he attended St. Andrew's Episcopal School, where he was friends and teammates with future Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees.[4] He then attended Austin High School, and played wide receiver and defensive back for the school's football team. From 1997-2001, he attended the University of Virginia, where he majored in Foreign Affairs and Economics.

Career[edit]

On August 5, 2003, Fox premiered the television series The O.C., about affluent teenagers with stormy personal lives who reside in scenic Orange County, California. The show became an overnight success and it put McKenzie on the map as Ryan Atwood. McKenzie's performance in The O.C. earned him a "Choice Breakout TV Star - Male" and "Choice TV Chemistry" nominations in The Teen Choice Awards and a "Choice TV Actor - Drama/Action Adventure" and "Choice TV Actor: Drama" wins. McKenzie reportedly earned about $15,000 and $25,000 per episode throughout the show's run.

As a result of the show's success, McKenzie appeared in magazines including People, In Touch Weekly and Us Weekly. McKenzie was ranked No. 5 in Independent Online's "100 Sexiest Men Alive", was twice placed on Teen People magazine's annual list of "25 Sexiest Stars under 25". He was also voted one of InStyle's "10 Hottest Bachelors Of Summer" in July 2005. The O.C. dropped in ratings dramatically during its third and fourth seasons, and ended in early 2007.[5]

While appearing in The O.C., McKenzie made his feature film debut in Junebug alongside Amy Adams and Embeth Davidtz. The film was nominated for "Best International Film" and "Outstanding Ensemble Acting" in the Amanda Awards and won the Sarasota Film Festival award for "Outstanding Ensemble Acting". It also received high praise at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.[6] According to Production Weekly, McKenzie was set to star in the thriller Snakes On A Plane, formerly known as Pacific Air 121, but later dropped out to film 88 Minutes, which starred Al Pacino.[7]

In 2008, McKenzie earned critical acclaim for his solo performance in the "live on stage, on film" version of Dalton Trumbo's 1939 novel Johnny Got His Gun, his first starring role in a feature film. He stars as Joe Bonham, a role previously played by James Cagney, Jeff Daniels, and Timothy Bottoms.[8] The movie premiered at the Paramount Theater in Austin, TX, McKenzie's hometown, while he was filming the pilot for Southland.

In 2009, he appeared on the short movie, The Eight Percent. The movie won the Delta Air Lines Fly-in Movie Contest and entered as an official selection on the Tribeca Film Festival's Short film category.

He stars as rookie police officer Ben Sherman on the NBC drama Southland, which premiered on April 9, 2009. The show was canceled while in production on its second season.TNT bought the rights for the show and showed the 7 episodes that had been produced. The show was subsequently renewed. However, the show was once again cancelled after the fifth season. McKenzie is cast to portray James Gordon as a young rookie cop in the Batman prequel Gotham.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Ben has remained a friend of fellow actors, and one time O.C. co-stars, Adam Brody and Paul Wesley. Ben adopted a rescue dog found by a friend in 2007, a brown and white pit bull named Oscar, after a character in The Odd Couple. McKenzie has dated various unidentified women, keeping very low-profile relationships.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Junebug Johnny Johnsten Amanda Award for Outstanding Performance In Feature Film
2007 88 Minutes Mike Stempt Sarasota Film Festival Award for Outstanding Ensemble Acting
2008 Johnny Got His Gun Joe Bonham
2008 Every Monday Matters Himself Documentary film
2009 The Eight Percent John Keller Short film
2011 The Blisters: How Three Became Four Dave Also producer
2011 Batman: Year One Bruce Wayne / Batman DC Original Animated Movie (voice only)
2011 Sin Bin Michael
2012 Goodbye World Nick
2012 Decoding Annie Parker Tom
2013 The Advocates Henry Bird TV film, filming
2014 How to Make Love Like an Englishman Filming
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2002 The District Tim Ruskin Episode 3.05: "Faith"
2003 JAG Petty Officer Spencer Episode 8.17: "Empty Quiver"
2003–2007 The O.C. Ryan Atwood Lead Role
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout TV Star Male (2004)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Drama/Action/Adventure (2004)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Drama (2005)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Chemistry (2005; shared with Mischa Barton)
2004 MADtv Ryan Atwood 1 episode
2004 Punk'd Himself 1 episode
2009–2013 Southland Ben Sherman Main Cast
2011 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Odnarb Episode 1.15: "The Wild Brood" (voice only)
2013 Men at Work Bryan Episode 2.06: "Tyler the Pioneer"
2014 Gotham James Gordon Main Cast

Awards[edit]

Year Award Group Result Film/TV show
2004 Teen Choice Award Choice TV Chemistry Nominated The O.C.
Choice Breakout TV Star - Male Nominated
Choice TV Show: Drama/Action/Adventure Won
Choice TV Actor: Drama Nominated
Choice Breakout TV Show Won
TCA Awards Outstanding New Program Nominated
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Drama/Action/Adventure Won
Choice Breakout TV Star - Male Nominated
Choice TV Chemistry (with Mischa Barton) Nominated
Logie Awards Most Popular Overseas Program Won
BMI Awards Outstanding Performance in TV series Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show: Drama Nominated
CMI Cable Awards Breakthrough performance in TV series Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Television Drama Nominated
2006 Sarasota Film Festival Outstanding Ensemble Acting Won 88 Minutes
Teen Choice Awards TV - Choice Drama/Action/Adventure Show Nominated The O.C.
2007 Amanda (award) Outstanding Performance in Feature Film Won Junebug
Prism Awards Performance in a Drama Series Episode Nominated The O.C.
BRAVO Gold Otto (Germany) Best Male Actor Won

Further reading[edit]

  • Romano, Mary (2005). Benjamin McKenzie: Rising Star. Triumph. ISBN 1-57343-689-2 Check |isbn= value (help). 

References[edit]

External links[edit]