Benjamin McKenzie: An 88 Minutes Interview

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No, former star of The OC Benjamin McKenzie did not speak with Movies Online for the random duration of one hour and twenty-eight minutes.

But the actor that portrayed Ryan Atwood in the former FOX series does star in the latest Al Pacino vehicle, 88 Minutes (as Mike Stemp, an angry college student who Pacino's character suspects may be involved with the killings).

Here are a few highlights from an interview McKenzie:

MoviesOnline: Matthew Fox has said that after Party of Five he had to spend a lot of time out of the spotlight so that people would forget about his character. What do you make of that reasoning? And do you feel similarly?
Benjamin McKenzie: I think there is a lot of truth to that. Television is a very powerful medium, which permeates the pop culture zeitgeist. As a result people associate you with that character. In choosing projects since The OC, I've made an effort to choose things that are quite different, rather than teen film versions of the show. Junebug and 88 Minutes are examples of that.

I have and continue to try to do things outside of the norm, but you only have so much power in these choices. A lot of it has to do with how people view you. As far as spending time out of the spotlight, maybe I'll hole up in a cabin somewhere for a few years and practice horseback riding (chuckles).

Jack Gramm, Mike Stemp

MoviesOnline: What attracted you to this role?
Benjamin McKenzie: My agent called me and said that I had a role in a new Al Pacino movie and would get to have scenes with him. It was that simple. Anytime you have a chance to work with a screen legend like that, you have to jump at the chance. Now I can say that I have worked with Al, and I take some pleasure in that.

I'd met (director) Jon Avnet socially a year prior, so we knew each other a bit, which helped as well. The main question was whether or not it would fit my schedule, as it was filming concurrent to The OC. Thankfully it did, and I was able to do this film.

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