Exclusive Interview: Ken Baumann Discusses The Secret Life of the American Teenager
The new season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager premiered last week with a great continuation from where we left off last fall.
Ken Baumann plays our favorite nice guy, Ben Boykewich, soon to be father after impregnating Adrian, who he had revenge sex with. TV Fanatic sat down with Ken to discuss the upcoming season, Ben’s fatherhood predicament, and even a kiss and tell.
TVF: Ben has gotten around. Who is the best kisser out of Megan [Park], Shailene [Woodley] and Francia [Raisa]?
Ken: I would say that I’ve enjoyed the stuff with Francia the most just because we’ve been going now for a little while and a lot of scenes together lately. Francia and I have gotten the most intimate, we’ve had the most passionate, connected or sexual scenes. Franci and I get along really well so that’s fun. But all of the girls are wonderful kissers. They’re all great, sweet girls. Such a hard job getting paid to kiss these pretty girls! [laughs]
What kind of father do you think Ben would make?
I think Ben would make a good dad. He’s obviously a little neurotic. I bet he’d be the dad that was paranoid about vaccinations and making sure his kid gets into the best school. I think Ben will ultimately make a pretty good dad. He’s loving, and he’s a big softie. Once he sees what he’s able to love, he can love it pretty well.
Is Ben really happy about the baby or is he just being the best person he can be in the situation?
I imagine it would be pretty hard to be happy about that. To be happy about mistakenly getting someone pregnant after revenge sex… [laughs] Now that she’s coming along, there are definite moments of happiness. There are moments of hope for the future. I’d say for the most part it’s a day to day struggle. We’ll see that in the season of trying to make it work and stay happy.
It’s nice. It’s important for that character to have one source of true support. They are so close since the mother’s death, and he’s the only dad Ben’s got.
Will it be smooth sailing for Ben and Betty going forward. They didn’t exactly start out as the best of friends.
I think Betty is going to take on a more supportive role. Their relationship is going to get better, it’s going to get worse, and it’s going to get better again. But those are some of my favorite scenes to film. Jennifer Coolidge is one of the funniest human beings on the planet. She says stuff sometimes that just makes me think that she’s not human, that she’s some comedic alien. There are some great scenes between Ben and Betty coming up. I thought I won the lottery having Uncle Bobby from The Sopranos play my dad, and then to have Jennifer Coolidge, I’m a lucky man.
Is Ben completely over Amy?
Hmm. Well that is a question that will be dealt with in the upcoming episodes. I’m going to plead the 5th and say there’s some good stuff coming up in regards to that.
How would Ben take the news of Amy and Ricky being engaged?
I think he could take it a few different ways. It depends on his relationship with Adrian. It would be a little devastating if he wanted out and wanted to run away from Adrian and the baby or it would be bitter sweet. We’ll see the proposals in the middle of the season.
Which cast member do you spend the time with off camera?
Daren [Kagasoff] and Greg [Finley]. In fact, we’re going go-carting Sunday.
Do you think that the way the characters talk to their parents about sex is realistic?
I think so. From my experience, my parents always had the policy of be honest, and if you have questions, just talk. I think that, obviously like everything, it’s exaggerated to make for good drama but I think that yea, there are a lot of parents with kids who do communicate with their children. I’ve had parents come up to me and tell me they watch the show as a family and it’s made those discussions easier.
It is basically a show about sex, but it puts it in a very classy way.
That’s the prime drive of quite a few teenagers, so there you go.
The premiere had a little 7th Heaven reunion. Were you a fan of that show?
I only watched a few episodes when I was younger, but it’s pretty amazing that the show ran for 11 years. That blows my mind. It feels good to possibly be on that road and have a lot of places to go.
What else can we look forward to this season?
I think that this season really does a pretty amazing job of not only every episode being entertaining, but it builds incredibly well to a finale, a huge finale. The finale is a pretty important episode. It’s an exciting build.