Ben Foster is an American actor primarily known for his portrayals of dark and complex characters. He has appeared in films, such as ‘The Punisher’, ‘The Mechanic’ and ‘Lone Survivor’. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in the US, he began acting when he was sixteen years of age, appearing in the TV series ‘Flash Forward’. He made his film debut with a minor role in the crime thriller film ‘Kounterfeit’. He played his first main role in the teen comedy film ‘Get Over it’ which is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s play ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’. He earned a nomination for the Teen Choice Award for his performance. Over the ensuing years, he gained popularity for playing complicated and dark characters. He appeared in the action film ‘Punisher’ in a supporting role. The film was based on the Marvel comics’ character of the same name. Other important roles in his career include the lead role in the war drama film ‘The Messenger’. His recent works are ‘Hell or High Water,’ a crime thriller where he played an important role, and the French comedy film ‘Rock n Roll’. He also played the lead role in the drama film ‘Leave No Trace’ which earned universal praise.
Childhood & Early Life
Ben Foster was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 29th October 1980 to Steven Foster and Gillian Kirwan. His parents are restaurant owners. He has a brother who also became an actor. He was raised as a Jew. He studied at the Maharishi University of Management.
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Ben Foster began his acting career in 1996 with the lead role in the TV series ‘Flash Forward’. His performance earned him a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series.
He made his film debut in 1996, in the crime thriller film ‘Kounterfeit’, where he played a minor role. The film was directed by John Mallory. He was next seen in the TV movies ‘I’ve Been Waiting For You’ and ‘Breakfast With Einstein’.
His next role on the big screen was in the 1999 comedy drama film ‘Liberty Heights’. The film was a commercial failure though it was met with positive reviews. In 2001, he played one of the main roles in the teen comedy film ‘Get Over It’, which was directed by Tommy O’Haver. The film earned him a nomination for the Teen Choice Award.
In the next few years, he continued appearing in several movies, such as ‘Big Trouble’ (2002), ’11: 14’ (2003), ‘The Punisher’ (2004), ‘Hostage’ (2005) and ‘Alpha Dog’ (2006).
In 2006, he had an important role in the superhero film ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’. Based on the Marvel comics’ superhero team of the same name, the film was a huge success financially. From 2003 to 2005, he had a supporting role in the TV series ‘Six Feet Under’. The show earned critical acclaim and won multiple awards.
In 2007, he played the role of a cold-blooded killer and outlaw in the film ‘3:10 to Yuma’. Directed by James Mangold, he film starred Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the lead roles. The film was an average success commercially and was met with positive reviews. In the same year, he also played an important role in the horror film ’30 Days of Night’. It was a commercial success.
In 2009, he played the lead role in the war drama film ‘The Messenger’. Directed by Oren Moverman, the film was a commercial failure. However, it was highly praised by the critics, and also received many awards and nominations. Many critics had listed it as one of the top ten films of the year.
He played a main role in the sci-fi horror film ‘Pandorum’ in 2009. The film was a commercial failure and received mixed reviews.
In 2011, he appeared in the adventure drama film ‘Here’ in the lead role. He next appeared in the action thriller film ‘The Mechanic’ in one of the main roles. The film was a commercial success.
In the following years, he appeared in movies, such as ‘Rampart’ (2011), ‘Contraband’ (2012), ‘Kill Your Darlings’ (2013), ‘Lone Survivor’ (2013) and ‘The Finest Hours’ (2016).
In 2016, he played a main role in the crime thriller film ‘Hell or High Water’. Directed by David Mackenzie, the film was about two brothers who carry out a series of bank robberies, while being pursued by the Texas Rangers. The film was a commercial success. It was also met with critical acclaim and received four Oscar nominations.
His most recent works include ‘Inferno’ (2016), ‘Leave no Trace’ (2018) and ‘Galveston’ (2018).
’The Punisher,’ a 2004 action film directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, is one of the early works in Ben Foster’s career. The film was based on the Marvel comics’ character of the same name. Other actors in the film included Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Will Patton and Laura Harring. The film was a commercial success and was met with mostly mixed to negative reviews.
Foster had an important role in the biographical war drama film ‘Lone Survivor’. Directed by Peter Berg, the film was set during the war in Afghanistan. Other actors who starred in the film include Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, and Eric Bana. The film was a huge success commercially and critically. It received two Oscar nominations and was also chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of the year.
He played one of the main roles in the crime thriller film ‘Hell or High Water’ which was about two brothers carrying out of a series of bank robberies to save their family ranch, while being pursued by the Texas Rangers.
Directed by David Mackenzie, the film also starred Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Katy Mixon and Gil Birmingham. The film was a success commercially, earning more than thrice its budget. It was critically acclaimed and earned several prestigious awards and nominations.
Ben Foster has been married to Laura Prepon since June 2018. They have one child, a daughter named Ella, who was born in August 2017. Prior to his marriage, Foster had previously dated actresses Antje Traue and Robin Wright.