Dutch TV show about the 1970s
Aired March 2002

[Ben sat on a horse for the interview.]

Dutch TV: What do you think was the major success of "Alias Smith and Jones" all about?

Ben: I think the chemistry between Peter Duel and myself. It was that chemistry that everyone liked. I know it's what I liked. I know I've never been able to find it since. That same film chemistry with a guy on screen is what I've always looked for. And I often think he could be here doing things like this 30 years later. Who would have known that 30 years later someone would still be interested. And I often miss the fact that he's not here to share it.

Dutch TV: Did it take you long to learn to handle the gun?

Ben: You mean the fast draw? You bet! That fast draw is actually harder than riding horses. Just to get that fast draw right, especially on camera. All kinds of accidents would happen. You'd pull out the gun and it would twirl over here [Ben shows what he means]. Or you'd pull out the gun and it wouldn't fire.

Dutch TV: How did you deal with the big success all of a sudden?

Ben: Well, it was the early seventies, late sixties and women were now free and I enjoyed every bit of it. It was a great time to be alive. It was a great time to be young. It was a great time to be young and alive. You've seen my dog Molly. That's who I sleep with every night. So times have certainly changed. I sleep with a smelly terrier. I miss it if she weren't around. She farts in bed and her breath is bad but I'd miss her.

[A horse in the background urinates.]

Ben: I used to sound like that but those days are gone too.

Ben continues: You know there's a lot of luck involved. Had I done The A-Team, had I done Starsky and Hutch, had I done any other show or had any of the shows I did do become successful, it would have been a different story. But then what is success? I still go to an acting workshop every Wednesday night and some of my best work is in that workshop. Nobody sees it except my classmates. We just go and we work out and that's just as successful. [Here Ben is stammering a little, starting a sentence but not finishing it.] Think of the greatest show ever made. Think of All in the Family. Except for Rob Reiner…. I mean of course Carroll is dead…. Life is still gonna go on. There are still gonna be ups and there are still gonna be downs. And what is success? I'll tell you this: My career peaked almost at the very beginning. My career peaked with Alias Smith and Jones.

Dutch TV: How do you feel about that?

Ben: I'm a little bit sad maybe. But I've enjoyed life.

[The interview ends with Ben walking off with his dog Molly.]

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