Anyone can tell from admiring his muscular, 5'11" frame that Ben is a sports-lover, but not many people know that originally his ambition was to be a baseball player. Ben recently revealed, "All the way from the time I was eight years old to age fourteen I wanted to play ball for a living. I used to watch the pro games on television and think, "Wow wouldn't it be great to play ball all day and get paid for it, too!"
Being young at the time, he didn't realize all the work that's actually involved with being a full time sportsman--how it isn't all just like having a friendly game with your buddies down at the lot. How it's really a lot of hard work and steady training all year round for those important games in the spring and the summer. But eventually, Ben found his interest waning on its own when he quit playing ball and went to work as a caddy in Chicago.
Would Ben still consider baseball, as a career? "No," he admits, "if I weren't acting now, I probably wouldn't turn to baseball as a career. But I might consider being a drifter and travelling all over."
Ben loves to travel. And he's gone across the United States and to Canada and Mexico, soaking up experiences which he recorded in a scrapbook. Someday he hopes to write a book about the people he's met and the offbeat experiences he's had. He often regrets not having more time to devote to his travels and his writing, but compensates for it by taking off whenever he gets a break in filming. He enjoys seeing new places and doing things that he's never done before.
"In a way," he confesses, "my mind makes a lot of the adventure for me. I anticipate that something is going to be very different and exciting... and when it happens it is exciting!"
For instance, when Ben was asked to come to Hollywood for an acting job, another actor would have booked a flight on a jet. Not Ben. He got in a car and drove cross-country, taking the most scenic route he could find and making many stops along the way. "It was such great fun and I'll remember that trip for the rest of my life," says Ben.
Clearly Ben's wanderlust is an important part of him. But does this mean that someday we might lose him to the open road forever? Ben's answer to this is, "I think my happiness is primarily the hope that eventually I can achieve an even greater capacity for living life than I have now, and I do live it with a great capacity already. I really love to life. I also love the potential of the future, both for myself and the world around me. I want to do a lot of groovy things for people and for myself. Right now acting turns me on."
Although he won't commit himself as to what he may turn to in the future, his friends aren't sure if acting will always occupy the first place and travelling the second in Ben's heart. They say that, ultimately, Ben will do what makes him happybecause he's made that way. He can't force himself to follow a rigid structure that a less-spirited man would get hung-up on. Ben has too much vitality, too much energy and too much independence to let someone else decide his life for him.
Right now Ben seems to have balanced his
interests in his fans' favor. But whatever the future brings for
him, we can count on Ben.
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