The OC Obsession

For those true fans out there...that can't live without their weekly dose of Newport Beach...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Benjamin McKenzie...the real Ryan Atwood

Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan was born in Austin Texas on September 12, 1978. Growing up Benjamin played the role of an average kid in Austin, playing football in high school and attending the University of Virginia shortly after. He comes from a family of three boys, one of which graduated from Yale and the other currently attends Pomona College.

After graduating from UVA in 1991, Benjamin decided to follow a different dream and focus on his acting career. This change may have been provoked by the success of his paternal grandparents, both actors. His uncle is is Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, so its obvious that success runs in the family.

He moved to New York and had some minor roles in off-broadway productions. While in New York, Ben waited tables to get by and shared a cramped apartment with several roommates. In 2002 he had a slump in job opportunities and decided he would move to LA to try to make it big. It was here in LA that he got is break and auditioned for The OC. He has been a lead role since then and the show has given him the most success. In fact, Benjamin averages between $15,000 - $25,000 an episode. This may not seem like a lot compared to the million that FRIENDS show stars were averaging each episode but imagine yourself in that position. Benjamin isn't actually that much older than us and considering there are about 19 episodes per season, he has it pretty good. He recently bought an apartment in Santa Monica, CA can be seen driving around town in his new Infiniti G35...quite a change from his lifestyle in New York.


  • At Thursday, November 17, 2005 12:53:00 PM, Blogger carah said…

    Benjamin McKenzie seems pretty down to earth considering his lead role as heart throb on the OC. You rarely see him in the media or partying away. Don’t get me wrong an Infiniti G35 is a very nice car, but many young actors that first make their big break go all out and buy over the top showoff cars. It was also very interesting to see that he attended to college and graduated! I was very surprised to see that he played football there, because lets face it he does not really look like the football playing type. Good thing he moved to LA to make his big break. It’s crazy how an aspiring actor can tell try out for numerous roles and never give up and finally make their big break. It shows you should never give. But thank G-d the OC is finally back. I cannot wait to see what happens in this weeks episode.

  • At Thursday, November 17, 2005 3:00:00 PM, Blogger Sandy Chen said…

    It seems that Ben really doesn't like to attend all the hollywood parties and get ready. He is hardly seen in many magazines and he seems very down to earth. I always find it surprising how an actor can get cast for a show with not a lot of prior experience. I'm sure the casting director had never heard of Ben because it doesn't seem like he had a lot of roles. As a casting director, I would probably be very nervous about casting someone like that, but I'm glad they did because he plays the part of Ryan really well. I'm so happy that the OC is back!

  • At Sunday, November 20, 2005 11:07:00 AM, Blogger Stephanie said…

    I love hearing about normal kids making it big. Benjamin Mckenzie seems like a very down to earth and intelligent guy. Graduating from UVA isn't a simple task. I believe he must really appreciate all his success, I know it's not easy living in a crammed apartment. As much as I love his character on the show, I don;t really think they have much in common. Ryan is always angry and trying to start fights and Benjamin seems very calm and easy going. I can definately see Ben doing a lot of blockbuster movies in the future and becoming a huge success.

  • At Monday, November 21, 2005 1:07:00 AM, Blogger Sharon Tornick said…

    I had no idea what Benjamin McKenzie was 27. He seemed older to me but not 8 years older than the part he is playing! I am also surprised that he went to UVA, because actors these days tend to skip college altogether and try to make it big during or right out of high school. I think the fact that he did graduate from college though gives him some real world experience and thus he is probably a lot more down to earth than a lot of other actors. And I definitely did not know his grandfather was a Pulitzer-Prize winner... cool fact!

  • At Monday, November 21, 2005 8:39:00 PM, Blogger Ellesse118 said… were right when you said that Ben's wage of $15,000-25,000 an episode is small compared to that of a Friends cast member, but it is definitely much more than I will probably ever make.

    I had no idea that success ran in Ben's family like it does. I feel like it isn't as well know as big celebrity connections like Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn or Michael Douglas and Kurt Douglas. I love hearing stuff like that about my favorite actors or actresses!

    I was also surprised to see that Ben has such an academic history. I just assumed that he was another actor that followed his dream to Hollywood, but it was refreshing to hear otherwise.

  • At Wednesday, May 03, 2006 11:41:00 PM, Blogger kristina said…

    lol cool.,

    we saw Ben........min.
    or rather RYAN, @ this club LA, while we were on vacation,
    deff. 'star struck' was ackward running into one of the cast members from my thursday's show line up.

    he looks pretty much the same ackward, mellow self, ..a bit smaller. no way he can kick so much ASS in real life:-) :P


  • At Sunday, September 16, 2007 8:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This page is fantastic, what you show us is very interesting and important, do you want to see something more? Look: Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: jaco beach resort, best western hotel jaco beach, map jaco beach costa rica. Visit us for more info at:

  • At Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10:26:00 PM, Blogger Omar Cruz said…

    I like this blog is fantastic, is really good written. Congratulation. Do you want to see something more? Read it...:Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: beach real estate, condo, condos for sale. Visit us for more info at:

  • At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 4:42:00 PM, Blogger westfieldsoccer said…

    i cant believe ben went to college and i know what you mean about the car thing! but it pretty kol that he is down to earth not some stuck up person!
    by the way i think ben is hott!!!

  • At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 4:46:00 PM, Blogger westfieldsoccer said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At Friday, September 25, 2009 8:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You know you are obsessed with the oc when you become obsessed with the oc tv show then u have need to download the oc tv here to catch all episodes of this show in download format

  • At Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ben Mckenzie is like the back bone of the show.He has done pretty good job so far in oc episodes.He adds so much in the show that it gets an extra edge.I wasn't aware of so many things about Ben but your blog has updated me upto a great extent.

  • At Monday, September 20, 2010 11:04:00 AM, Blogger dpiercex7 said…

    Benjamin McKenzie is the soul of the show. He is my favorite character and I like his performance throughout the show. And I love to Watch The OC TV Show online. Its awesome show.

  • At Friday, November 12, 2010 1:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nice Post!!!! He is really good actor and I love to Watch The OC TV Show online. Its awesome show.


Post a Comment

<< Home