Ben Davies has been acting since before he could walk. In fact, he was still in diapers when he appeared in his first national TV and print ad campaign. The progeny of a successful model and an All-American athlete, Davies was blessed with both striking physical features and a strong physical body. He was ranked the No. 1 high school decathlete in the nation in 2008 by Track & Field News.
Multiple injuries, along with a complex and risky surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, left Davies frustrated on the sidelines in 2010, wondering whether he would ever compete again. It was at that low point that Ben got the call to audition for Sherwood Pictures’ highly-anticipated new film, Courageous. Within three weeks of the audition, Davies was offered the coveted role of David Thomson, one of the four leads in the film.
In New Hope, Ben plays the role of Lucas Green, a high school basketball star whose brother, Chase, committed suicide. When a new student, Michael Evans (Samuel Davis), moves to town, joins the basketball team, and begins dating Chase’s girlfriend, Jasmine Stone (Perry Frost), Lucas is forced into a difficult situation.
Regular contributor Cheryl Wicker caught up with Ben at the premiere of his new film New Hope in Louisiana for a closer look at the rising star.
SCH: I’m going to start at the very beginning . . . you actually started acting at a very young age. Tell us about your early acting career.
BD: Yes, I got started in front of the camera early. My mother started a modeling agency the year I was born. I was about two or three when I started acting. I was in front of the camera or around people who were acting or modeling all the time. She opened a school and took me to work with her so I was able to be around it.
SCH: So you actually began acting as a small child; did you always enjoy it or was it just something you did? When did you realize this is what you wanted to do as a career?
BD: I always enjoyed performing and being under pressure. I enjoy the excitement of it all. Growing up I was into sports which is still the same kind of rush as acting and performing. When I was younger, I did as many acting jobs as I could in addition to my sports in high school. Whether it’s sports or acting. it’s all about perfecting your craft or training yourself. They’re kind of similar and both are exciting.
SCH: Most people know you as the rookie cop from Courageous. How did you feel when you found out you got a co-starring role in a Sherwood Pictures film? That was your first major role, right?
BD: Yes, that was my first major acting role. I had done commercials and music videos in high school. When I got the job. I was really thrilled but also humbled. I was going through a hard time in my life because I had gone through major surgery on my shoulder. I didn’t know what the future held. I only was able to do the role because I had the shoulder surgery and it was the first time I had off from training in a while. I was wondering what I was supposed to do. When the job came through, I thought “oh ye of little faith” . . . why did I ever worry!
SCH: How was it working with the Kendrick Brothers?
BD: Working with the Kendrick Brothers was a huge blessing. I was so thankful that the Lord allowed me to have my first major role working with people who were so anointed and encouraging and patient with everyone. It was the perfect environment to work in. The message of the movie was Jesus Christ and it is so great that it took the shape of fatherhood because that is such an important topic in this generation.
SCH: Is there anyone on the set of Courageous who made a special impact on your life?
BD: It was such a blessing to go down there and work on the set. My character was mentored by Nathan Hayes in the movie, which was played by Ken Bevel. It was fantastic being around people like Ken, as well as Alex and Stephen Kendrick. They don’t just preach about fatherhood but live it out in their everyday life. Also, T.C. Stallings provided so much encouragement and was an accountability brother. It was great to have someone to talk to, and be accountable with and have fun with.
SCH: You just completed a new faith-based film that you are starring in, New Hope, which recently premiered in Monroe, Louisiana. What attracted you to this movie?
BD: It was kind of funny. On the set one of the fun things we did on set was play basketball. I was terrible at basketball. It was interesting the way that worked out. After Courageous, I was praying that God would provide another role that would work with my college schedule. The audition came in and I got the role and it worked perfectly with my schedule. The script was really good and it was a really fun role. It was interesting that it was a basketball movie and I was not a basketball player. It was great doing a sports movie though. I enjoyed being aggressive and competitive and not just the naive rookie that makes mistakes. That was a cool character but having an action role was really fun. It’s a complete 180 to the Courageous role.
SCH: Tell us about the role of Lucas Green that you played in this movie.
BD: Lucas was interesting because his personality is not like mine at all. I was more bullied in high school and not the one who bullied. Lucas is a high school kid dealing with a lot of issue and pressure and doesn’t know how to deal with it. Instead of dealing with it in a Christian way, he takes it out on other people or keeps it inside. He’s not spiritually or emotionally equipped to deal with the tragedies and pressures. He’s really letting it tear him up.
SCH: I was going to suggest that being in a basketball movie was a natural thing for you as an athlete. So being athletic doesn’t necessarily mean you can play basketball then?
BD: [laughing] It was not me at all. I was a horrible basketball player. We never played basketball in high school or middle school. When I got the role, I practiced by myself for hours literally. With good direction and good actors to work with, we were able to pull of the scenes.
SCH: I understand you won a really big award as an athlete in high school. Tell us about that.
BD: In high school I was the junior Olympic champion and national record holder in the Decathlon and I was the national champion in the javelin and was the Gatorade Athlete of the Year for 2010. And was the #1 Recruitable Athlete in 2008 for the Decathlon.
SCH: So, you are currently attending Samford University, correct?
BD: Yes and I am currently a student at Samford University.
SCH: How do you balance academics with your acting career?
BD: I’m just an all-out kind of person. Right now I’m in school and I try to do as good as I can. When an acting role opens up I put everything into that. I just wait for the opportunity to come up and then just focus on it at that time. It’s a difficult thing to balance for sure. Acting is time consuming and so is school.
SCH: Do you have any hobbies besides acting and athletics?
BD: Honestly I do not have time for hobbies besides my acting and athletics. I’d have to say hanging out with my friends. Spending time with friends and having a good time with people I’m close to.
SCH: Being a single guy, this may seem a strange question, but do you like to cook?
BD: I do actually enjoy cooking. I have one main dinner dish I can cook very well. When I have a dinner date, I cook normally then. Other than that, I don’t cook very much.
SCH: So what is this special dish you like to cook?
BD: It’s Italian. I can’t give any more details that that. [Laughs]
SCH: I’m sure it’s good. Is there something about Ben Davies that might surprise people if they knew?
BD: I know there’s something but nothing comes to mind right now. I have actually seen all the Twilight movies.
SCH: Some people may think you are living a dream where you are right now. But everyone has goals . . . What are your hopes and dreams for your life?
BD: I just hope I will be able to do something for the kingdom that encourages people and glorifies God. If it is in acting, I enjoy doing that . . . the lifestyle and not knowing what’s next and the rush. If I can combine those two things, that would be great. It opens up new opportunities to speak to people and encourage people I might not have otherwise. Moving out to L.A. is something I would definitely like to do in the future.
Want to find out more about the movie, NEW HOPE? Watch the New Hope – Official Trailer
Read about Ben’s runaway hit film Courageous
Meet Ben’s mom, Nise Davies, who is a Regular Contributor for Sonoma Christian Home Women On The Red Carpet
To get more details on Ben’s film NEW HOPE, check out the Christian Movie Database