Schnetzer at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International.
February 8, 1990 |
New York City, New York
When we were shooting 'The Book Thief,' I was keeping all these journals. And I remember talking to my mom, really trying to verbalize all the experiences I was having. And I remember my mom saying, 'Ben, reflection is a retroactive process.' When you're going through it, that's the time to just let it wash over you.
There's a lot of comedic value to fraternities, but whenever you start messing with power dynamics and you take away consequences, you can tread some dangerous waters.
I think whenever you have a common goal with someone, you're going to bond. It's really hard to get two people together and be like, 'Hey guys, why don't you just bond!' But if you say, 'Listen, I need you guys to build this house, or I need you to do this or I need you to make this movie,' you'll get to work and you'll get close.
I've been incredibly lucky. I know what it's like to be an unemployed actor, to beat the bricks. I've been in the right place at the right time.
A lot of times, when you're seeing something that you've done, you're thinking about the experience you had making it, not about the experience of the product.
All those little acting rules you get, one of the interesting ones is, 'Play the opposite. Don't play 'victim.''
No matter how cold you are or how hungry you are, you might be warm tomorrow.
I feel really humbled and really grateful to have the opportunities that I've had over the past couple of years to work with some amazing people. I think, at this point, I just want to put my head down and grind and do honest work.
It certainly isn't like I'm reading scripts thinking I need to do something really different. But you want to stretch yourself and challenge yourself; that's really the major turnon when you're going into work.
A lot of the messed-up stuff that men inflict on women is kind of a symptom of the messed-up stuff that they should be dealing with themselves.
The more comfortable men are with dealing with their own vulnerability and their own ideas of masculinity and feeling emasculated, the healthier they are. It's a healthy thing to deal with.
When you're working on a film, it's not theater; you don't have a few weeks of rehearsal. A lot of times you are showing up on set, and you've never been to the place; you've never met the other actors you're working with.
When I decided I wanted to go to drama school, I realized that a lot of the actors whose careers I really admire and whose work I really admire were English and English trained. I felt there was a real vocational feel to work in the U.K.
I didn't have a fraternity-like experience. I mean, I grew up with an older brother and a lot of male cousins and we were very physical with each other. We were very rambunctious when we were kids. But I never thought much – nor did I have reason to think much – about institutionalized hazing. But I think there's a reason young men are drawn to it.
I left drama school to do 'The Book Thief' – it was a real trip going straight from school kind of right into it, but I feel like the momentum of being in school put me in a good mindset as far as going into it as a learning experience.
Life used to be a rite of passage in and of itself. But it's not our parents' generation anymore.
Every film that comes out that incorporates CGI or performance capture is a little bit ahead of the last film that came out. You're on the cutting edge for a certain amount of time, and then the new technology comes out.
I think any job you do is an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to explore and challenge yourself.
When you're doing a play, you don't always have a practical world that you're working off of. You have to create it for yourself.
I grew up with an older brother, and the bond between siblings is unlike anything else, and it can be a real journey to accept what that bond is once you both mature into it. Because it's not always what you want. It's not always what you expect. It's not always what you imagined or hoped. But it's one of the most important things in the world.
I really admire people who concern themselves more with how they perceive the world rather than how the world perceives them. I think, as an artist, it's very important to do that. You can limit yourself a lot if you spend too much time caring about what people think of you.
You want to bring it every day. But if you have a bad day in the theatre, a couple of hundred people see it. That sucked; we'll get back to it. You have a bad day on film, it's just on DVD for the rest of your life.
It was humbling to play Mark Ashton. He was a political activist and a humanist, and there is incredible conviction in his vision. But when you're telling a political story, humour is crucial; otherwise, it can be in danger of becoming a bit preachy, and the audience can feel like they've got an agenda coming full steam at them.
If I audition for a job that I don't get, to be honest with you, I'd rather my friend get it. I think there also has to be an acknowledgement of the fact that, as an actor, being in employment is not the norm.
Obviously, as an actor, when you re playing a real person, it is an extra challenge.
I didn't start drama school until I was 20, and I don't think I would have gotten nearly as much out of it had I gone when I was 18. I didn't show up there to please anyone. After I was accepted, I wrote, 'The Audition's Over' and put it on the door of my dorm.
I always had ambitions to work in the U.K. I just never thought it was gonna happen so soon. So I think, obviously, I wouldn't have gotten 'The Riot Club' if I wasn't in England. I wouldn't have gotten 'Pride' if I hadn't done 'The Riot Club.' And so maybe I would just have been on a totally different trajectory, but who knows?
I didn't start drama school until I was 20, and I don't think I would have gotten nearly as much out of it had I gone when I was 18.