Benjamin Charles Watson Stars on The CW’s “The L.A. Complex”

Benjamin Charles Watson is an actor from Jamaica who caught the acting bug after growing up watching every child’s favorite action show, Power Rangers. His mom was a nurse, and desired to see Ben walk in her footsteps in order to have a sustainable career. However, he fell in love with the arts, especially movies. Though he had to fight with his mom about it, he decided to choose his own path and study acting in college. His passion for telling stories and having people think about life motivated him to jump right into the acting world, so he got an agent, and began auditioning. Thus far, he’s landed roles in films such as The Limit, which was the winner for Best Canadian Feature in the ReelWorld Film Festival in Toronto and Best Dramatic Feature in the HDV Festival in Los Angeles in 2008. He’s also been seen on SyFy’s Warehouse 13 and the TV film on CBS Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost.

Ben’s latest project is The L.A. Complex, a racy, no-holds-barred, character-driven relationship drama that follows the exploits of six attractive, young hopefuls in search of stardom in Hollywood. Ben plays Tariq, a confident and talented hip-hop artist who can stand tall against the best artists of his kind. Tariq is involved in a same sex relationship, which really shines light on homophobia in the Hip Hop community. Here is what Ben had to say to AWP about the show.

Who is Tariq?

“He’s a fighter. He’s going to go after what he wants, and he’s not going to stop until he gets it. When he’s backed into a corner, he sees multiple ways out of a situation. Dynasty is an awesome Producer in L.A., and Tariq thinks he’s going to get this opportunity to work alongside Dynasty and all of these amazing artists, as he too wants to be a producer. Turns out, he’s going to be running errands for Dynasty. He doesn’t like it, but he’s going to play the game so that he can get where he needs to be.”

What Ben learned from Playing Tariq?

“No matter what happens in life, if you love what you do in life, you’re going to continue on and do what you need to do. Just go for it! I also learned that we all need love, despite how much we say we don’t. We need someone to go to and talk about our day with.”

How Will Viewers Respond?

“I know it’s going to be very controversial and people don’t want to touch it (subject of homosexuality in hip hop), but with kids killing themselves and being bullied, I think it’s coming out at such a great time.”

What Will Viewers Learn?

“People will understand that what matters most is who you are as a person and that if you love someone, that’s all that matters. All of the crap behind it doesn’t really matter. Light will also be shined on the fact that there is homosexuality going on in the hip hop world. People will also learn that there are repercussions to their actions.”
Throughout the interview, I could feel Ben’s passion for not only the role, but the show in general. Though he’s partially worried of how viewers will react, he’s also excited, because it took a lot for him to get the role. He informed us that he messed up his first audition, but submitting a video audition to one of the producers of the show that he was friends with on Facebook, received a call back, and a few days later, he was on set filming the show. His ability to triumph and land the role is all the more reason for him to be excited about he highly anticipated arrival of the new CW show.

“I work my butt off in order to get where I’m trying to go. I have a hard time having my managers take care of me. I need to do work for myself. I need to be in front doing what I need to do for my career. I make my own paths.”

His ability to make his own paths and put in the work for himself is why he is where he currently is today. For those who aspire to be where he is someday, he advises them to “Keep Going! No matter what people say, no matter how many “no’s” you get, you have to keep going. If you love it, Keep Going!” It is clear that he has kept going and growing, and you can watch him continue to grow if you follow him on Twitter @BenWatsonJr. Be sure to check out Ben on The L.A. Complex premiering April 24, 2012 at 9/8c, and be sure to grab a copy of Bleu Magazine’s summer issue to read the full story from the exclusive interview that took place with Ben and I 🙂 .

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