Ben Foster is recognized as one of America’s most intelligent, sensitive, and versatile young actors—and he is one of a growing number of performing artists who credits his daily Transcendental Meditation practice with helping him be creative.
From his popular role in the award-winning HBO series Six Feet Under to the gripping drama The Messenger, Ben Foster has shown the kind of creativity and intensity that critics and audiences love.
In his last three films, he’s played a cowboy, an astronaut, and an Iraq war vet, all to critical acclaim. Foster has done well choosing challenging dramatic roles that keep him from being typecast.
At 19, Foster worked with legendary director Barry Levinson, costarring with Academy Award-winner Adrian Brody in the movie Liberty Heights. In the years following this critical success, Foster shifted over to HBO, where many of us enjoyed watching him play the complex and mysterious character Russell Corwin in the HBO Original Series Six Feet Under (2003-2005). He won praise for showy parts in Alpha Dog (2006) and costarred the same year in a Hollywood blockbuster, playing Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand.
But it wasn’t until he appeared in the film 3:10 to Yuma (2007) that he really caught people’s attention and earned some Best Supporting Actor nominations. And like his character Charlie Prince, a saddle-slick sharpshooter, Foster came on screen with his acting guns blazing. In fact many movie reviewers felt Foster out shined the movie’s star, Russell Crowe.
His next major project, the starring role as an Iraq war veteran in the film The Messenger, earned him two acting award nominations. The movie, conceived by acclaimed Israeli director Oren Moverman, was applauded by film critics. Foster made such an impression on his director that Moverman later said, “Whatever I do, it will be with Ben. I have found my actor. I have found the guy I want to work with.’’
Foster was born in Boston but moved with his parents to Fairfield, Iowa, at the age of four, where he attended the Maharishi School and learned the Transcendental Meditation technique. It was at this award-winning school, where all students and teachers practice meditation and yoga and have strictly organic food in their cafeteria, that Foster began his theatrical career by writing, directing, and starring in his own play at the age of twelve. Later he and his family moved to Los Angeles where he began pursuing his passion full-time.
Recent interviews with Foster suggest his meditation continues to be a regular and important part of his daily preparation for acting. It’s like “hitting a reset button. If my call time’s five in the morning,” Foster says, “I gotta get up at four. But what it gives me during the day is just a resource of energy and the ability to hear what I’m actually thinking, rather than spitting back what I’ve been told.”
I’m looking forward to watching this young man’s career continue to grow!