Ben Foster

Benjamin A. Foster (born October 29, 1980)[1] is an American actor. He has had roles in films including The Punisher (2004), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Alpha Dog (2006), The Messenger (2009), Pandorum (2009),[2] The Mechanic (2011), Contraband (2012), Kill Your Darlings (2013), Lone Survivor (2013), The Program (2015), and Leave No Trace (2018). He was nominated for a Saturn Award and a Satellite Award for his role in 3:10 to Yuma (2007)[3] and won an Independent Spirit Award for portraying Tanner Howard in Hell or High Water (2016).[4]

Ben Foster
Foster at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con
Benjamin A. Foster

(1980-10-29) October 29, 1980
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
Years active1996–present
Laura Prepon (m. 2018)
RelativesJon Foster (brother)

Early life

Foster was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of restaurant owners Gillian Kirwan and Steven Foster.[5][6][7] He has described his parents as "free-spirited, Vietnam-protesting hippies".[8] He has a younger brother, Jon, who is also an actor. When Foster was four years old, his family relocated to Fairfield, Iowa, after their Boston home was broken into by robbers while they were present.[7][8]

Foster was raised Jewish, and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.[8][9] His paternal grandparents were Celia (Segal) and Abraham Foster, who was a prominent judge and politician in Boston; their families emigrated from Russia.[10][11][12] While living in Fairfield, he attended the Maharishi University of Management.[7]As a youth, he attended Interlochen Arts Camp, studying theatre. [13]


Foster began working as an actor when he was sixteen years old.[7] In 1996 and 1997, he starred in the Disney Channel television series Flash Forward.

In 2001, he acted in the film Get Over It. Foster also had a recurring role as Russell Corwin (22 episodes) in the HBO Original Series, Six Feet Under.[7] After appearing in the films 11:14 and The Punisher, Foster appeared in Hostage with Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak and Michelle Horn. In 2006, Foster appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand as the comic-book hero Angel / Warren Worthington III.[7] In the crime thriller Alpha Dog, he played the character Jake Mazursky and added glaucoma drops to his eyes to simulate the appearance of a drug addict in the film.[14] In 2007, he played cold-blooded killer and outlaw Charlie Prince in the Western film 3:10 to Yuma.[15] In February 2013, he was cast to replace Shia LaBeouf in the Broadway play Orphans as his first theater performance.[16] In May 2014, it was announced that he would star opposite Gillian Anderson and Vanessa Kirby in Benedict Andrews' new production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic in London.[17] That production closed on September 19, 2014. The same production transferred to New York in 2016, opening at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn.[18]

Foster played Lance Armstrong in the biopic The Program,[19][20] and co-starred in the fantasy adventure Warcraft, released in June 2016.[21]

Also in 2016, Foster appeared in Hell or High Water as the dangerous Tanner Howard, opposite Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges. Foster was acclaimed for his roles and has received numerous awards nominations.

Foster has continuously received praise from critics for his "intense" and "unhinged" performances in numerous films.[22][23][24] Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz described Foster in 2016 as "one of those actors who makes even a bad film worth seeing. Sometimes he suggests the film you'd rather be watching."[25]

Personal life

Foster was in a relationship with German actress Antje Traue, his co-star in the movie Pandorum. Traue revealed in an interview that she had moved to Los Angeles and lived with Foster until their relationship ended around 2010. [26] Foster began a relationship with actress Robin Wright in early 2012.[27][28] They became engaged in early 2014,[29] but called off their engagement on November 12, 2014.[30] Foster and Wright reconciled in early 2015,[31] however, on August 29, 2015, they announced they were ending their second engagement.[32]

In October 2016, Foster announced his engagement to actress Laura Prepon.[33] In January 2017, it was announced that the couple were expecting their first child.[34] Prepon gave birth to their daughter Ella in August 2017. Foster and Prepon married in June 2018.[35] In October 2019, it was announced that the couple are expecting their second child.

Foster practices Transcendental Meditation.[36]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Kounterfeit Travis
1999 Liberty Heights Ben Kurtzman
2001 Get Over It Berke Landers Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Chemistry (shared with Kirsten Dunst)
2002 The Laramie Project Aaron Kreifels
2002 Big Trouble Matt Arnold
2002 Phone Booth Big Q Uncredited
2003 Northfork Cod
2003 11:14 Eddie
2004 The Punisher Spacker Dave
2004 The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things Fleshy Boy
2005 Hostage Marshall "Mars" Krupcheck
2006 Alpha Dog Jake Mazursky Young Hollywood Award for Breakthrough Performance—Male
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand Warren Worthington III / Angel
2007 3:10 to Yuma Charlie Prince Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2007 30 Days of Night The Stranger
2008 Birds of America Jay
2009 The Messenger Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor
2009 Blink AJ Short film
2009 Pandorum Bower
2011 The Mechanic Steve McKenna
2011 Here Will Shepard
2011 360 Tyler
2011 Rampart Terry Also producer
2012 Contraband Sebastian Abney
2013 North of South, West of East Cass
2013 Kill Your Darlings William Burroughs
2013 Ain't Them Bodies Saints Patrick Wheeler
2013 Lone Survivor Matthew "Axe" Axelson
2015 The Program Lance Armstrong Limited release
2016 The Finest Hours Seaman Richard Livesey
2016 Hell or High Water Tanner Howard Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated—Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Nominated—Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Houston Film Critics Society for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
2016 Warcraft Medivh
2016 Inferno Bertrand Zobrist
2017 Rock'n Roll Ben Foster
2017 Hostiles Sergeant Charles Wills
2018 Leave No Trace Will
2018 Galveston Roy Cady
2020 Medieval Jan Žižka Post-production
2020 Harry Haft Harry Haft Post-production
TBA Violence of Action Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1996–1997 Flash Forward Tucker "Tuck" James Lead role; 26 episodes
Nominated—Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series (1997, 1998)
1998 You Wish Earl Episode: "Future Shock"
1998 I've Been Waiting for You Charlie Television film
1998 Breakfast with Einstein Ryan Television film
1999–2000 Freaks and Geeks Eli 2 episodes
2000 Family Law Jason Nelson Episode: "A Mother's Son"
2001–2002 Boston Public Max Warner 2 episodes
2002 Bang Bang You're Dead Trevor Adams Television film
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in Children's Programming
2003–2005 Six Feet Under Russell Corwin 22 episodes (1 uncredited)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2004)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2005)
2005 The Dead Zone Darren Foldes Episode: "The Last Goodbye"
2007 My Name Is Earl Glenn 2 episodes
2012 Robot Chicken Orville Redenbacher / Time traveller Voice; episode: "Executed by the State"


  1. "Ben Foster Biography (1980–)". Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  2. Ordona, Michael (November 1, 2009). "Ben Foster puts his heart into The Messenger". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  3. "Ben Foster". Yahoo! Movies. 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  4. "2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners Announced! – Film Independent". 25 February 2017.
  5. Fee, Gayle; Laura Raposa (September 3, 1995). "Inside Track: Pool barons foster son's fledgling career". Boston Herald. Retrieved November 15, 2010. (subscription required)
  6. Sherman, Paul (December 9, 1999). "New Heights; After landing the lead role in Barry Levinson's latest film, Boston native Ben Foster is flying". Boston Herald. Retrieved November 15, 2010.(subscription required)
  7. Abel, Judy (November 15, 2009). "Exploring life's 'darker corners'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  8. Miller, Gerri (1999). "Foster Reaches for the "Heights"". JVibe. Archived from the original on 2000-05-23. Retrieved November 12, 2006.
  9. Sragow, Michael (December 16, 1999). "It's a boy's, boy's, boy's world (and a girl's)". Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  10. Breed, Allan G. (February 4, 1999). "Ben Foster reaches for new Heights". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved December 10, 2007.
  11. Lakshmanan, Indira A.R. (December 27, 1994). "A. Frank Foster, judge who once halted a man's beating; at 84". Boston Globe.
  12. "CELIA ( SEGAL) FOSTER « Brezniak Rodman Funeral Directors". 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
  14. "X-Men star Foster risks eyesight to play druggie". Contact Music. December 12, 2006. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  15. "Interview: Ben Foster, actor and producer". The Scotsman. February 17, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  16. Lawson, Richard (21 February 2013). "Ben Foster to Replace Shia LaBeouf, Esquire Reader, on Broadway". The Atlantic Wire. Yahoo!. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  17. "Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby join Young Vic's Streetcar". London Theatre. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  18. "St. Ann's Warehouse – A Young Vic & Joshua Andrews Co-Production". St. Ann's Warehouse. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  19. Windsor, Richard (2014-11-13). "Bikes from Lance Armstrong movie to be sold off". Time Inc. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
  20. Roxborough, Scott (October 23, 2013). "First Look: Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong in Stephen Frears' Biopic". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  21. Collura, Scott (December 4, 2013). "Ben Foster and Dominic Cooper Head for Warcraft". IGN. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  22. Ebiri, Bilge (13 November 2009). "Ben Foster on Shooting The Messenger's Most Harrowing Scenes". Vulture. New York Media LLC. Retrieved 26 February 2017. Ben Foster has been attracting attention for some time thanks to his intense (sometimes even downright unhinged) portrayals in action flicks...
  23. Lumenick, Lou (7 September 2007). "BEST WESTERN". New York Post. NYP Holdings, Inc. Retrieved 26 February 2017. The role [of Charlie Prince] is played with great flamboyance by Ben Foster, who manages to steal scenes left and right from Crowe and Bale – no easy feat.
  24. Scott, A. O. (12 November 2009). "Delivering Bad News and Truths About War". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 26 February 2017. ... with this performance Mr. Foster, having shown intriguing promise in “Alpha Dog” and “3:10 to Yuma,” places himself in the first rank of young American screen actors.
  25. Matt Zoller Seitz [@mattzollerseitz] (29 July 2016). "Ben Foster's one of those actors who makes even a bad film worth seeing. Sometimes he suggests the film you'd rather be watching" (Tweet). Retrieved 26 February 2017 via Twitter.
  26. Pauli, Harald (2018-04-14). "Antje Traue, Der schoenste deutsche Hollywood-Import (in German)". Focus Magazin (Nr. 16, 2018). Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  27. "Robin Wright and Ben Foster Get Cozy". February 10, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  28. Justin Ravitz (December 24, 2012). "Robin Wright, 46, and Ben Foster, 32, Affectionate During Shopping Trip". US Magazine. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  29. Alexis L. Loinaz (January 11, 2014). "Robin Wright and Ben Foster are engaged". Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  30. Marquina, Sierra (November 12, 2014). "Robin Wright and Ben Foster Split, Call Off 10-Month Engagement – Find Out What Went Wrong". Us Magazine. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  31. "Introducing Robin Wright, Our April 2015 Cover Star". Vanity Fair.
  32. Webber, Stephanie. "Robin Wright, Ben Foster Call Off Engagement For the Second Time". Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  33. "Laura Prepon and Ben Foster Are Engaged! See Her Gorgeous New Ring". 5 October 2016.
  34. "Pregnant Laura Prepon Steps Out with Baby Bump at Sundance Film Festival". 24 January 2017.
  35. "Laura Prepon and Ben Foster Are Married! 'Thank You for All the Love'". People. June 3, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  36. DeYoung, Bill (October 27, 2009). "Extreme closeup: Ben Foster". Connect Savannah. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
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