When Ken Baumann started acting on “The Secret Life of The American Teenager,” he was a mere lad of 18 — playing earnest, innocent Ben Boykewich, the high school boy who fell in love with winsome Amy (Shailene Woodley), despite the fact she had gotten pregnant in one thoughtless encounter with the school rebel (Daren Kagasoff) at band camp. There was no major bad apple, nobody really disagreed.Now it’s five years later, and Ben and Amy and their crowd are leaving the air June 3 — after the show has racked up numerous breakups (including theirs) and hookups, the births of two babies, a miscarriage, a plane crash, several weddings and about 6,050 references to sex. At the moment his literary life is in primary position, while acting is taking a back seat. We all just worked so seamlessly together I think it was particularly hard to leave, because, you may never get that again — such a sweet, humane, considerate cast and crew.This realization causes Ben to propose to Amy, hoping that he can keep Amy and financially support her and the baby as he has genuinely come to love her.Amy cries hysterically at the proposal, and later explains that although flatter by his actions, she is unsure of what to do.(That figure is based on an estimated average 50 references per show, which we tracked when the “Secret Life” drinking game was at its apex and episodes were hitting 60 and 70.) Baumann himself is now a full-grown man of 23. He’s a book publisher with his own Sator Press imprint. We talked to the erudite hyphenate about the big “Secret Life” finish and other matters: Q: So, the end is near. A: It’s actually been quite awhile for us — we wrapped in November. The cancellation was definitely a surprise, but the writing staff and Brenda (creator Brenda Hampton) especially are very, very fast and clever writers. As far as structuring the show to give people their evenings rather than shooting 15 hours on a Tuesday — we’re probably not going to have that again. A: Exactly, which is what made it all the harder — watching the birds get pushed out of the nest for the final time.It’s a little unnerving, but at the same time, I’m excited for people to experience this. So I think that they pretty quickly wrote a very emotionally satisfying finale and I think it’s one people will think about after the show for quite some time. I do think that it was very hard to film, but I think it was fine that we were all crying on set. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid to be a good enough and disciplined enough writer to get a book accepted and published somewhere.His father Leo is the first person to suspect Amy's pregnancy due to her throwing up on Ben while on a date and her large appetite.He initially dismissed the idea, but realizes that it may be a possibility and tells Ben.
"I was really satisfied when I read the final few scenes and especially when they were shot on set. But it's a more ambiguous ending, it's not a fairy tale, but I think it's perfect." How does it feel going into the final episode? I remember when the first season was airing, so it's kind of surreal. In the first season he was earnest and a single-minded high school freshman who wanted to lose his virginity. Baumann: Daren and I had a "sort of" fight scene that was hilarious.
When Amy considers getting an abortion, Ben convinces her not to because he knows that she has other options, and even resorts to telling characters such as the school guidance counselor that the child is his baby.
He experiences a lot of hardship during Amy's pregnancy; particularly when he is brutally beaten up by a fellow student, but remains to be a loving and supportive boyfriend.
we discuss gaming and such with prominent figures in the pop-culture arena. Along with writer Gabe Durham, Baumann is helping to launch a series of 33 1/3-style books called Boss Fight Books, each focused on a single classic video game.
He stars in ABC Family’s The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, and his first novel, Solip, was recently published by Tyrant Books.