Benjamin Hollingsworth transitioned from Demi Moore and David Duchovny’s son in the acclaimed indie The Joneses, into the role of hunky doctor on the CBS drama series Code Black opposite Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden and actor Rob Lowe. He recently appeared opposite Liam Neeson and Laura Dern in Cold Pursuit, and he plays Dan Brady on super-popular Netflix series Virgin River. Also on the horizon for Benjamin is the Paramount+ drama series Joe Pickett.
We caught up with this celebrity parent to ask his 25 on-the-spot questions about his life, family and career.
What is your idea of the perfect day?
I’d somehow magically get to sleep in (never going to happen). Then none of my three kids (ages five and under) would cry, whine or demand anything all day. I would make a mountain of banana-blueberry pancakes, and after we would go out on a boat with my family and closest friends. I’d have a drink in hand, wind in my hair and a smile on my face. The sun would go down and we would all gather around a campfire, drink wine, and eat forno pizza and s’mores.
Why did you choose your career?
I always loved telling stories when I was a kid. My dad used to tell us bedtime stories that he would make up with fictional characters. It was the highlight of my night. That turned into my sister and me putting on makeshift plays for our parents and younger siblings. I was often told where to stand and what to say by my older sister. One might say things have not changed much today. 🙂
What do you love most about what you do in your job?
I love my office. Which is to say, I don’t really have one. I mean, I have one at home, but that’s where I hide from my kids. (Don’t tell my wife!) In all seriousness at work, every day is something new, somewhere new and often with someone new. It keeps life fresh and unpredictable. There is nothing mundane about what I do. I go to work and create stories with some of the world’s most imaginative people. What could be better than that?
What has been the hardest part of building your career?
There is no luck in longevity. People often hear about how hard it is to break into the business. The overnight success thing is complete crap. Even the fastest of ascensions has a part that is tough—getting your first agent, job and so on. Obviously along the way there is so much rejection, it’s inevitable; the more successful you become, the more competitive the jobs become. It isn’t about luck, although it’s definitely a factor. The harder you work, the more you give and the longer you will be around.
Who was/is your mentor?
David Duchovny taught me his tao of film acting when I first started in feature films.
Who is your favourite Canadian?
Anyone who embodies that for which we are known across the globe—good-hearted, friendly and very sorry. 🙂
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Don’t touch that!” Yes, sadly these days, with the pandemic still lingering and with three kids and six arms, they are into just about everything in sight.
Which words or phrases do you dislike when other people overuse?
“Stop,” “I just can’t,” “I’m beyond,” “Obsessed,” “Right?!?!”
Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
I can’t think of anything or anyone I could love more than my family. Regardless of the relentless chaotic catastrophe I’m constantly surrounded by, I can’t help but find myself squeezing them, smelling their hair and kissing them.
When and where were you happiest?
Anytime I find myself living in the moment. That’s when I’m the happiest. No regrets of the past or fear of the future, the here and now is the luckiest place for anyone to find themselves.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would have loved to be able to sing. Every time a see a musical, I’m filled with toe-tapping envy. My vocals are so bad, the shower doesn’t even make them sound good.
Who are your heroes in real life?
I’ve always admired people who overcome obstacles to achieve greatness for the betterment of mankind. Terry Fox is someone I’m constantly in awe of. As a runner myself, every time I feel the pain set in, I remind myself what that man endured to help others. It’s instant inspiration for me.
What is your motto?
The best things in life are often the hardest. Don’t quit for fear of failure, but preserve the pursuit and the emotional prosperity will follow.
What do you always have in your fridge?
Waaaaaaay too much. Our fridge is a constant game of Tetris.
How would you describe yourself as a parent?
Hands and heart full-on.
What is your parenting superpower?
My imagination. It hasn’t diminished much since I was a kid and it certainly helps me connect with ours.
What is your favourite memory of your own parents?
Cottage time. It was always the place where everyone was at ease and every day was family day. My most cherished and fulfilling memories all come from that little slice of heaven. I hope one day to own my own cottage.
What is a tradition from your childhood that you’ve carried on with your own kids?
Bedtime stories. Not just books but the on-the-spot, made-up fairytales that force me to stretch my imagination and theirs. With the lights out and covers on, it might be the kids’ favourite time of the day. I know when I was young it certainly was mine.
What do you love most about being a parent, and what do you dislike most?
I love the unconditional love in their eyes when I get home from work or pick them up from preschool. That running “DAAAAAADDDDDYYYYY!” battle cry is my all-time favourite. I think the thing that frustrates me the most is the toddler cognitive lapse in common sense. Trying to pick up a tantrumming kid who has gone wet noodle on the ground in the mall is some kind of torture.
What has surprised you most about being a parent?
The amount of gear needed to raise a baby from infant to child is absolutely insane. Now with three kids, the gear has basically taken over the garage.
What’s your favourite family vacation and why?
One without kids. Ha! Oh man, we haven’t dared that yet. Not with three anyway. We’re going to have to wait until the youngest is not breastfeeding anymore so my wife can have a drink. There is no way to survive a travel day with kids without one, and I certainly cannot do it on my own.
What one trait or value are you most trying to instil in your children?
Family first. The bond of the core crew is essential to a happy life.
What is one trait are you hoping to avoid?
Living in constant chaos. I was one of FOUR kids and my parents did their absolute best, but there was no order in our home. I’m hoping one day we settle into a daily routine that is somewhat structured.
What is your favourite family summer activity?
Beach day. Raising our boys on the beaches of So Cal, we all enjoyed the warm sun and the sound of waves crashing on the sand.
What is your favourite family winter activity?
Tobogganing. I like to tie two sleds together and tow them as I skate on a frozen lake. It’s a great workout and the boys love it.
Watch actor Benjamin Hollingsworth Season 3 of Virgin River currently streaming on Netflix.
Virgin River is a Netflix original series based on a New York Times best-selling box series by Robin Carr. It follows Mel Monroe, a recently widowed midwife who moves to a small, remote town after fleeing her past in LA. Benjamin Hollingsworth plays Brady, an ex-marine who has had a hard time assimilating back into society after returning from Iraq.