At the outset of each new TV season there are those faces which pop up on screen and elicit a familiar reaction: Who is this young, attractive person and why have I never seen him/her before? (Chances are you have seen said thesp, be it on a Burger King commercial or in bit parts elsewhere.) As the fall season approaches, we’re bringing you our round-up of fresh faces packing the holy Hollywood trinity: looks, talent, and staying power.
Meet Ben Rappaport, a recent Julliard grad who makes his small screen debut in NBC’s fish out of water comedy, ‘Outsourced.’ In ‘Outsourced,’ Rappaport plays Todd Dempsey, a green novelty items salesman sent to run the Indian call center of his company in an effort to cut costs.
What He Was Doing Before ‘Outsourced’: I came from New York. I came from a theater background. I trained at Julliard very recently. I was just doing the whole working actor thing. This was just one of those pilots that when audition season came along, it was a part that just seemed really right. I recognized a lot of things in the character that I saw in me.
His Inspiration For The Role: I kind of went into the audition being like, ‘This is a lot like my dad.’ I kind of paid homage to my father. I think it’s his eternal optimism no matter what.
Who He Called First With The News: My mother. She fainted. What was great was [executive producer] Ken [Kwapis] told me in his office that I had the part. Then he said, ‘Here’s an empty office. Go in there and call everybody you know.’ It was a surreal moment.
How He Celebrated Getting The Part: I went out and got Mexican food. I grew up in Houston, Texas, and it’s everywhere. I love Mexican food. Living in New York there’s not a lot of great Mexican food.
His Audition Rituals: Just my iPod. Nothing specific on my iPod, but if I don’t listen to music before my audition then I feel out of sorts. I feel like it grounds me and brings me down to Earth. The thing about Todd is that he has such a positive outlook that I needed something peppy and almost schmaltzy and corny. So I listened to some 80s pop ballads and Boston’s “More Than A Feeling.”