Ken Baumann was happy to talk about the series finale of ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Check out some snippets from the conference call ShockYa was able to attend to see what you can expect from the finale and Baumann’s character, Ben Boykewich. “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” series finale airs June 3 at 8/7c.
On ending the series:
[It was] [d]ifficult. Emotional. Lots of tears. I thought that I would be able to hold my composure together on the last day, the last day of filming, but I didn’t, which was fine because everybody was sort of a wreck. It was just hard to know that you’re not going to see your family for the next few years, just because you get to know the people so well, the cast and crew. Our show, I think, was a rarity in a few ways. Everybody got along, and I mean everybody, which was almost like surreal, like the Twilight Zone, and the hours were great. So people were happy to go to work. They didn’t dread the 14 or 15-hour days. It was rough. That said, I think that also sort of shows in the final episode with a little extra emotion that I think the audience will definitely pick up on.
On whether Baumann’s happy with his character’s resolution:
I think so. I think so. Jokingly, I think it would’ve been great if Ben could’ve jumped out of a plane and died in a parachuting accident or been involved in another terrible arson or have become a fabled criminal, but none of that was in the card probably for budgetary concerns. But yes, I think so. I think that the tone Ben ends on is very, very, very different from the tone he began in the pilot. I think the character arch was pretty huge. I think that more importantly where Ben ends up in the final episode it serves the sort of emotional arch of that final episode, which I think ultimately the finale episode’s got to function as an episode on its own. I think that it really does. I think it’s one of the best in the series.”
On his favorite moment from the show:
…I have so many. The one I think back to the most was just the pilot and meeting everybody for the first time and not knowing everybody and how nervous everybody was and excitable and how brand new Daren was to the rhythms of the set, which was hilarious, and now he’s like old pro. I feel like the pilot I think about the most and that it just was that none of us had any idea that the show would become so successful and then run for five years. We all thought like at best we were going to put in another ten episodes and that was that. Yes, that to me I think was the thing that left the strongest impression. Again, I’m like incredibly close friends with the entire cast and most of the crew. So it was an experience that I don’t know I’ll be able to have again, working so closely with a group of people for so long.
On how Baumann feels the fans will react to the ending:
…I don’t know to be honest. I’m very curious. I know that all I can speak to is how I responded to the ending, both in watching the last few scenes being filmed and reading the script, the final script. I think it is a very emotional ending and it’s an ambiguous ending. I know that it’s going to frustrate a lot of people. I’m very curious. Regardless, I think that it is an appropriate ending. I think that it makes sense with the sort of arch of the entire show and I think that—yes, it’s just really emotional. It just felt right. It just felt right to me when I read the script and was there watching it be filmed.
On what the fans might be expecting for the series finale:
…I’ve seen a little bit of the teasers. I think their expectations could be on the money but I think that there is a bit of a surprise there at the end. It’s not such an explicit narrative surprise, but it is definitely emotionally surprising, I think.