Film Producer Ben Stranahan: Using His Talents to Continue the Legacy of Those Who Came Before Him

Every film producer and actor in Hollywood dreams of taking movies to a higher level, and Ben Stranahan is no different. “There are so many greats that I respect and that elevated the movie industry during their time,” he says. “Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock – they all poured themselves into their work, and the result was that Hollywood gave audiences something special to watch. That is what I hope to be able to say about myself one day if I am fortunate enough: that the work I created meant that viewers could have something different or compelling to see.”

It will be a while before history is able to judge whether Ben succeeds or not. In the meantime, he is on his way to becoming a respected producer and actor in an industry that gives out its accolades sparingly. At the Baftas in 2018, Ben’s movie Calibre earned four nominations, and he was thrilled when the movie’s star, Jack Lowden, won for Best Actor. Ben was equally excited when at the 2015 New York Television Festival, the show he produced, The Midnight Anthology with Clancy Brown, won the awards for Artistic Achievement and Best Director.

“Those awards have definitely been some of the highlights of my life,” Ben confirms. “To have worked so hard and with such incredibly talented people and to then have that be acknowledged, well, I will never forget how that felt.”

As his work grows more respected, doors continue to open for Ben. In October 2021, he wrapped up the production of the mystery Better Than Yourself, in which he played the lead role. He reveals that as fun as it was to play Case Marcel, it was more fun to work with his costars. “Every film is a chance to get better at my craft, and they made it easier because they are such gifted actors. They made me work even harder, and I left the set better for it.”

Ben is also getting a kick out of helping to produce The Inventor, an animation about the life of Leonardo da Vinci, with Jim Capabianco as well as voice one of its characters. “I think deep down inside, I’ve got a big kid in me,” says Ben. “I’ve been having a great time working on this because it’s got such a wonderful plot. Flying contraptions, war machines, cadavers, a French princess – who wouldn’t want to be on board? Besides, Daisy Ridley and Stephen Fry are a blast to be around.”

One of the most fun roles he has had was on “Exodite” from Games Workshop. “It’s set in the futuristic world of Warhammer 40,000, where warfare erupts,” Ben explains. “The people behind it are highly imaginative, and it was the first time that I had placed myself mentally as an actor in such a dark environment. In fact, it was one of the reasons I took the part: I am always trying to push myself with new genres so that I continue to evolve into a more versatile actor.”

As Ben’s resume grows, so does his reputation. Known around Tinseltown as the guy who is first on the set in the morning and the last to leave at night, he works hard and will do anything that is asked of him. “I think that comes from my parents, who modeled to me the importance of never being above doing something,” Ben recalls. “My dad in particular was a man who believed in service, so I try to do the same for my peers. Hollywood, as you can imagine, can be a pretty stressful place, so I try to convey to whoever I am working with that I am someone they can count on.”

One place he spends a lot of time is at Tip-Top Productions, where he is the producer. “Working there is a dream come true for me,” he confirms. “I am really fortunate to collaborate with Rob on some really incredible movies and to be able to bring them from conception to the big screen. One project was Monstrous, a thriller with Christina Ricci that will soon hit theaters. I am really proud of the work she and her costars did in that movie, and I think audiences are going to be impressed.”

As busy as he is, Ben still finds time to kick back at his beloved piano with his cat, Moose. “I am still a musician at heart,” he reveals. “I especially love jazz, and I could sit for hours, improvising on some chord while Moose hangs out and listens. Thankfully, when I screw up, he’s a kind critic.”

Ben knows that he works in an industry in which he’s only as good as his last performance or film. “That’s why I never take anything for granted,” he says. “I’ve got a lot of ideas for future films, and I can’t wait to explore them at Tip-Top. However, I will continue to put in just as much effort as I did in my first movies so that I always give the audience a good time. Isn’t that, in the end, what films are all about?”