06:10 AM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 08/05/2005 06:00AM
When Benjamin McKenzie scored his breakout gig on The O.C. in 2003, his performance as a brooding teen won him comparisons to Russell Crowe. But in recent seasons, his Ryan Atwood character has become more like McKenzie himself: smart (the actor, an '01 University of Virginia grad, majored in economics) and slyly funny (on the Crowe comments: "I'm glad to be compared to him and not Carrot Top"). The Austin native, 26, who plays another angry young man in the new indie film Junebug, talked to PEOPLE about Southern pride and the benefits of sulking.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale Are Divorcing
Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock Split After 26 Years of Marriage
Bobbi Kristina Brown's Final Journey: Laid to Rest Next to Whitney Houston
Bat Boy, 9, Dies After Being Hit with Baseball Bat: He 'Was Doing Something He Loved'
Eminem Says He 'Replaced Addiction with Exercise' After Ballooning to 230 Lbs.
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!