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
Father of 12 Allegedly Beat, Starved and Raped His Children: Police
The Bachelor's Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff Have Split After 6 Months
19 Kids and Counting Spin-Off May Be in the Works at TLC: Source
Sherri Shepherd Makes Uncomfortable Joke About Children on The View, Blasts Ex-Husband in Wake of Custody Ruling
J.K. Rowling Shuts Down the Westboro Baptist Church's Message of Hate Like a Boss
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!