Ben and Kate, which airs Tuesdays on FOX, explores the dynamic between young mother Kate (Dakota Johnson), her young daughter Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones), and her older brother Ben — an over-eager man-child who moves in with them.

We chatted with actor Nat Faxon about what it’s like to play Ben, his experiences meeting his character’s real-life counterpart, and the twists and turns the sibs’ relationship will take in upcoming episodes.

Wetpaint Entertainment: So I hear [show creator] Dana Fox modelled your character after her so-called “deadbeat” brother…
Nat Faxon: She did, she did!

How do you feel about having to fill those shoes?
Ah! (Laughs.) It’s enjoyable to say the least! I have had the extreme pleasure of hanging out with the real Ben Fox several times and it’s really fun — it’s really fun.

What does that kind of research typically entail?
Maybe some late nights, maybe some parties in various cities, maybe being over-served a couple of times? No, but there is a sense of kind of — I don’t know — abandonment when you’re with him in the way you can kind of go and have a lot of fun and not really worry about consequences so much.

How does he feel about being portrayed by you in this way on national television?
I imagine he enjoys it. I think, knowing him, he’s game for anything. He’s got a really good, positive, energetic attitude; and it’s very infectious. I think he embraces everything that comes at him in life, and I think this falls right in line.

What can we expect as far as storyline goes in the first few weeks of the show?
I think it will essentially center on just sort of continuing to establish Ben and Kate’s relationship. In one of the first episodes, Kate questions whether Ben can fully take care of her daughter and whether she can trust her brother to be with a small child. I think Ben is trying to prove that he can. You’ll see ex-girlfriends come into play that [Ben has] issues letting go of. So I think there’s a lot of typical things you might go through as a brother and sister in terms of giving somebody crap about who they’re dating

That leads into my next question. When will we be introduced to some love interests for Ben and Kate, and how do you both respond to that?
I think we handle love interests in the show in an identifiable way and a relatable way, in a way that most brothers and sisters go through in a sense that inevitably people date people that may not be right for them. It is sort of on your family to say, “Hey, this person is maybe not the best for you,” and so I think, in the end, we only want each other to be happy. It sort of goes in that direction. There’s some craziness, but we set each other straight.

What are some of the bigger arcs we’ll see this season?
I don’t totally know — they don’t keep me in the loop in terms of the bigger seasonal arcs. I know that actor Geoff Stults is coming on to play a love interest for Dakota, and that is just being introduced in what we are shooting next week. So I think there may be some direction there. I think we’ll see him a few more times. Beyond that, I don’t totally know.

Ben & Kate airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.

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