Gil Birmingham Plays Ethan’s Dad, Ben Whitehorse!


Ethan reconnects with his dad (Photo: ABC Family)

Who left Forks for Phoenix? Gil Birmingham! You may recognize him as Taylor Lautner’s on-screen dad, Billy Black, but now he’s trading the Volturi for Alec. And we’re not sure who’s scarier!

What can you tell us about your role as Ethan’s father?
Gil Birmingham: Ben Whitehorse is a great character for an actor to play. He’s very complex and multifaceted, with many dimensions.

Sounds exciting. Why doesn’t Ben live with Ethan?
Gil Birmingham: Without giving too much of the show away, Ethan has a strained relationship with his father. Ben Whitehorse harbors some resentment toward Ethan for his past delinquent behavior and for Ben’s wife leaving.

Where is Ethan’s mother now?
Gil Birmingham: She walked out on Ben, and he remains bitter over her leaving.

Why does Ethan find his father?
Gil Birmingham: Again, I don’t want to spoil the plot, but Ethan ends up running from the law and hides out on his father’s ranch.

What’s Blair and Alexandra’s chemistry like off-screen? What’s the overall vibe on set?
Gil Birmingham: They get along well and enjoy each other’s company. If you think Alexandra is adorable on-screen, she’s even more joyful off-screen. Alex is a rascal, very witty, and expressive. On-screen Blair is a major heartthrob, and off-screen he’s very genuine and grounded. I’ve enjoyed working with both of them. The set is very relaxing, professional and warm. Everyone is welcoming and embracing.  The crew really takes care of you, which I appreciate.  There were some incredible set designs, and fans will really enjoy the cinematic quality of several of the scenes that we do together. It’s a great set to work on.

Who’s the better on-screen son: Ethan or Jacob?
Gil Birmingham: Both are so completely different so it’s hard to compare. Yet both are similar in that a father is trying to connect with his son in a way that makes the son feel understood and loved.  I enjoy exploring the dynamic with Ethan on-screen.  I think Ben and Ethan are a lot alike in many ways, which is where some of the conflict is developed.  I look forward to exploring the chemistry further, delving into what is straining the father-son relationship and can it be healed.

Is anyone on The Lying Game cast a major Twi-Hard?
Gil Birmingham: Not that they’ve confessed to me. The show is the “Lying Game,” so I suspect there are several who are keeping their true Twi-Hard identities a secret.

Watch Gil’s three-episode run beginning Feb. 6 in “Reservation for Two.” Are you excited to see a glimmer of Twilight on The Lying Game? Tell us below, and talk more about Gil’s arrival in the boards.


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