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Hot Zone (US)


Age: 23

Occupation: Playing heartthrob Ben Covington, the high-school crush and reluctant love interest Felicityfollows to college in WB's Felicity.

Hometown: Toronto, where his father {Roy} is a department-store buyer and his mother {Mary} id sn elementary-school teacher.

How he got his start in acting: a High-school girlfriend dared him to record a two-minute video for Speakers Corner, a Canadian version of MTV that's forum for anyone who wants to perform. "I sat down and declared my interest in playing the role of boy Wonder in Batman Forever", which was casting in Toronto at the time," says Speedman. "I didn't get the part, but the casting director put me in touch with an agent."

Current digs: a one-room cottage in Hollywood. "I think my landlords planned to rent it to an older person, because they filled it with antiques. The place is kind of delicate, and I'm clumsy. I keep knocking over lamps, and the doors to the Murphy bed keep popping off."

How he landed 'Felicity': "Last year I went to a casting house in Manhattan where you pay $50 for a half-hour and recorded a videotapefor my audition. The producers flew me out to L.A. the day after they got my tape."

How his own college experience differed from Ben's: "I only attended the University of Toronto for a year, in 1993, but the characters on Felicity don't go out drinking as much as my friends and I did. And Felicity is still a virgin, something some people might find unrealisitic."

Availability: "I'm not really dating. It's been hard for me to meet someone in Los Angeles, where everyone is always in their car or their house."

Worst role he has had: "Before I left Canada, I was acting in a lot of cheesy TV movies. The worst was playing Ned, Nancy Drew's boyfriend, in a TV series. He followed Nancy around, whining, "C'mon, Nancy, we were supposed to go to the beach today.'"

Role model: "Paul Newman, because he's a great actor, but he also seems like a good person. I loved him as Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

Next up: starring as a cab driver opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in the film Duets.


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