Secret Life Star: Ben "Will Start to Crack" in Season 2
There will be life and death on the Season 2 premiere of The Secret Life of the American Teenager (Monday, 8 pm/ET, ABC Family). Someone will get pregnant (not hard to figure out who) and, as already revealed, someone else dies. "[The death] affects everybody, but I'd say it affects the youth of the show more so," Ken Baumann tells TVGuide.com. Baumann's good boy Ben has his own drama to worry about now that baby John makes four for him, Amy and Ricky. See what else Baumann has to say about the "very dramatic changes," how he prepared to play a father and which teen is the better parent.
TVGuide.com: The show's premise was built around a pregnant teen. Were you worried about heading into Season 2 now that Amy's given birth?
Baumann: I think everybody has that small concern, but I really don't think people will be less interested only because it seems like the birth of the baby was the linchpin in the whole project. At the same time, life only gets a thousand times more complicated once you have the child. Just reading the scripts, I think they've gotten better since the first season so there will be a lot more drama and excitement.
TVGuide.com: Ben and Ricky ended last season on good terms. I can only assume they will clash again with a baby in the mix. Adults have difficulty co-parenting, so how do a bunch of 15-year-olds think they can do it?
Baumann: That's a pretty safe assumption! You're not going to get two 15-year-olds who are hunky-dory parenting together in this makeshift family, so it's definitely tumultuous. There's certainly jealousy. There's actually a lot of jealousy. The Ben-Ricky situation gets infinitely more complicated. In Ben's case, he's very optimistic and can be kind of naïve. I think Ricky knows full well it's going to be difficult.
TVGuide.com: From Amy's perspective, how will this affect her relationships with both of you? One's her boyfriend and one's the father of her child.
Baumann: We are shooting episode 12 at the moment and it gets very, very, very dramatic. There will be very dramatic changes between all three of them. There may come a breaking point. Everyone's trying their best to make it work, but it's certainly not going to function very well for probably a very long time.
TVGuide.com: Does "breaking point" mean breakup?
Baumann: It's possible, but I don't even know. There's certainly tension in the air.
TVGuide.com: Did you do anything to prepare to play a father?
Baumann: Well, I certainly didn't go out and get a girl pregnant. [Laughs] I can't really say I did much other than being with the babies on set and being awkward. I'm incredibly awkward around babies. I feel like I'm going to drop them and they're going to shatter. And then the parents will never forgive me. I think we're both in the same boat. I certainly don't want to be a parent at 19 and he's a parent at 15, so I just take my own awkwardness and amplify it that much more.
TVGuide.com: Which of the three has adjusted to parenting better?
Baumann: I would say, honestly, Ricky. He's starting to re-evaluate himself and be a good guy. That was kind of alluded to in the finale. By no means is it a fixed situation, but he's going to try to be a good dad. He is probably the most responsible in the way that he's been raised to be the most self-sufficient. He's got his major flaws, but he's probably the best out of the three.
TVGuide.com: If Ricky's arc is — generalizing here — going from "bad boy" to "good boy," does that mean Ben will go from "good" to "bad"? He's so perfect that everyone's waiting for him to screw up.
Baumann: Exactly! Who is that idealistic and perfect at 15? You'll definitely see some flaws in Ben. He'll start to crack a little. He's not going to grow a pencil mustache and start to laugh diabolically, but he definitely struggles. There are a lot of challenges he has to face and he may not be the über-good boy for very long. I think it's a result of a lot of things in his life — with his home life with his father and not just the baby.
TVGuide.com: Rumer Willis is guest-starring this season. What was it like working with her?
Baumann: She has just one episode so far. I don't know about the future. She plays a teenager in the school and she will maybe make a few people's lives a little harder. She's a source of conflict. Hopefully we'll see her back. I really enjoyed working with her. She's very, very cool. ... Jennifer Coolidge is an incredibly funny and talented actress and there will be a lot of comedic stuff with her too this season.
TVGuide.com: Have you seen the MTV docu-series 16 and Pregnant?
Baumann: I haven't seen the show on MTV. I don't know tasteful it is, but it's good that people will have something to relate to. It's an issue that's bubbling to the surface. [Shailene Woodley] and I were at an event and we were approached by a younger woman, probably early 20s, and she said she went through the exact same thing. She started to cry because the show resonated so much [with her] and she was glad we were participating in a show like that. It's a real issue that should be thought about carefully by teenagers and adults. The more exposure, the more thought-provoking material that's out there, the better.