Boston native Ben Foster's first major movie role is a lead in the latest Baltimore-set film by Barry Levinson, "Liberty Heights." In it, Foster plays a white Jewish teen in 1954 Baltimore whose insular world view is expanded by a friendship with a black female classmate. And though Foster is a newcomer to film, playing someone faced with new experiences - and liking it - was not a stretch.
But "Liberty Heights" was the first major gig for Foster, the son of restaurateur Stephen Foster, whose 30 restaurants include the Hub's Pravda and Jillian's.
After his family moved to Iowa when Foster was 4, he started working in theater, eventually leaving school and moving to Toronto to star in the TV series "Flash Forward." Three years ago, Foster moved to Los Angeles (where his parents and brother recently relocated), and he's had TV roles, including a recurring role as a mentally handicapped boy in the current critical favorite "Freaks and Geeks."