Sterling Beaumon — young Ben Linus to “Lost” fans — returns to the tube tonight (10/20) in “Criminal Minds” as a seriously disturbing character.
The writer described him as a budding psychopath who is a serial killer. That right there — from the word ‘psychopath’ I was hooked and I thought, ‘I’ve got to do this character,'” says the 15-year-old actor, who has definitely matured since viewers saw him last.
His character appears to be an ingratiatingly appealing high school kid, but, notes Sterling, “You can see, all his emotions are put on, they’re acted, because he really has no emotion. It’s completely different from anything I’ve done.”
He also notes, “I guess the writer had been a huge fan of ‘Lost’ and had also seen me on ‘The Cleaner,’ so from what I’m told, she wrote this role with me in mind, which was great.”
Mare Winningham plays the kind-hearted mom who gives Sterling’s character a place to stay, much to her later regret. He recounts, “One day we were filming in the middle of the desert in Califiornia, and we were literally just roasting. People were passing out right and left. Fortunately I didn’t. It was one of the longest scenes we had, with long lines, and there were lines being changed on the spot,” he recounts. “I had a car scene with the fabulous Mare Winningham, and you can see the beads of sweat on her forehead.”
MEANWHILE: The currently hot issue of bullying has a personal meaning for Bauman, who has experienced such treatment himself — and has written a song about it for his second album, which he’s currently recording. “I went to a school for, actually it was only a few weeks because I had to go do ‘Lost,’ but it was right when ‘Mostly Ghostly’ had come out and, you know, all the girls thought that was so cool, and the guys didn’t like that, especially when there was a little bit of jealousy there. They decided to be jerks. You know, people are cruel,” says Sterling. Their bullying escalated to such a level he’s uncomfortable talking about specifics. “I don’t want to get into it,” he says, but it got bad.
“The song is about how cruel people can be, and not to take it to heart, just shake it off — because there’s obviously something that you have that they want. Fortunately, I am a really strong person and can take that. If it had happened to someone else and they weren’t as strong as me, there could be one less person on this earth today.”