Benjamin Stockham Gets to Play White House With Bill Pullman

'1600 Penn' Preview
5 things we learned from visiting the set.
Imagine what it would be like to have the run of The White House. That’s exactly what Benjamin Stockham gets to do as one of the stars of NBC’s new comedy, 1600 Penn. Well, kind of.

“It’s really cool, because I feel like they took the White House apart and just put it in random places,” Stockham tells Celebuzz. “You walk into different rooms each time. It’s really fun.”

Twelve-year-old Stockham plays Xander Gilchrist, the smart, sensitive young member of the sitcom’s First Family. “My character is kind of like, you know, the shrimp of the family,” he describes.

But don’t judge Xander by his stature. “He’s probably the most mature one there,” the actor, who fans will remember as Robby on FOX’s Sons of Tucson, later adds of his character.

“He’s got these big words and he’s always thinking with logic. Honestly, if they gave him a problem, he’d probably solve it.”

Raised, in Santee, Calif., Stockham is too young to have known his TV dad and the show’s POTUS, Bill Pullman, during his other stint as the President in 1996’s Independence Day. But, the age difference doesn’t seem to matter much for the pair.

“Sometimes, when me and Bill are not shooting, we kind of pretend fight each other,” Stockham tells us of one of his favorite parts about being on-set. “It’s really fun. Bill pretends to take a hit, but not really take a hit.”

And what about his TV mother? “Jenna [Elfman] always has good advice up her sleeve,” Stockham says. “She’s given me some tips on comedy like comedic timing, because you can’t say [funny lines] too fast or too slow because then nobody will get it.”

1600 Penn premieres Thursday at 9:30PM on NBC.

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