NOC Interview: Nathaniel Ashton Talks Being Ben on ‘Cruel Summer’

Nathaniel Ashton portrays Ben on Freeform’s newest hit drama. I got to speak with the actor about all things Cruel Summer, including episode 6, “An Ocean Inside Me,” so beware: we will be getting into spoilers. New episodes of the psychological thriller air Tuesdays at 10 PM EDT/PDT on Freeform and are available the next day on Hulu.

A press release revealed that Cruel Summer marks the network’s best-ever series debut among Young Adults and scores Freeform’s most-watched series debut ever, averaging 3.81 million multiplatform viewers in the first week available.


Cruel Summer follows the stories of Kate Wallis, the popular girl with a charmed life, and Jeanette Turner, the nerdy and seemingly innocent wannabee. When Kate goes missing, everything points to Jeanette’s guilt, but with different points of view in each episode, the audience is left constantly wondering who is actually telling the truth? The show takes place over three summers in the ’90s and begs the question, how can one girl go from being a sweet and awkward outlier to the most despised person in America?

Freeform/Bill Matlock

Ashton and I discussed what message he hopes Ben gives viewers, Ben’s relationship with Vince, which episode he’s most excited for fans to see, Jamie and Ben’s friendship, his reaction to reading the final script, and more! Watch my interview below to hear everything he shared.