The “Dell Dude” a Decade After: Ben Curtis to Appear at Atlanta Film Festival World Premiere

Lead Actor and Producer of We Are the Hartmans Talks Openly About the Price of Fame, Handling Controversy and Controlling His Destiny
April 13, 2011 - PRLog -- ATLANTA—Ben Curtis, internationally known as the lovably goofy “Dell Dude” in a series of hugely successful commercials for Dell computers, will appear in person at the 2011 Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF). Joining him will be director Laura Newman, co-star Jennifer Restivo and legendary actor Richard Chamberlain for the world premiere of the feature comedy We Are the Hartmans, Saturday, April 30 at 7:00PM at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema.

Curtis plays the lead role of Jordan, ex-marine and devoted soundman for Mr. Hartman, the aging hippie owner (played by Chamberlain) of a rock ‘n roll club facing foreclosure. When Hartman falls ill, his estranged family swoops into town to close the club for a quick sell to a fast food franchise. Jordan rallies the club's staff and motley crew of patrons to stage a full-out protest to save the club—a gamble that escalates into a scenario larger than he can handle.

Hartmans is the first independent feature in which Curtis has a key role in producing. “Rather than sitting around and waiting for film work to come to me, I’ve found that creating and producing this film—where integrity, love, fun, and commitment are the stronghold for cast and crew—has meant making my own dreams come true. No one else is going to do that for you.”

It’s a candid admission considering Curtis’ remarkable celebrity launched by the catchphrase, ‘Dude, you’re getting a Dell!’ But his rapid ascent to fame was cut short by a 2003 New York City weed bust leading to an abrupt dismissal by Dell and a pummeling by the media. It appeared that fate would seal his career prospects into the “what-ever-happened-to” bin. “It was the best thing that happened to me because it was the greatest learning lesson I’ve had in my life,” Curtis says of his arrest. “My life was out of control after living through 9/11, and I really needed to just go take care of myself. “

The actor, a performer since childhood, returned to his passion for theater and has since built a respectable résumé of Off-Broadway work both producing and acting to critical acclaim. His choices reflect that of a committed artist not a calculating publicist. Curtis, who is straight, is not afraid of portraying onstage a gay man who canoodles with his male lover or expressing the anger of a bigoted homophobic. “My father raised me to be open-minded and love people for who they are—and not whom they prefer to have sex with.” Curtis’ father is an Atlanta-based minister and also happens to be gay.

Hartmans screenwriter and Emmy-winner Peter J. Brash points out: “As Jordan he's brilliant playing romantic comedy. Ben Curtis is that rare actor who can transform himself, chameleon-like, for every role he plays.”

In the midst of launching Hartmans, Curtis is finalizing his studies at the prestigious NYU Tisch School of the Arts on an acting scholarship and will graduate in May.

Hartmans was penned by Brash and Newman and produced by (ir)REVERENT Films and KAID MEDIA with Stuart Adam as executive producer. Filming took place in Manhattan and Peekskill, NY and Jersey City, NJ. Featured recording artists include the renowned L*A*W, Julius C and Black Taxi.

To learn more about We Are the Hartmans visit or to request an interview contact Blayne K. Ross, Producer at 646-350-0836 or To order tickets for the gala premiere visit the ATLFF website at

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We Are the Hartmans is a feature length indie comedy starring Richard Chamberlain and "Dell Dude" Ben Curtis, about a small town's battle to save its soul by saving its only rock 'n roll club.
Tags:Independent Film, Indie Film, Movies, Film, Atlanta, Film Festival, Protest, Demonstrations, Big Box Store, Rock N Roll
Industry:Entertainment, Movies, Music
Location:New York - New York - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Apr 15, 2011
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