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Emile Hirsch

Hirsch in 2009
Born Emile Davenport Hirsch
March 13, 1985 (1985-03-13) (age 25)
Topanga, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993–present

Emile Davenport Hirsch (born March 13, 1985) is an American television and film actor. He began performing in the late 1990s, appearing in several television films and series, and became known as a film actor after roles in Lords of Dogtown, The Emperor's Club, The Girl Next Door, Alpha Dog, and Into the Wild. In 2008, Hirsch starred in Speed Racer[1] and Milk. He recently participated in Summit on the Summit, an expedition to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the need for clean water in the world.

Contents

Early life

Hirsch was born in Topanga, California, the son of Margaret (née Davenport), a visual artist and teacher who designed pop-up books, and David Hirsch, an entrepreneur, manager, and producer.[2][3] His older sister Jenny introduced him to acting when they were enrolled at the Will Geer Theatricum, a summer drama camp in Topanga.[2] Hirsch was raised in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lived with his mother for several years after his parents divorced.[2][4] He attended Topanga Canyon Elementary School, Paul Revere Middle School and the Academy of Music at Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. Hirsch left Hamilton High School halfway through his senior year in order to pursue his career, later graduating from Beach High School,[citation needed] an independent private high school in Northern California.

Career

Hirsch began acting at the age of eight,[4] appearing in minor roles on television shows and made-for-television films, including Kindred: the Embraced; Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and NYPD Blue. Following his appearance on NYPD Blue, casting directors began singling him out as a serious young actor, leading to a two-episode guest-starring role on ER. He made his feature film debut with Jodie Foster's 2002 drama, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, where he starred opposite Kieran Culkin in the story of two Catholic school boys.[4] His next feature film role was in the prep school drama, The Emperor's Club, with Kevin Kline, which was released later in 2002. Hirsch's reviews were favorable, and both films received generally positive reviews, but performed only moderately at the box office.

Hirsch was subsequently cast opposite Elisha Cuthbert in the 2004 teen comedy, The Girl Next Door, and as a result gained excellent mainstream reviews and wider recognition among teenage audiences. The Mudge Boy, an independent film in which he had starred before making The Girl Next Door, was given a limited release in the summer of 2004. Hirsch next appeared with Jeff Daniels and Sigourney Weaver in Imaginary Heroes, a drama about a dysfunctional family, which received a limited release in February 2005.[5][6]

Later, in 2005, Hirsch starred with Heath Ledger in Lords of Dogtown, a cult favorite by director Catherine Hardwicke; the film, about a number of well-known skaters of the 1970s and their role in the birth of a higher-profile skateboard culture, was released on June 3, 2005. Hirsch played Jay Adams (who some say was the original “Z-Boy”), and was praised by critics for his performance. He subsequently appeared in Alpha Dog, a dark drama starring Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Willis, and Sharon Stone in which Hirsch played a character based on real-life drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood; the film was shot in 2004 and released on January 12, 2007. Hirsch consulted with Hollywood's real life father before playing the role,[7] and has said that he felt "pretty afraid in my bones most of the time" while filming because of the film's raw characters and dialogue.[8]

Hirsch next played adventurer Christopher McCandless in Sean Penn's critically acclaimed adventure-drama Into the Wild, released on September 21, 2007. He lost 40 pounds for the role and was noted in reviews as a potential Academy Award nominee for the film, also receiving a Screen Actors Guild nomination for best actor.[4][9] Hirsch had the lead role in Speed Racer, which was released on May 9, 2008.[1] Hirsch plays gay rights activist Cleve Jones in Gus Van Sant's 2008 Harvey Milk bio-pic Milk starring Sean Penn in the title role as slain San Francisco politician, Harvey Milk.

He recently co-starred in Taking Woodstock, based on a screenplay of Elliot Tiber's memoir Taking Woodstock, adapted by James Schamus. The film was directed by Academy Award Winning Director Ang Lee. His co-stars are Demetri Martin, Liev Schreiber, Imelda Staunton, Eugene Levy and Henry Goodman. Taking Woodstock was shot in upstate New York and was released in August 2009.

He is now working on a modern day Hamlet which will be written by Ron Nyswaner and directed by his "Lords Of Dogtown" director, Catherine Hardwicke.

Personal life and press

Hirsch resides in Venice, California, and enjoys writing poetry and screenplays, along with skateboarding. He has won five awards, including the Critics’ Choice Award for breakthrough performance and best actor for his role in Into the Wild, as well as 11 other nominations. He has appeared on many magazine covers, including Nylon Guys, Teen Vogue, Movieline, Another Man, and L’Uomo Vogue (Italy).

Emile Hirsch appeared in Esquire in November 2007, being called one of the "Actors of the Year", along with Denzel Washington, Cate Blanchett, Javier Bardem, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Robert Downey, Jr., for his role in Sean Penn's Into the Wild. Esquire said, "[Hirsch] creates a vivid, unforgettable character you at once admire and pity."

Hirsch also appeared on the cover of Men’s Journal in January 2009. He wrote a "Congo Diary" in December 2008 that was published in the following issue along with a photo spread. The 23-year-old actor ventured into Africa along with four young activists. He kept a journal of his five-day trip. Reflecting on his trip, Hirsch said, “Now I look back at some of the earlier parts of this travelogue and almost chuckle at my naïveté. Maybe we can all come together to change the world.”

Filmography

Hirsch in December 2007
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Gargantua Brandon Ellway
2001 Wild Iris Lony Brevard
2002 The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Francis Doyle
The Emperor's Club Sedgewick Bell
2003 The Mudge Boy Duncan Mudge limited release
2004 The Girl Next Door Matthew Kiddman
Imaginary Heroes Tim Travis limited release
2005 Lords of Dogtown Jay Adams
2006 Alpha Dog Johnny Truelove
2007 Into the Wild Christopher McCandless
2008 The Air I Breathe Tony limited release
Speed Racer Speed
Milk Cleve Jones
2009 Taking Woodstock Billy
2010 Hamlet Hamlet pre-production

References

External links








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