HomeCultureEmile Hirsch on remorse, wanderlust and child stardom: ‘I was wary of...

Emile Hirsch on remorse, wanderlust and child stardom: ‘I was wary of the dark underbelly of Hollywood’

Emile Hirsch was asked to play a bad guy. action movie follow is a quick money deal: quick filming, three working days, one of which will be devoted to John Cusack as a crime boss who runs his business around a barbecue . His own character is not very interesting – a murderer on the run whose family is kidnapped. But Hirsch, best known for playing the Speed ​​Racer in the 2008 hit action movie and tragic American nomad Chris McCandless in Sean Penn’s film into the wild world (2007), still want to have fun with it. “I thought, ‘OK, I’ll give the impression of Elon Musk for the whole movie,’” the 38-year-old laughs, as if it were the most obvious idea in the world. “To be fair, that’s probably not a good impression of Elon Musk. Because I don’t think anyone really understands it.” He grinned, sighed, and raised his hand in mock regret.

follow, now available for digital download, is an insanely stupid movie that lives on thanks to its relentless madness. Hirsch’s Rick is erratic, loud, and has a lot of tattoos on his face, and if his dialogue seems particularly liberal and pointless, that’s pretty much because it’s created quickly. “Our director, he said, ‘yeah, don’t worry about the script – just improvise the lines if you want.’ So there were whole scenes where I just wanted to say anything in front of the camera.”

Hirsch is at home in Los Angeles, sluggish but energetic after two weeks of night shooting for a poker movie called degenerate. While his early career was dominated by directors (he worked with William Friedkin, Ang Lee, Gus Van Sant and Lilly and Lana Wachowski all before he turned 25), or teen sex comedies like Sweet Surprise Neighbor girl (2004), his career today can be divided into two halves. One is the smart bunch of indie, like his 2016 terrible two-handed guy with Brian Cox is called Jane Doe’s Autopsy. The rest consists of streaming action movies in which one or more very specific groups of men (Cusack, but also the likes of Stephen Dorff, Michael Madsen, or Bruce Willis before his retirement) wield big guns. poster art. He also appeared occasionally in a modern masterpiece – it was he, you may remember, as Sharon Tate’s hairdresser Jay Sebring in Quentin Tarantino’s. Once upon a time in Hollywood (2019).

He just likes movies, he told me. Watch them. Make it. Even if some of them are kind of terrible. “I saw all the best when I was very young. I was one of those weird kids who binge-watched movies and burned down every section of the video store. If I hang out with people who know football and every player’s stats or whatever, I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about – movies, though, I’m like Mister Aficionado.”

Even if he doesn’t hang around like a Twitter CEO and shoot an Uzi while running around in his underwear – follow, if I still haven’t sold enough, it’s been a ride – Hirsch is a performer with near-wild intensity. He, especially if you’re growing up in the late early decades, is synonymous with a special kind of outcast. Few people can see it into the wild world nor do they want to flee to the furthest reaches of the world (many people captivated by that will forget that McCandless actually starved and lonely in the Alaskan wilderness). When he took off his clothes to dance naked with the hippies in Lee’s Take Woodstock (2009), you want to do that too. Some of us even tried in vain to imitate his thin, shoulder-length hair as Seventies skateboarder Jay Adams in Catherine Hardwicke’s Lord of Dogtown (2005), but let’s not talk about that. And all of this is why it’s horrifying – and disappointing, sad and confusing – when Hirsch seems to throw it all away in one violent moment.

During the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Hirsch attacked a female film executive in the middle of a busy party. In a statement, the executive said she was grabbed from behind by Hirsch, dragged to the floor, strangled her so hard she “couldn’t breathe”, and that it took two bystanders to pull him. Let’s get out of you before the police arrive. Charged with aggravated assault and intoxication, Hirsch pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement later that year, serving 15 days in prison, paying victims’ restitution and going to rehab. It’s an act of violence that has legitimately resonated throughout his career since then, along with people’s reactions to him personally.

It was the worst moment of my whole life so far. The shortest. In the most public place possible

Now he says: “It was scary because it was so intoxicating. “I have no recollection of what happened. So I would read things the next day, like, ‘What?’ I was dumbfounded. Aghast. It’s like if you drank too much and then you woke up and you did this horrible thing.” He paused for a long while. “It was something that should never have happened. Sometimes everyone – not everyone – has moments that let you down or let others down. And you can say you’re sorry and mean it and move on, try to be the best parent and make a living for yourself, and still love your art and still love your family and friends. his friends. And that’s what I chose to do. I think… I hope that I can become a better person too.”

He has another long pause. “It was the worst moment of my life so far. The shortest. In the most public place possible. At the most famous film festival in America, you know? Did he ever figure out why he actually did what he did? “I hesitate to be very specific about it, you know? Because I thought, yeah…” He walked away. “That definitely put me in a lot of emotional and therapeutic work that I think I should have gotten when I was younger, you know what I mean? Being famous at a very young age, it was harder to trust others, I was able to learn more about my own mechanics and do many jobs that I put off when I was younger because of fear.”

‘OK, I’ll just give the impression of Elon Musk for the whole movie’: Emile Hirsch in ‘Pursuit’

(Entertainment grindstone)

Emile Hirsch first set foot in Hollywood was an exceptionally determined person to follow the straight and narrow path. He had an agent at the age of 7, after discovering he had vague connections with many of the young actors he was watching on TV – dozens of whom were taught by his grandfather’s brother and his wife, good teachers. hired by Hollywood studios to educate child actors on set. “They would say, ‘Oh, yeah, we worked with Elijah Wood on this movie, or on this ad – you can do it!’” That background, as well as early viewing of the film. , made him acutely aware of the industry he was entering.

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He explained, “When I got to LA, I was extremely paranoid. “I was wary of Hollywood’s ‘dark forces’. I didn’t trust the party members. My favorite actor is River Phoenix, and growing up knowing what happened to him, I feel like I have to learn from him in every way I can. Just out of respect. I’m not going to say I’m a normal person or anything, but in terms of, like, ‘party people’, I’m at a very low level.

Early interviews noted his early development. a year 2002 New York Times work, in which Hirsch describes himself as looking like “a cross between Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Black” (it’s… oddly accurate), remarking that he’s “17 years old and about to be 40”. “I feel a lot more relaxed now,” he said. “I think when you’re younger, some people get chills already – I just get pretty intense anxiety.” It was inevitable that back then he crossed paths with Sean Penn, another teen actor turned a deeply serious artist, and another with an equally complex image in his eyes. general public.

On the road: Hirsch as the late nomad Chris McCandless in 2007’s ‘Into the Wild’


Hirsch was 21 years old when he did into the wild worldand remember Penn’s strong commitment on set. “We both put our best effort into that film. We leave everything on the pitch.” It led to one of the young actor’s all-time great performances. Hirsch plays McCandless as both the romantic hero of his own story and a spoiled, destructive madman – throughout the film, he thins so much that his body weight is almost skin. bone. You can practically see the light go out in his eyes in real time; Hirsch was apparently barely alive as the series went on (it took eight months to shoot). “I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with it,” says Hirsch. “I’d say it’s like I’ve developed new muscle. I got new strength from that movie. No injury. Leaves no scars. Only strength and that’s all.”

Rubbing his eyes, Hirsch told me he didn’t know what he wanted to do next. His sleep schedule is messed up because degenerate, and he’s conscious of losing his health. “I know what can get me up and take me down,” he explains. “I chewed all this nicotine gum on set and now I want to stop. I want to start weight training again, just go down to Venice Beach and reset. He has a nine-year-old son named Valor, who appeared in follow as his on-screen son – but found the acting completely uninteresting. “He didn’t really try hard to get more done after that, so I could have started early,” he said. “You want to be an actor? Try to join follow!”

Hirsch changed his seat. “I am 38 years old now and I probably have to play this physical thing for a long time,” he continued. “So I want to go out while the wheel is still on, you know?” I told him he sounded a bit like McCandless. “That’s a lot! Strange. I really like a good adventure. Who would have guessed it?”

‘Pursuit’ is available on Digital Download Currently


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