The 28-year-old actor Emile Hirsch has been a very busy boy for the last decade. He graciously agreed to an interview this week for The Blot. Hirsch spoke openly about everything from movie tough guys to how the wheels of Hollywood turn. Here is TheBlot Magazine exclusive interview of the fast rising star:
Dorri Olds: What motivated you to become an actor?
Emile Hirsch: When I was 15, I saw “Streetcar Named Desire” and it was awesome. Marlon Brando was my biggest influence when I was younger. He seemed so playful, so creative and so badass. I don’t have idols anymore but for an actor just getting into it, he was a really good place to start.
What kind of non-acting jobs have you had?
I was a child actor so I haven’t really had any jobs that weren’t acting jobs. I only get a taste of jobs by playing characters with jobs.
Do you like tough characters—like Ray Donovan?
“Ray Donovan” is a great show and Liev Shreiber is amazing.
Would you like to play that type?
Yeah, if I grew three feet [Laughs]. Liev is like six-foot-six.
With filming they always use tricks, like with Tom Cruise standing on a box.
Wait, I only made that comment because we were talking about Ray Donovan. That wasn’t a cry for help. [Laughs]. I’ll be playing Clyde Barrow in a “Bonnie and Clyde” miniseries airing December 1st and 2nd on the History Channel, A&E, and Lifetime. Bonnie is Holliday Grainger, who’s on that show, “The Borgias.” Bruce Beresford directed. He did “Driving Miss Daisy” so this is a classy production and we had a great time making it.
Did you watch the original?
No, and I’m glad I didn’t because after I did, I saw how [Warren] Beatty and I played the character completely differently. If I’d seen it, I might’ve been influenced.
You have another movie coming out this year, right?
Yeah, Peter Berg’s movie, “Lone Survivor,” about the Navy Seal. It should be out in December. The character I played is Danny Dietz, a Navy Seal guy who got killed in action in 2005. Learning about Danny through his friends and family and portraying him was an amazing experience. I learned things about him that I want to take with me for life.
How do you choose your movies?
I don’t know. I get scripts and think some are cool and do those. Luckily, with all the films I’ve turned down, I dodged bullets.
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You mean they turned out to be duds?
Yeah. I’ve never turned down something that became a massive hit. Usually I’m like, ‘Whoa, man, good call. Phew.’ People overestimate the amount of movies that get made. There are so many actors so it’s not like there’s a plethora of choices. You work within the bounds you have and you’ve got to remember that’s the way the industry works. It’s a numbers game. Actors get numbers put on their head of what they’re worth. A lot of your choices are just financially dictated by executives who know your bankability. It’s not as idealistic as people think.
What inspires you?
The liberating thing is that there are indie movies that get made and you can use your experience, and have a character and do your thing. It’s on a smaller scale and almost like theater because the acting is the first and foremost part of the film. It’s a real privilege when you get to do that. There’s [sic] so many movies where the acting is almost like the least important part. That’s disheartening and demeaning. If the first 10 things you like about the movie have nothing to do with the acting then I know I’m in the wrong f@%& movie.
What’s life like when you’re off camera?
I love to go running. In L.A., I run to Runyon Canyon and then run back down to West Hollywood in about an hour and a half. I live right in the city so I’m able to walk and get a coffee.
Do you have experience with the down sides of fame?
That’s something you kind of just take as it comes. You just deal with it and don’t talk about it in interviews. [Grins]