Born: 13 March 1985
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Best known as: The young star of the movie Into the Wild
Emile Hirsch broke through as a lead after starring in Into the Wild, the 2007 Sean Penn film based on Jon Krakauer's 1996 best-selling novel. A native of southern California, Hirsch spent the first part of his childhood in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His professional career began before he was in his teens, and in the late 1990s he appeared on TV shows such as NYPD Blue and ER. Hirsch moved on to specialize in edgy, little-known dramas, playing a thoughtful rebel in the Jodie Foster movie The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002), a victimized misfit in The Mudge Boy (2003) and an anguished teen in Imaginary Heroes (2004). He did comedy in the racy teen farce The Girl Next Door (2004, with Elisha Cuthbert), but then returned to intense drama, playing an icky drug dealer in Alpha Dog (2006, with Justin Timberlake), a doomed idealist in Into the Wild (2007, with Catherine Keener) and Harvey Milk's partner in the 2008 film Milk (directed by Gus Van Sant).
Extra credit: About his grueling experience filming Into the Wild, Hirsch told Outside magazine, "I lost 41 pounds. I'm five foot six. I went from 156 pounds to 115 pounds."
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