Emile Hirsch

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Emile Hirsch
Emile Hirsch by David Shankbone.jpg
Hirsch at the 2008 premiere of Speed Racer
Born Emile Davenport Hirsch
(1985-03-13) March 13, 1985 (age 29)
Topanga, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1996–present

Emile Davenport Hirsch (born March 13, 1985)[1] 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 the Sean Penn-directed film Into the Wild. In 2008, Hirsch starred in Speed Racer[2] and Milk. His most recent films include Taking Woodstock, The Darkest Hour, Oliver Stone's Savages, David Gordon Green's Prince Avalanche, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and co-stars Paul Rudd, "The Motel Life" co-starring Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, and Kris Kristofferson, and Lone Survivor co-starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, and Ben Foster. He 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.[3]

Early life[edit]

Emile Hirsch was born in Topanga, California. His mother, Margaret Esther (née Davenport), is a visual artist and teacher who designed pop-up books, and his father, David M. Hirsch, is an entrepreneur, manager, and producer.[4][5][6] He has an older sister, Jenny. Hirsch's ancestry includes Ashkenazi Jewish (from his paternal grandfather), as well as English, and some German.[7] He was raised in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lived with his mother for several years after his parents divorced.[5][8] His sister introduced him to acting when they were enrolled at the Will Geer Theatricum, a summer drama camp in Topanga.[5] He attended Topanga Canyon Elementary School, Paul Revere Middle School and the Academy of Music at Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles.


Hirsch began acting at the age of eight in Woodstock, Illinois,[8] 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.[8] 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 at Hollywood Life Magazine’s 7th Annual Breakthrough Awards in December 2007

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.[9][10]

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,[11] 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.[12]

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.[8][13] Hirsch had the lead role in Speed Racer, which was released on May 9, 2008.[2] 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.

He 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.

In April 2010, director Chris Gorak cast him in his science fiction film, The Darkest Hour,[14] and released in December 2011.[15] In April 2011, he was cast in Oliver Stone's Savages, which was released in July 2012.[16] In 2012, he starred with Penélope Cruz in Venuto al mondo, a film by Italian director Sergio Castellitto. After he read the script, including the sex scenes, knowing that Cruz was attached, he said doing the film was a "no-brainer."[17] In 2013 he starred in, Prince Avalanche, co-starring Paul Rudd, screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it was acquired by Magnolia Pictures. He also starred in the critically acclaimed film The Motel Life, co-starring Dakota Fanning. In Fall 2013, he will star in the two-part television miniseries event, Bonnie & Clyde, to be simultaneously broadcast on A&E, History, and Lifetime.

In October 2013, it was reported that Hirsch is set to play Blues Brothers' star John Belushi in a biopic about the actor’s life. The yet-to-be-titled independent film will be written and directed by Steve Conrad, whose filmography includes The Pursuit of Happyness and The Weather Man. The film is due to begin shooting in New York during Spring 2014.[18]

Personal life and press[edit]

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).[19]

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."[20] Despite his success Hirsch says he is comfortable with the profile he has. “I can make the films I want to make but […] I don’t get mobbed by crazy, rabid thirteen-year-old girls and that is nice for me.”[17]

Hirsch appeared on the cover of Men’s Journal in January 2009.[21][22] He wrote a "Congo Diary" in December 2008 that was published in the following issue along with a photo spread. He ventured into Africa along with four young activists, and 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.”[23]

His first child, a son named Valor, was born in October 2013. The mother of the child is Hirsch's ex girlfriend.


Film and television
1997 Early Edition Lance Foster Season 2: Episode 8: March in Time
1997 3rd Rock from the Sun Punk Season 3: Episode 5: Scaredy Dick
1998 Gargantua Brandon Ellway
1999 The Pretender Bryce Season 3: Episode 19: End Game
1999 Two of a Kind Jeremy Season 1: Episode 12: Let's Dance
2001 Wild Iris Lony Brevard
2002 Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, TheThe Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Francis Doyle
2002 Emperor's Club, TheThe Emperor's Club Sedgewick Bell Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actor
2003 Mudge Boy, TheThe Mudge Boy Duncan Mudge limited release
2004 Girl Next Door, TheThe Girl Next Door Matthew Kidman Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Elisha Cuthbert)
2004 Imaginary Heroes Tim Travis limited release
2005 Lords of Dogtown Jay Adams Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Breakout Performance – Male
2006 Alpha Dog Johnny Truelove
2007 Into the Wild Christopher "Alexander Super-Tramp" McCandless National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Male Performance
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Gotham Award for Breakthrough Artist
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Drama
2008 Air I Breathe, TheThe Air I Breathe Tony limited release
2008 Speed Racer Speed Racer Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure
2008 Milk Cleve Jones Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2009 Taking Woodstock Billy
2011 Killer Joe Chris Smith
2011 The Darkest Hour Sean
2012 Savages Spin
2012 Venuto al mondo Diego
2012 The Motel Life Frank Flannigan
2013 Prince Avalanche Lance
2013 Bonnie & Clyde Clyde Barrow TV miniseries
2013 Lone Survivor Danny Dietz
2014 Ultimate Spider-Man Ka-Zar (voice) Season 3: Episode 7: "Coronation Kraven"
2015 Ten Thousand Saints Johnny
20?? Untitled John Belushi Biopic John Belushi


  1. ^ "Emile Davenport Hirsch 03/13/1985". California Birth Index. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Dicker, Ron (2007-09-16). "Two Postcards From Toronto: Evan Rachel Wood, Emile Hirsch Give Hollywood A Glimpse Of Its Future". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on 2007-11-23. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  3. ^ "After Into the Wild, Emile Hirsch Couldn't Chicken Out on Kilimanjaro | Blogs". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b c McLean, Craig (2007-10-20). "Call of the wild". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  6. ^ Toppman, Lawrence (2007-10-21). "C`Wild' sets young star soaring". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  7. ^ http://ethnicelebs.com/emile-hirsch
  8. ^ a b c d Piccalo, Gina (2007-09-22). "Emile Hirsch comes 'Into the Wild'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-09-22. [dead link]
  9. ^ "The Numbers.com". Emile Hirsch. Retrieved March 16, 2006. 
  10. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes". Emile Hirsch. Retrieved March 16, 2006. 
  11. ^ "Hirsch Talked To Fugitive's Dad For Film". Playfuls. 2007-01-07. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  12. ^ Shuster, Fred (2007-01-06). "'Alpha Dog' has its day". San Bernardino Sun. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  13. ^ Levine, Stuart (2007-09-18). "Emile Hirsch is here to stay". MSNBC. Retrieved 2007-09-19. 
  14. ^ Emile Hirsch Survives Horrid Alien Invasion 'The Darkest Hour'
  15. ^ Emile Hirsch Comes In From the Wild to Deal With The Darkest Hour
  16. ^ Emile Hirsch Cast In Savages - The Playlist
  17. ^ a b Emile Hirsch Interview | The Talks
  18. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/emile-hirsch-to-play-john-belushi-in-film-about-blues-brothers-star-8910726.html
  19. ^ "Emile Hirsch Gets Shot By Francesco Carrozzini For L’Uomo Vogue". socialitelife.com. March 24, 2009. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  20. ^ D' Angelo, Mike (November 20, 2007). "Actors of the Year - Page 6". Esquire.com. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Emile Hirsch in Men's Journal (January 2009)". December 21, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ Hirsch, Emile (December 15, 2008). "Emile Hirsch’s Congo Diary". mensjournal.com. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 

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