Adrien Brody, 25, is not one of the big-name bit players in Terrence Malick’s much-anticipated “The Thin Red Line.”

“I can’t bring in the audience by just showing up for a week,” he says of those “Thin Red Line” cameos by John Travolta, George Clooney, Nick Nolte and others.

“I had to stick it out for six months.” Brody co-stars in the pic with Sean Penn, as World War II soldiers.

At present, the actor is in the Bronx, essaying a quite different role: In Spike Lee’s “Summer of Sam,” he plays a punk rocker who is accused of being the Son of Sam.

This whiplash approach to choosing parts is the way Brody has done it since the age of 12, when he studied at the Ameri-can Academy of the Dramatics Arts and started acting in Off Off Broadway productions. Later, he attended the legendary High School of the Performing Arts in Manhattan.

Hollywood first took notice of Brody when he played a caring friend in Steven Soderbergh’s “King of the Hill.” “After that was seen, it was a whole different ballgame,” he says of going to auditions and meetings. He followed “King” with his imper-sonation of a gay, Allen Ginsburg-like poet in the early-Beat pic “The Last Time I Committed Suicide.”

Brody also will be seen this year and next in “Six Ways to Sunday” and two Eric Bross-helmed films, “Ten Benny” and “Restaurant.”

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