Burr Steers

From legit to film for what's 'possible'

Nobody can accuse Burr Steers of having too narrow a focus as an artist. This multihyphenate, who boasts a rather tony pedigree — he grew up in Washington as the son of Maryland Sen. and Congressman Newton Steers, and is the nephew of author Gore Vidal — founded the L.A. theater company Evidence Room, is a Sandy Meisner-trained actor who appeared in such films as “Pulp Fiction” and “The Last Days of Disco,” and most recently wrote and directed the upcoming MGM comedy “Igby Goes Down.”

Slated for a spring release, “Igby” stars Kieran Culkin who, as the spawn of wildly dysfunctional parents, becomes a sort of modern-day Holden Caulfield. The not-so-shabby supporting cast includes Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum, Claire Danes, Ryan Phillippe and Bill Pullman

As if he didn’t have enough to keep him busy, Steers also did a rewrite of Paramount Pictures’ upcoming “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or Less” for producer Lynda Obst — the draft that convinced Kate Hudson to star. He’s also developing “A Fragile Kind of Violence,” a sort of “Brideshead Revisited” set in Manhattan’s Bowery and the Upper East Side.

Although Steers’ roots are in theater, he has always preferred film “for what’s possible in it,” he says. “Theater was more educational for me. Things that affected me the most as a kid were films.”

Steers says his greatest inspirations come from classic themes — sex and death. “‘Igby’ came out of my brother’s death of AIDS in 1995. I’d been on the West Coast for a long time, treading water as an actor, and his death forced me to grow up and face things.”

As for his age, Steers only admits to being “thirty-something; I’m too old to die tragically young.”

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