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Michael Stahl-David

Star of 'Cloverfield'

Michael Stahl-David, star of “Cloverfield.”

Book I’m reading:
“Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins

Three books that mean a lot to me:
“East of Eden” by John Steinbeck
“The Fortress of Solitude” by Jonathan Lethem
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis

Last film I saw:
“La Vie en Rose,” directed by Olivier Dahan. Marion Cotillard demonstrates the power of the actor’s body to tell the story. And when she sang I got chills.

Three films that mean a lot to me:
“Escape from Sobibor,” directed by Jack Gold
“Kids,” directed by Larry Clark
A home video from when I was 7

Who do you think is the best actor in Hollywood at the moment? (male or female)
Daniel Day-Lewis. He goes big, exhibits tremendous commitment. His characters are theatrical but unquestionably authentic.

Popular on Variety

If you could play any real-life person in a movie, who would it be and why?

Dan Eldon. Photo journalist who was killed in Somalia and left behind beautiful journals published as “The Journey is the Destination.” His love of women, his ambition, his playful spirit – he once diffused a dangerous encounter with a child soldier by pulling out a mask and playing clown.

Who do you look to for inspiration?
Tony Kushner. David Simon. People who make political art that entertains.

Song currently playing in my iPod:
“Another Saturday Night,” Sam Cooke

Ever feel that certain song lyrics were written with you in mind? What are they?:
Happy Birthday, dear Michael…

Favorite guilt pleasure YouTube video:
Cat swinging on fan cord

What’s the biggest upside of the Internet and what is its biggest downside?
Free stuff on Craigslist; weird roommates on Craigslist.

Do you have a dream project?
Playing a graffiti writer – getting to climb around on industrial wreckage and paint again.

Collaborating with Iraqi refugees to make a film that shows the humanity on both sides of the occupation.

Are there any activities you do to make you feel un-famous?
Telling people I’m famous

What’s more dangerous: a mountain lion or a bitter ex?
Um, a mountain lion.

What is the single worst purchase you’ve made in the past year?
Fixed gear bike off the street. Pedal fell off in the middle of the street and down I went.

Five people who I’d like to see answer this survey:
John Steinbeck
My great-grandfather from Syria
Slick Rick
Ethel Rosenberg
Ira Glass

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