×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Garrett Hedlund: From ‘Troy’ to ‘Tron’

10 Actors to Watch

10 Actors to Watch
Bow Wow | Cecile De France | Garrett Hedlund | Jennifer Lawrence | Logan Lerman | Rooney Mara | Lucy Punch | Edgar Ramirez | Andrea Riseborough | June Temple

GALLERY

Garrett Hedlund has been scarcely seen onscreen the past few years, but the 26-year-old Minnesota-born actor will be impossible to miss as the star of Disney’s holiday tentpole release “Tron: Legacy.”

Hedlund, whose credits include “Troy,” the feature film version of “Friday Night Lights,” John Singleton’s “Four Brothers” and the fantasy film “Eragon,” signed on to “Tron” after seeing test footage put together by director Joseph Kosinski to convince Disney an update to the 1982 original could be done well.

“It was something that I thought was going to be incredibly new and revolutionary, especially working with 3D cameras,” Hedlund says. “It was a whole new step, a world of unknown, and I wanted to go down that road.”

Hedlund plays Sam Flynn (the son of Jeff Bridges’ character from the first film), whose search for his missing father leads him to a virtual computer gaming world. Acting in the film required a balance of injecting energy and fun into the action sequences while injecting humanity and emotion into the story’s more serious themes.

Hedlund jumped immediately from the sleek, neon look of “Tron” into Shana Feste’s “Country Strong,” playing an up-and-coming country singer who helps revive the career of a fallen star, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Hedlund put in months of preparation, immersing himself in country music, moving to Nashville and learning to play guitar and sing.

“There’s 100% focus on the work and the practice and trying to get there. No way do I want to fake it,” he explains.

He similarly threw himself into researching the role of Dean Moriarty in Walter Salles’ adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic “On the Road.” Currently shooting, Hedlund was cast in 2007 and started reading and traveling while Salles assembled a cast that includes Sam Riley, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen.

“Walter really felt strongly about only making the film that he wanted to make,” Hedlund says. “It’s such a small group, and it’s the closest thing to a guerrilla shoot that you’ll ever see.”

LUCKY BREAK: Landing a role in “Troy” right out of high school. “Once I had known I had gotten it, I never had such a combusting emotion of disbelief.”
FAVORITE FILM: “‘Being There,’ with Peter Sellers. Good ol’ Chauncey Gardner. You gotta love him.”
THE CAREER I’D LIKE TO EMULATE: “It’s not a career I want to emulate but a work ethic. … There’s a lot of actors who inspire the hell out of me. It’s the unpredictables, the guys who are sort of continuously pushing the boundaries and working their asses off and striving to give the greatest performances they can on each particular project.”

More Film

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's 'Jiu Jitsu' Obtains Cyprus Support

    In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution. CYPRUS REBATE Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in [...]

  • Zhao Tao

    Zhao Tao Gets Candid in Kering's Shanghai Women in Motion Showcase Interview

    Zhao Tao is one of the most recognizable faces in Chinese art cinema thanks to her longtime collaboration with director Jia Zhangke, whom she married in 2012. From 2000’s “Platform” to last year’s “Ash is Purest White,” her work has plumbed the moral depths of modern China and brought stories of the country’s drastic change [...]

  • Skyline on the Huangpu River with

    Chinese-American Film Festival Seeks Particular Dialog

    With U.S.-China ties at an ever-sinking low, the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival on Tuesday pledged to improve communications between the two countries —  at a Chinese language-only press conference Tuesday that had few foreigners present. Most attendees who took to the stage to give congratulatory speeches that seemed more intent on heaping praise upon [...]

  • Murder Mystery

    Netflix Reveals Record-Breaking Stats for Sandler-Aniston 'Murder Mystery' Flick

    “Murder Mystery,” the latest Adam Sandler film to debut on Netflix, broke viewing records on the streaming service, the company revealed Tuesday. The film, which is co-headlined by Jennifer Aniston, was seen by close to 30.9 million households in its first 3 days, according to a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon. 🚨ADAM SANDLER AND JENNIFER [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Jermaine Fowler arrives at the 69th

    Jermaine Fowler to Co-Star With Eddie Murphy in 'Coming 2 America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jermaine Fowler is set to play one of the leads opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s sequel “Coming 2 America,” sources tell Variety. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is on board to direct the pic with the studio planning an August 7, 2020 release. Plot details of “Coming 2 America” are unknown, as are the [...]

  • Henry Golding attends the Fragrance Foundation

    Henry Golding Starts Long House Shingle With 'Inheritance,' 'Harrington's Greatest Hits'

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding has started Long House Productions in partnership with China’s Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group with two features in the works. Golding’s first feature under the Long House banner is action adventure “The Inheritance,” based on an original story idea by Alistair Hudson and Golding. Hudson is writing the script for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content