Get Ready For Justin Long

Last week on the Audio Edition Mail Bag, I surprised a bunch of people when I responded to the question “What young actor do you see eventually becoming a major A-List name”. I decided not to play it safe and call a name that no one else was thinking of. Justin Long.

Justin Long totally floored me with his performance in Jeepers Creepers… the first film I really saw him in (I didn’t see Galaxy Quest in theaters). When a performer can impress you in a cheesy 80’s style horror flick, you know you’re dealing with potential. The USA Today has a great feature article on him today. Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s weird,” Long says. “Before I was that loud, obnoxious kid. Now everyone is being sweet.” Including Hollywood, which has in the course of about 18 months made him one of the hottest commodities in the industry. Since his role as the lanky geek who takes shots aplenty to the groin in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Long, 28, has been everywhere.

He has seven films out this year and two more in 2007. Most important — and surprising — to Long is his first starring role. In Accepted, which opens Friday, he plays a slacker who starts his own fictional college. Don’t bother asking him how he became Hollywood’s latest “it” boy. Not only is he at a loss to explain his sudden fame, but he’s also unsure whether he can handle it.

Up to now, Long has been relegated to campy and somewhat cheesy flicks… but I always find that he stands out in them… even in Dodgeball. Aside from Vaugn and Rip Torn, I thought he stood out the most.

Even in his new (and first) leading role in Accepted (which opens tomorrow… in which the 28 year old plays a guy right out of High School) Justin Long shows that he can carry a film when he needs to. I didn’t love Accepted (My review will be up tomorrow), but Long does impress. He answers any questions that people may have of if he can lead a film. He can. He has the comedic timing of an Owen Wilson, and on screen charm of Vince Vaugh (who I’m sure he learned a few things from). Mark my words, and keep an eye on him.

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12 thoughts on “Get Ready For Justin Long

  1. Last April Justin was out here in Ridgecrest, Ca., filming “One Part Sugar” with Danny Devito, which is supposed to be released in 2007. I got a chance to hang out with him. He is just a really nice guy. To be honest, I really did’nt know who he was. Since, I have seen him in “Jeepers Creepers”, “Outbreak”, “Dodgeball”, the final episode of “That 70s Show”, Imac commercials. He is amazing. He let my children follow him around the film set while filming “One Part Sugar”. Can’t wait to see him in “Acceptance”.

  2. This movie does have a couple of hoops to go through in the “no way this would happen” department. But when you jump through them, after all it is a comedy, then it has a great number of funny scenes as well as great message to add to it. I liked how Bartelby “oops” his way into success by ultimately creating a university out of simply to avoid the shame of being rejected by all colleges.

  3. Waiting was one of the worst movies i have ever seen. Ryan Reynolds wasted his time with that one.

    Honestly i can’t think of a more uncharasmatic, and unintresting actor than Justin Long. I don’t know what everyone sees in this guy. Hopefully he can suprise me in the future

  4. Yes he was, PAH, and we just watched him in Waiting… this past weekend. He’s so normal and lowkey that he works in whatever role he takes on. Of course, his mother is an acting coach who works on Broadway and he’s been screenwriting (Galaxy Quest) and producing his own stuff, so he has longevity to spare and an impressive resume to springboard off with. I see him going a long way in this business, too, John.

  5. I think Long may have a prosperous career, but the question is if he can break out of the comedy typecast. Like you John, I thought he was fantastic in Jeepers Creepers, but since then I haven’t really been impressed.

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