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.