Jason Patric Movies

˜I think the [real] conflict is jumping into a genre that is largely crap. Jason Patric, when asked if he experienced any conflicts with the physical demands of filming Speed 2 FOR better or for worse, Jason Patric’s first big break came at the expense of pal Kiefer Sutherland, with whom Patric co-starred in the 1987 cult classic vampire flick The Lost Boys. Their on-screen relationship in that film had a less-than-smiley culmination when poor Kiefer melted away into a puddle of goo, and relations between them couldn’t have been all that warm and fuzzy four years later, when Kiefer’s bride-to-be, one Julia Roberts, stood him up at the altar and ran off to Ireland with Jason. This eyebrow-raising turn of events prompted a watching world to collectively inquire, “Jason who?,” and a star was born. Never one to tolerate commitment in large doses, Ms. Roberts soon jettisoned poor Jason to traipse down the aisle with gangly crooner Lyle Lovett, whom she subsequently dumped in order to shack up with Daniel Day-Lewis, who got his walking papers when . . . oh, never mind. At any rate, Patric landed on his feet–he probably even shared a beer and a laugh over the situation with good ol’ Kiefer, who, after all, could appreciate how he felt–and his career has gradually been gaining momentum ever since.

Where did it all begin for this talented, handsome young star? It can be argued that acting is in his blood: as the son of actor and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jason Miller, and the grandson of famed comedian Jackie Gleason, Patric boasts an impressive showbiz pedigree. Although he respects his grandfather’s work, he claims that the late Gleason “never had any influence in [his] life as a person or as an actor.” Instead, Patric traces the origin of his career aspirations to the summer following his junior year in high school, when he joined the cast and crew of a local Shakespearean festival. In addition to building sets and taking tickets, he filled small roles in the plays staged by the troupe, suiting up to be a soldier one day, a citizen the next. The budding thespian began to watch for other opportunities to involve himself in show business, and when his father directed a 1982 film adaptation of one of his own plays, That Championship Season, Jason joined the crew as a production assistant. He won his first sizeable acting assignment three years later, in an ABC drama called Toughlove, and it was at that point that the promising young actor abandoned the surname of Miller to be listed in the credits with the star-worthy moniker Jason Patric.

Newly sans patronymic, he devoted himself almost entirely to making movies. Patric’s very first appearance on the big screen is one he’d probably like the world to forget: along with budding teen-queen Jami Gertz and Witness wunderkind Lukas Haas, he made his feature-film bow in the forgettable Mad Max rip-off Solarbabies. Gertz and Patric reunited the next year on the vampire-infested set of The Lost Boys, where director Joel Schumacher cast Patric as the film’s lead. Though The Lost Boys was only a modest success at the box office, it became a huge renter in video stores across the nation, and Patric seemed to have carved out a place for himself among the ranks of Hollywood’s rapidly rising “Brat Pack.” But instead of attempting to win further acclaim from younger audiences, the serious-minded Patric appeared in three successive independent films. He might have been forever lost to the realm of celebrity but for his involvement in the derailment of the planned Sutherland-Roberts nuptials. Perhaps as a result of his many unfortunate run-ins with the tabloids that dogged Roberts’ every move, the intensely private Patric has since done his level best to stay out of the public eye. He has said of the media, “I’m a firm believer that if you invite them to the wedding, you invite them to the divorce. If you’re using a personal part of your life to gain celebrity or to convince people to like you, then they have that access.”

Fortunately, Patric’s acting credentials began to slowly overshadow his celebrity-boyfriend status soon after his brief romance with Roberts. Already modestly acclaimed for his performance in 1990’s After Dark, My Sweet, he won the praise of critics nationwide as a strung-out undercover narcotics cop in the 1991 police thriller Rush. Even given his comparatively meager rTsumT, directors and producers finally started to take notice of his abilities. He was approached to play the role that later went to Tom Cruise in The Firm, and when the contemplative Western Geronimo: An American Legend arrived at the box office in 1993, Patric received top billing over veteran film stars Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall. Despite never having starred in a genuine blockbuster, he scored a major coup in 1996, when he nabbed the lead role in Sleepers, heading a star-studded ensemble cast featuring such Hollywood luminaries as Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, and Brad Pitt. That same summer, Patric’s career shifted into high gear when he replaced Keanu Reeves to star alongside Sandra Bullock in the ill-advised sequel to 1994’s Speed, Speed 2: Cruise Control. He was on firmer cinematic ground with his next role, playing a cruel misogynist in writer-director Neil LaBute’s 1998 film Your Friends and Neighbors.

Still among the ranks of the more eminently eligible bachelors in Hollywood, Patric has lately been seen squiring Maybelline model Christy Turlington around town. He recently established a production company, Fleece Productions, which currently has two films in development: The Gipp, a project he plans to co-produce with Francis Ford Coppola, and in which he may also star as Notre Dame football great George Gipp; and 1066, a historical drama about William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings.

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