He found some support among those who knew his work, particularly a number of men who expressed admiration for “Lone Survivor,” the Peter Berg-directed war movie — one of the highest-grossing projects in Hirsch’s career — in which he played fallen Navy SEAL Danny Dietz.“They had a lot of respect for the military,” Hirsch said.Cox spends much of the movie wearing a bemused scowl, but Hirsch barrels through a range of emotions, from plucky curiosity to deep-seated terror. Hirsch was still coming to terms with the Sundance incident when he embarked on the project, and the result speaks to the path that led him there, if not the brighter one he’s discovered since.With his small build and soft features, he’s well-suited to embody a gullible naif doomed to fail. “It was a time when I really wanted to move forward,” he said.And I like that the choices actors make end up revealing things about the actor.” Hirsch had grown accustomed to plunging himself into alien environments to give his roles authenticity, but jail was another story.There was no specific end game; he had to adjust to being stuck inside a complex for half a month. “It felt a lot longer.” However, his incarceration also provided him with a new context to assess the impact of his career.Emile Hirsch keeps himself busy these days, but he’s not always making movies.
He bunked with a devout Christian doing time on kidnapping charges, who asked Hirsch to join him in prayer.
“We would live in hotels for a week at a time,” Hirsch said, “from one Motel 6 to another across town.” In New Mexico, he lived near a video rental store and spent his adolescence picking through its library of titles. It was the child performance at the center of “Home Alone” that initially made him want to act, leading to auditions that landed him bit parts on television shows by the late ’90s. “I had the idea when I was like six and just kept on doing it.” In 1998, while he was in Australia shooting a cheesy made-for-TV movie called “Gargantua,” he watched “Citizen Kane.” Then watched it again. After that, the quality of his projects began to make quantum leaps.
Hirsch started gaining traction with central roles in “Wild Iris” (2001) and “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” (2002) but it was 2004’s “The Girl Next Door” that provided the first real window into his maturing talent — a shy demeanor meshed with a naughty smirk, which made him the ideal fit to play a horny kid obsessed with his ex-porn star neighbor. In “Lords of Dogtown” (2005), he played a high-rolling skateboarder careening across ’70s-era Venice Beach, while “Alpha Dog” (2006) found him at the center of a gritty thriller in which he starred as a real-life drug dealer Johnny Truelove. So will I.'” He donated the entirety of his bank account to Oxfam International.
Hirsch plays the son and assistant to Cox’s veteran coroner, who dissects the body of a mysterious woman as the rooms around them transforms into a shadowy haunted house.
The two men grow increasingly uncertain of the supernatural events around them, and the ensuing tension allows for an acting showcase. That really appealed to me about the film, more than the horror aspects.” Directed by Norwegian filmmaker Andre Ovredal (“Trollhunter”), the movie expresses the subjectivity of battling demons that never truly die.
“The work itself is the goal,” he said, settling into Brooklyn eatery Sisters after a long day promoting “Jane Doe” in Manhattan.