Tiger Beat – March, 1996


He’s been called “The Next Big Thing,” “Hollywood’s
Hottest Hunk,” and of course, “The Sexiest Guy In The World”…but
how does this Missouri boy view all this hoopla? Check out the things that Brad
holds near and dear.

On his move to L.A. to become an actor:

“It’s a cliché. Everyone has had to do silly little jobs.
I remember when I first got to L.A., I read about Michael J. Fox and how he
had to answer a pay phone because he didn’t have a phone of his own. I
mean, everyone’s been through this. What’s interesting to me now
is that a kid who had never been farther west than Witchita, Kansas, loaded
up his car until he couldn’t even see behind him and drove to that crazy
city. I remember going to the Grand Canyon. I took a photo of myself at the
Grand Canyon, I was thrilled by the whole journey. Then I got into L.A., and
there was so much smog, and I realized that I didn’t know anyone. And
I was like, God, this is kinda depressing. So I got a Quarter Pounder with cheese
and a large fries. And I got the newspaper and looked for work as an extra.
The first couple of nights, I had to crash in the car.”

On his sex symbol image:

“Another sex symbol? How boring. That’s just what the world needs.
Somebody who symbolizes sex.”

On acting:

“Acting’s what you make it: It can be limo rides and [phony stuff],
or it can be this real exploration of yourself. That’s the reason I left
Missouri and why acting fit. That’s a little grand, but I really believe

On happiness:

“I think happiness is everyone’s priority in life whether they’re
conscious of it or not. There’s just people out there who get hung up
on it. I’ve found that the bad times are more important because they kick
your butt. I guess it’s more about understanding that happiness. And what’s
really sad is that it seems to me that a lot of what a person thinks of himself,
unfortunately. Comes from what other people think. I think that’s why
so many actors get whacked out.”

On being considered too intense:

“At times I can get manic, but I definitely have to relax. Relax is my
favorite word. It’s my dog Deacon’s command to sit.”

On his age:

“I’d prefer not to have my age printed, It’s not a vanity
thing. I just don’t think people should know certain things because it’ll
go against my characters.”

On his growing up years:

“Growing up I was like an insider—inside of everything, like the
cool stuff at school—but always looking out. Because it wasn’t quite
enough or something. Insider looking out—that’s perfect. That sums
it all up.”

On Tom Cruise, his co-star in Interview with the Vampire:

“I like the guy, I honestly like the guy. But at a point I started really
resenting him. In retrospect I realize that was completely because of who our
characters were. I realize that it was my problem. People take everything so
seriously. It’s a movie and it’s done.”

On River Phoenix death:

“I knew River a little, but I wanted to know him more. His death affected
everyone on the movie [River was to have the Christian Slater role in Interview
with the Vampire], but at the same time it was real personal. You gotta realize,
River did a role in My Own Private Idaho that took it to a level that none of
these other young guys have gotten to yet. I was really looking forward to him
being on the set. It just seems like when we lost him, we all lost something

On being compared to legendary actor James Dean:

“I don’t know why you’d want to pattern your life after someone
who’s not a survivor.”

On his personal role models:

“I know very few men to look up to…That’s why I appreciate
the older films, because they show a man standing up for his principles. Like
[Robert] Redford. He portrayed the kind of man men wanted to be and the kind
of man women wanted men to be.”

On beauty:

“When you see a person, do you just concentrate on their looks? It’s
just a first impression. Then there’s someone who doesn’t catch
your eye immediately, but you talk to them and they become the most beautiful
thing in the world. The greatest actors aren’t what you would call beautiful
sex symbols. I’ll tell you who my favorite actress is—Dianne Wiest—and
you wouldn’t call her a sex symbol. Dianne Wiest is, to me, the most beautiful
woman on the screen.”