Emile Davenport Hirsch (born March 13, 1985) is an American television and film actor. He began performing in the late 1990s, appearing in several television films and series, and became known as a film actor after roles in Lords of Dogtown, The Emperor’s Club, The Girl Next Door, Alpha Dog, and Into the Wild.
In 2008, Hirsch starred in Speed Racer and Milk. He recently participated in Summit on the Summit, an expedition to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the need for clean water in the world. Hirsch began acting at the age of eight in rural Woodstock, Illinois, appearing in minor roles on television shows and made-for-television films, including Kindred: the Embraced; Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and NYPD Blue. Following his appearance on NYPD Blue, casting directors began singling him out as a serious young actor, leading to a two-episode guest-starring role on ER. He made his feature film debut with Jodie Foster’s 2002 drama, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, where he starred opposite Kieran Culkin in the story of two Catholic school boys. His next feature film role was in the prep school drama, The Emperor’s Club, with Kevin Kline, which was released later in 2002. Hirsch’s reviews were favorable, and both films received generally positive reviews, but performed only moderately at the box office.
Hirsch was subsequently cast opposite Elisha Cuthbert in the 2004 teen comedy, The Girl Next Door, and as a result gained excellent mainstream reviews and wider recognition among teenage audiences. The Mudge Boy, an independent film in which he had starred before making The Girl Next Door, was given a limited release in the summer of 2004. Hirsch next appeared with Jeff Daniels and Sigourney Weaver in Imaginary Heroes, a drama about a dysfunctional family, which received a limited release in February 2005.