Saturday, December 08, 2012

Chris Klein

Chris Klein is an actor who is best know for his role as "Oz" in American Pie and several of its sequels.  Klein was on the verge of becoming a breakout star after the release of the popular American Pie in 1999, but he never lived up to his potential, eventually becoming a c-list actor desperate for roles, famously lost his fiancee to Tom Cruise, and wasted precious years as an alcoholic, hitting rock bottom when he was arrested for a DUI in 2005.

Chris Klein was born on March 14, 1979 in Hinsdale, IL, a suburb of Chicago, IL.  Klein was interested in theater at a young age and as a child he sang "This Little Light of Mine” in a community theater at the Sheraton Convention Center in Chicago.  Klein moved with his family to Omaha, Nebraska when he was 13 years old.

As a high school student, Klein was both an athlete and an actor, participating in football, swimming, and acting/theater.  Klein was fortunate to be discovered by director Alexander Payne, who was in Omaha scouting for fresh young talent for his 1999 film Election.  Klein's first movie role was as "Paul Metzler," a polite and dumb football player in Election.  Although somewhat of a box office flop, Election was popular among critics and performed well in the rental market.

The success of Election led to Klein's breakthrough role as Chris "Oz" Ostreicher in American Pie and in the sequels American Pie 2 and American Reunion.  In American Pie, Oz was a jock who was a member of his high school's lacrosse team.  Oz and his friends formed a pact to each lose their virginity by the end of their senior year in high school.

Chris Klein was one of the most popular actors from the movie (perhaps the second-most popular actor after Seann William Scott) and instantly became a heartthrob.  Klein was popular at the time among young women for his good looks.

As the 1990s came to a close, Klein must have thought he was destined to soon become a member of the upper echelon of Hollywood actors.  His career seemed to be hitting the big time and he soon started dating popular actress Katie Holmes, to whom he later became engaged in 2003.

Klein followed up on the success on American Pie by appearing in several major films, such as the 2002 flicks, We Were Soldiers and American Pie 2.  However, Klein also appeared in the widely-panned box office flop RollerballRollerball reportedly had a budget of at least $70 million, yet only earned about $25 million at the box office.  His appearance in Rollerball seems to have irreparably harmed his acting career, as it one of his last major roles.

Klein's star faded so rapidly that he was not even asked to appear in the second America Pie sequel, American Wedding.  Although there were rumors floating around that Klein had turned down a role in the movie, Klein has since set the record straight and let everyone know that he was not offered a role but would have accepted one if it had been offered to him.

At one point Klein  became so desperate for choice roles that he actually auditioned for a role in 2008 musical, Mamma Mia! despite not having experience in musicals or singing.  Here is a clip of Klein's embarrassing tone-deaf audition for the movie:

As his career crashed and burned, Klein's personal life was in shambles.  Katie Holmes famously dumped Klein while they were engaged to be with actor Tom Cruise in 2005.   Klein also started drinking heavily around this time, becoming an admitted alcoholic and was arrested for DUIs in 2005 and 2010.  Klein was sentenced to 96 hours in prison for the 2010 DUI.

The stress of being unceremoniously dumped by Katie Holmes and the rages of alcoholism have taken a notable toll on Klein's looks.  Although he is still fit, his face has aged to the point at which the 33-year-old actor now looks closer to age 40, as shown in the photos below:

Although he has appeared in a number of roles over the last ten years, most of Klein's roles have been inferior roles ever since the Rollerball debacle.  Klein has, however, made a minor comeback recently by appearing in the most recent American Pie sequel, American Reunion, and also scoring a recurring role in the cable TV drama, Wilfred.  Klein is still a relatively young man, even if he does look much older and it is possible that he may be able to resurrect his career.  However, at this point, it still seems obvious that Chris Klein is one washed-up celebrity!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jake Lloyd

Jake Lloyd is a former child star best known for his role as the young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom MenaceStar Wars fans generally disliked The Phantom Menace and cast much of the blame on Lloyd, effectively killing Lloyd's acting career and causing him to grow up to become incredibility bitter young man.

Lloyd was born March 5, 1989 in Fort Collins, Colorado and broke into acting in 1996, when he had a recurring role on the TV show ER and appeared in the TV movie Apollo 11 and the motion picture Unhook the Stars. Although most people know Lloyd as "the kid who ruined Star Wars," more astute movie buffs may also remember Lloyd as "the kid who ruined Jingle All The Way." In Jingle All The Way, Lloyd played Jamie Langston, the incredibly bratty son of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Howard Langston character. Perhaps Lloyd was instructed to be a little brat in the movie, although even if he was following directions, his character was nevertheless very grating and annoying and generally detracted from the overall movie experience of the casual viewer.

Notwithstanding his performance in Jingle All The Way, Lloyd continued to receive choice role and appeared to be heading for stardom.  Lloyd appeared in several episodes of the moderately successful NBC drama, The Pretender, between 1996 and 1998.  In 1999, Lloyd really hit the big time when he was cast as the young Anakin Skywalker in the first movie of the long-awaited Star Wars prequels, entitled Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Lloyd played the young boy who would become the Jedi knight who turned to the Dark Side of the Force and later became the evil Darth Vader.  Lloyd seems to have been horribly miscast as Anakin Skywalker in large part because he seemed to be far too young for the role.  The start of a romance with the much older Padmé Amidala (played by Natalie Portman) was difficult to believe, as Lloyd was only 10 years old when the movie was released, whereas Portman was 18 years old.  Fans also complained about Lloyd's inability to deliver his lines in a believable manner and with realistic emotions.

Lloyd also had to give up to 60 interviews a day, which is a lot of ask of a 10-year-old boy.  Lloyd quickly grew to resent Hollywood in general and blamed George Lucas for putting him through the ordeal.  Lloyd effectively stopped acting after The Phantom Menace, although he did lend his voice to several Star Wars video games.

Lloyd claims that all of the criticism from his appearance in The Phantom Menace made his life a living hell.  He says that his classmates would tease him by making light saber sounds whenever they would see him.  Here is an itnerview where Lloyd complains about treatment by his former high school and college classmates:

Lloyd became so angry and bitter that eventually destroyed all of his Star Wars memorabilia. I bet that Lloyd is also angry because he appears to have stopped growing at age 10. Lloyd looks pretty shrimpy in this photo:

Even though more than 10 years have passed since The Phantom Menace was released, Lloyd is still very angry, as is evident in this 2009 interview at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo held in Perth, Australia. Lloyd apparently traveled to Australia to meet Star Wars fans, yet he came across as a complete jerk in this interview:

Despite having little apparent acting talent and ability, Jake Lloyd was a successful young actor who received choice roles. However, fairly or unfairly, Lloyd received much of the criticism from fans unhappy with The Phantom Menace. Lloyd has grown up to become a very unhappy and bitter young man who is still hung up a role he had when he was 10 years old. He still goes to conventions because he presumably is paid to do so and needs money, yet he seems angry when asked about his experience in The Phantom Menace. For this and the other reasons discussed above, Jake Lloyd is one washed-up celebrity!

*** Update - June 21, 2015 ***

Jake Lloyd was arrested on South Carolina police on a 25-mile high-speed chase at speeds up to 100 mph on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Lloyd reportedly crashed through a fence while attempting to evade police. Lloyd told the police that his name was "Jake Broadbent." He has a $10,700 bond and is being held on charges of resisting arrest, reckless driving, driving without a license and failure to stop.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Richard Grieco

Richard Grieco was a rising star in Hollywood in the late 1980s starring in 21 Jump Street and a spin-off show, Booker, until his career suddenly derailed and began a rapid descent into obscurity.

Grieco was born on March 23, 1965 in Waterton, New York to an Italian father and Irish mother. He was an athlete during his youth and played football for Central Connecticut State University. As a young man, Grieco modeled for Armani, Calvin Klein and Chanel before studying acting.

Grieco broke into acting in the mid-1980s with minor non-recurring roles on popular television shows such as One Life to Live, Rags to Riches, Who's the Boss, The Facts of Life, and The Bronx Zoo. His break-through role that propelled him to stardom was his role as Booker on 21 Jump Street.

21 Jump Street was a police procedural crime drama television series that aired between April 1987 and April 1991. The series focused on a squad of squad of young undercover police officers investigating crimes in high schools, colleges, and other locations where youths congregate. The series was one of the Fox network's more popular shows during the network's early years. Although co-star Johnny Depp was the biggest star on the show, Grieco's character was probably a close second.

Grieco was known as a sex symbol among young women during the late 1980s for his looks and his popularity led to the Fox network offering him a starring role on the spin-off show, Booker, where he continued to play Detective Booker. Unfortunately for Grieco, however, his new show was poorly received and was cancelled after only one season.

Grieco had a guido-like appearance during the height of his stardom, much like the people who currently appear on the MTV reality show, Jersey Shore.

Grieco attempted to parlay his burgeoning stardom into a singing career. In 1994 Grieco joined the Dunmore Band. Grieco later signed a contract with a German label and released the album, Waiting for the Sky to Fall, in 1995. A decade later, in 2004, Grieco collaborated with music manager Cheryl Bogart to form the band Wasteland Park.

Grieco's acting career, however, practically ended with the cancellation of Booker in 1990 as he nearly fell off the Hollywood radar. (While still a star, he was referenced in this hilarious early-1990s skit on Saturday Night Live where a group of weight-lifters were in agreement that he needed to receive a beating.) Grieco did have a starring role in short-lived series such as Marker on the UPN network in 1995, but that series was cancelled after only 13 episodes had aired. He did have a fairly prominent role in the 1998 Saturday Night Live vehicle, A Night At The Roxbury, but his appearance didn't seem to help his career.

During the past decade, Grieco has had starring roles in minor straight-to-video flicks such as Final Payback in 2001 and Fish Don't Blink in 2002. He has also appeared in several made-for-TV movies over the years, such as Phantom Force in 2004 and Almighty Thor in 2011.

Grieco must have looked at the stardom of former co-star, Johnny Depp, with incredible envy. Perhaps he also thought that given the success of the Jersey Shore show, the time was ripe for a Grieco comeback. It appears as though Grieco may gone under the knife to get some plastic surgery in an effort to revive his floundering acting career as shown in the photos below. It appears as thought Grieco may have gotten a nose job to thin out the bridge of his nose. As a result of this apparent plastic surgery, Richard Grieco's face looks somewhat feminine and the long hair certainly isn't helping his cause!

Grieco was briefly in the news in early 2011 when it was reported that he was practically begging to take over Charlie Sheen's role on Two and a Half Men after Sheen was fired in 2011. He also recently produced the Showtime reality series entitled Gigolos, about male prostitutes and claims that he was offered up to $10k a night for gay sex back in the 1980s. Grieco may have resort to male prostitution to raise some cash now, as he reportedly owes over $44,000 in back taxes to the IRS.

Richard Grieco was one one Hollywood's rising stars in the late 1980s. However, his career suddenly and inexplicably derailed, leaving him by the wayside. In an apparent effort to jump-start his career he may have gotten some bad plastic surgery. Accordingly, there can be no doubt that Richard Grieco is one washed-up celebrity!