Rising Star: Garrett Hedlund
Garrett Hedlund is a “user” – and proud of it.
But it’s not substances the 26-year-old instant fanboy fave, who stars as programmer (aka “user”) Sam Flynn in “Tron: Legacy,” uses for a rush – it’s an intense dose of cutting edge CG graphics and modern day movie magic used by Disney to bring the big screen reboot back to life which give Garrett his buzz.
“To be able to wear one of the ‘Tron’ suits was such a privilege to expose something that was kind of the first of its kind,” Garrett – AccessHollywood.com’s newest Rising Star – recently told Access.
However, donning the iconic attire wasn’t as easy as just zipping up a tracksuit.
“To wear them, we had to get ourselves scanned into a computer. We had to do a cyber scan that scans your whole body for every curve to get it so precise, it looks like it’s a part of you,” the young actor revealed. “Me and Jeff [Bridges] would joke around sometimes before scenes, ‘I guess if the stunt goes wrong, they’ve got us scanned into the computer so they can still finish their film.’”
While landing the role of Sam in the beloved franchise was a role coveted by many young actors throughout Hollywood, it wasn’t a story the Minnesota-born actor necessarily grew up admiring.
“I never actually saw the first one until 2003, almost 20 years after it came out,” Garrett revealed to Access during Comic-Con 2010 in July. “And then five or six years later, you’re on the set filming the new installation to this legacy — it’s kind of mind blowing and very surreal at the same time.”
“Tron: Legacy” is undeniably Garrett’s biggest role to date, but it certainly isn’t his first. With roles in “Troy” (alongside Brad Pitt), “Friday Night Lights” (starring Billy Bob Thornton), “Four Brothers” (opposite Mark Wahlberg) and “Georgia Rule” (with Jane Fonda & Lindsay Lohan) – and soon to be seen in “Country Strong,” starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Garrett has been afforded the opportunity to work alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
That was no different with “Tron: Legacy,” as he shared the screen with Oscar winner Jeff Bridges.
“Jeff is such a great, great person. He never ceases to inspire me. It’s just the way his mind is. He’s so wise and he’s such a great storyteller and I’m so driven by storytellers, I could spend everyday listening to him chat about life,” Garrett told Access. “I love Jeff – he’s the best father in the world.”
In fact, it’s a mutual adoration between the thesps.
“Garrett was just wonderful,” Jeff told Access. “He’s a musician, so we got to [play guitar] a little bit.
“And he kind of looks like me in a weird way,” Jeff laughed. “So we kind of kicked off a father and son thing I think – off camera and on camera.”
Despite what is sure to be superstar success – and subsequent fan recognition, Garrett (who grew up on a cattle farm near the small town of Strandquist, Minn., and later moved to Arizona, where he signed with a talent agency as a teen before moving to Los Angeles immediately after graduating high school) said he’s still trying to get used to the idea of being a Hollywood leading man.
“I never was involved in a film that I had to be there every day, all day, you know. I was always a supporting role trying to write his role bigger,” he admitted. “I was never the one that had to sort of be there all day, every day — finding the energy to get through it and do the best you can.”
“Are you ready for your life to change?” Access asked the up-and-comer.
“That’s kind of a heavy question,” he smiled. “One day at a time.”
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