He was called by the
Director Sean Penn to play the leading role. Penn had seen Hirsch in
such movies as The Lords of Dogtown, Imaginary Heroes and Alpha Dog,
which impressed him. Hirsch lost 40 pounds for the role and was
nominated for several awards. He also wore a gold watch Chris
McCandless had given to Jim Gallien.
Commenting on the 142 Bus, Hirsch says - "It was the only location we kept going back to. I went back to the bus more times than I went to my apartment in . The bus became my spot. I loved it."
For the scene where Hirsch goes down the rapids in a canoe, Penn asked him to do it so he could capture the real excitement of the moment but Hirsch only agreed after Penn did it first! Penn did go down the rapids but after a while his canoe filled with water and it tipped. He was very quickly helped by an expert canoist and this gave Hirsch the confidence to do it himself.
Hirsch has also starred in the following films:
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
The Mudge Boy
The Girl Next Door
Lords of Dogtown
Into the Wild
You can read more information on Emile on this link .
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Fire Walk With Me reminds us that Lynch wants you to feel your way through his movies, because man, are they wild with feels. A paradox of his style: the image-making alternates between detachment and sensuality, the language is either perfunctory or heightened, but whether he’s being ironic or intense, he’s sincere to the max about it. One electric scene where all this comes together – and almost short-circuits because of it – is the “I’m just a turkey in the corn”/”gobble gobble” moment when Laura comes to James (James Marshall), her sweet, secret boyfriend, wearing only a towel, confesses her inner chaos, and seduces him, taking his innocence to reconnect with her own, for just a moment. Marshall simmers with conflict and Lee vibrates with tumult, like the subjects in the expressionist paintings of a major Lynch influence, Oskar Kokoschka; the scene is “The Tempest” in Archie-land. (So Riverdale , but on pay cable.) It’s hot, silly, and uncomfortable, and we might like it more if the story was stronger. The point here is that Lynch crafts scenes that are emotional roller coasters and he wants you to give yourself over to the ride, provided he’s earned your trust.