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Jared Harris / Actor

April 12, 1998|Steve Hochman

Playing a scarily spot-on Andy Warhol in "I Shot Andy Warhol" was a blessing and a curse for Jared Harris. It got him noticed, but no one saw the real him behind the wig, glasses and accent. Now, though, at 36, the London-raised son of actor Richard Harris has two breakout roles: a pivotal part in "Lost in Space" and the co-lead in "B. Monkey," director Michael Radford's first film since "Il Postino," coming May 8.

TYPECAST: "After 'Warhol' I was the stereotype for people who were looking for strange artists with white wigs. Didn't exactly whack open a whole bunch of doors."

NORMALCY: "Most of the characters I've had are these marginal characters, strange people. 'B. Monkey' was a great opportunity. I was excited because I got to play someone who wasn't retarded or weirdly perverted--a regular guy."

ACTING LESSON: "Obsessional love stories like 'B. Monkey' take it out of you. You don't want to sort of not come back from the place you have to go emotionally; you've got to come back. But you've got to take the trip, and you don't really have another life--six days a week, 18 hours a day, for 11 weeks."

ACTING LESSON II: "From 'Lost in Space' I now have a great deal of respect for actors doing science fiction. It's physically more demanding and more demanding of your concentration--you've got an enormous set, shooting completely out of context, and you have to make strongly delineated choices so your character is as clearly defined as this magnificent set."

WANT ADS: "There are two movies, 'Johnny Jump Up' and 'The Ginger Man,' that I'd love to be in. 'Johnny Jump Up' was written by Tony Cavanaugh. Harvey Keitel's company, Goat Singers, is doing it. 'The Ginger Man' is from the J.P. Donleavy book. Bob Mitchell is producing and John Irvin directing. And they're doing another 'Austin Powers.' I'd love to be in a skit in that."

HEROES: "I was talking to Harvey Keitel about 'Johnny Jump Up' in a hotel in London, and he turned around at one point, put his fingers under his chin and said, 'Sometimes, Jared, you just have to say, "[Expletive] you." ' I looked at him and said, 'I've paid $8.50 to see you do that!' "

MEDIA LITERACY: "With the opportunity to see things repeated on video and cable, audiences have become very sophisticated. Even when Tarantino messed with the time line in 'Pulp Fiction,' now people can handle it and you can get even more complicated. All the formula scripts out there, people are bored with them."

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