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Wherever she looks, she sees role models

September 09, 2007|Susan King

Though she may not come from an acting dynasty as famous at the Barrymores, Alexa Davalos does hail from sturdy thespian stock. Her grandfather, Richard Davalos, played James Dean's brother in 1955's "East of Eden." And mother Elyssa Davalos is a veteran of TV, theater and films.

Davalos says she couldn't resist joining the family profession, even though that may not have been her family's desire. "I kept it very quiet until it was actually happening," says the 25-year-old actress, who stars in Robert Benton's romantic drama "Feast of Love," which opens Sept. 28.

Her role as the free-spirited Chloe, who arrives in a small Oregon college town and gets a job at a coffee shop, is her highest profile.

The character is immediately attracted to co-worker Oscar (Toby Hemingway), a young man with an abusive father. Morgan Freeman stars as a sensitive college professor who befriends Chloe and Oscar.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, September 11, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
Alexa Davalos: A caption under a photograph of actress Alexa Davalos in Sunday's Calendar section incorrectly called her a daughter of actors. Her mother is an actor, but her father is not.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, September 16, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
Alexa Davalos: A caption under a photograph of actress Alexa Davalos in the Sept. 9 Calendar section incorrectly called her a daughter of actors. Her mother is an actor, but her father is not.

Working with Academy Award winners Benton ("Kramer vs. Kramer") and Freeman was the "most incredible experience," Davalos says.

She says she wasn't nervous acting opposite Freeman.

"It was more an extreme hunger to learn," she says. "With Morgan, all you have to do is listen and be present and he gives you the world."

"Feast of Love" also marks Davalos' first nude scene. "There is a stigma about it and fears -- am I going to be protected?"

She and Benton talked about it during the audition process "and just speaking with him put my mind at ease, enough to say, 'If I am going to do this, he is the right person.' "

Since completing "Feast of Love," Davalos has made "The Mist," a Stephen King chiller directed by Frank Darabont ("The Green Mile"), due out this year. And she's now in Lithuania filming the World War II drama "Defiance," starring Daniel Craig and directed by Edward Zwick.

-- S.K.

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