SOMA May/June 2001
Sure Norman Reedus has modeled, but he's not, as some would suggest,a model-turned-actor. "I get that a lot," he says matter-of-factly.
Actually, Reedus acted in four films before being plastered up and down Sunset Boulevard and all over glossy fashion magazines in Prada ads.
The chain of event went something like this: Born, ironically, in Hollywood,Florida, the 31-year old traveled around Tokyo, London, and Spain,eventually following a girlfriend to Los Angeles. After she left him, Reedus worked at a Venice Beach motorcycle repair shop called Dr. Carl's Hog Hospital, and painted in the evenings at a nearby artist's community.
A few years later, he found himself wearing broken sunglasses and philosophizing on the balcony at a house party in Hollywood hills. With glasses slipping and (admittedly) pretty intoxicated, he remembers little except that a crowd was watching him. "I don't remember what it was [that I was saying]," he says, adding, "I'm sure it was pretty stupid. I can't imagine it being anything but."
This may be true. But Hollywood has been known to be king to the beautiful people. As Reedus'story goes, someone saw something.- possibly dolor signs?-in his inebriated ramblings; and certainly his looks, which are a little like those of a younger, healthier, better-looking(though potentially equally psychotic) incarnation of Gary Oldman.
Within weeks, he was cast in a play and soon thereafter found himself represented by the William Morris Agency. Moview-Mimic, Floating, Six Ways to Sunday,(in which he played a killer)- followed. He also portrayed a killer (albeit, a devinely-inspired one) in Boondock Saints, where he starred alongside veteran actor Willem Dafoe.
"He made fun of me, got me flustered, and got me to relax," says Reedus
of Dafoe; a good lesson from an old pro to a novice who boldly admits he
hasn't received any formal acting training.
Up next, Reedus will portray another heavy in Deuces Wild. In this, expected to be released in September, he plays a late '50s-era Brooklyn gang member and rival to protagonist Stephen Dorff. Reedus' character undergoes an attention shift from baseball to crime as the Dodgers move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, leading him to go as far as raping the sister and killing the brother of arch-enemy Dorff's character.
Besides acting, Reedus is enjoying fatherhood. He had a boy, Mingus Lucien Reedus, in 1999 with renowned world beauty Helena Christensen. "I didn't see it coming, that's for sure," says Reedus, adding that he really digs fatherhood. Despite a busy work schedule he spends plenty of time with his fiance and their son, whose first word was "tiger."
He then goes on to give an extemporaneous explanation of the time little Mingus saw a statue of the striped animal in Helena's home country. "He went GRRRR," growls Reedus, really getting into the role.