[an error occurred while processing this directive]
||New Jersey teen idol Lou Taylor Pucci had never been on a plane before he headed west to audition for the lead in director Mike Mills's Thumbsucker. Mills interviewed his young star the day after filming was completed.
MIKE MILLS: I'm going to lecture you about your future.
LOU TAYLOR PUCCI: Oh shit, why?
MIKE Because I think it's important that you go to college. I don't want you to miss out on life and become like all those actors and actresses that just get sucked up. You're only twelve.
LOU: I'm eighteen, man.
MIKE You have a long way to go, my friend.
LOU: I don't want to go back yet. Maybe in three years I'll feel the need to go back to school.
MIKE By then your chance might have disappeared forever.
LOU: I don't think so.
MIKE I'll have contributed to your downfall. When you're all strung-out and a retard, it will be my fault. It will be on my shoulders. So now I'm going to have to follow you everywhere and make sure your life comes out just rightâ How did you hear about this movie, Thumbsucker, anyway?
LOU: I got the script in the mail. My dad read it first. We both thought it was great, so I decided to audition.
MIKE I saw your tape. Then I called
LOU: and said, "We have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, we really like you and we want to talk to you. The bad news is, you have to come to Los Angeles for the next audition." I was freaked out. I had never been on a plane before.
MIKE But your parents paid for you to fly out, right? That's pretty cool.
LOU: When I got off the plane, I went straight to the audition. I had no idea who I was
meeting. I waited, like, an hour. Then this guy comes in and says, "Lou Pucci? Come with me." So we walk across the street to a gated building. He punches in these numbers to unlock the gate, and we go down some stairs into a room with all this freaky equipment. I'm thinking, "Oh my god, I'm in the basement of some weird place, I have no idea where I'm going, I'm hungry, and I have to do an audition." And then, just like in a movie, the door opens, light comes pouring in, and I see this bearded guy, who was you.
MIKE And Kelli Garner was there, too. The third scene in your audition was Kelli breaking up with you.
LOU: Girls have broken up with me before, and it's horrible. That day I was thinking, "Wow, this girl is really good-looking. She's nice, too." When she broke up with me, she absolutely destroyed me. I remember feeling so incredibly sad. And we had to do that scene, like, four or five times. [laughs]
MIKE At the end of the scene your character says, "That is so manipulative." When we got to that point in the audition, I told you to just say whatever you wanted, and you said, "That is so fucked up," in this intense voice. That's the moment you got the role.
LOU: She broke up with me five times. I really felt like crap.