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“Always chasing dreams, even if they are wild.” – The Hollywood Reporter

Seventeen years after release to the wildwhich earned him acclaim for his work and defined—perhaps through a sort of osmosis—his character, Emile Hirsch, now 38, by his own admission, hasn’t given up on the role of memorable hero Chris McCandless.

The young adventurer and renegade starred in the 2007 film directed by Sean Penn and won critical honors and a National Board of Review Award. He says he carries within him “idealism, putting his heart and his priorities in the right place” as well as a certain radical view of life, the acting profession, and Hollywood in general.

It was a love-hate relationship for Hirsch, which reached a low point, when in 2015 the actor was involved in an unfortunate assault incident against a Paramount executive. It cost him a 15-day jail sentence, a $4,750 fine, and 50 hours of community service. But most importantly, he admitted his addiction to alcohol.

The Californian, dressed in a green T-shirt with tropical motifs, giving him a “boy next door” look, is in Rome for the screening of Into the Wild, as part of the “Il Cinema in Piazza” festival organized by the Piccolo Cinema Society of America. An independently owned entity, it was established several years ago with true intentions and commitment to show American cinema in Rome, attracting both domestic and international guests, from Paolo Sorrentino to Oliver Stone.

Emil and I met at the offices of Sala Troisi, in Trastevere, the seat of the Romanian Boys’ Association.

Emil, you are not new to Rome, but you are new to the piccolo cinema of America. What do you think that?

crazy. There is a 24 hour bar, as well as the study room upstairs and a really nice big cinema. It is a kind of heaven for movie lovers. It is an independent association.

Then again, you are also “independent”. What is your relationship with Hollywood today?

I feel like I’ve always gone in search of unusual projects. Being independent makes you independent, with fewer rules to follow and more creative freedom. I like to do things that I take big risks for. A quality that occurs frequently in the independent world.

What is the trade off? Is there a time when you made certain films to somehow stay in business?

I think, even in terms of choices, I like all kinds of movies. I love action, comedy and drama. For me, it’s not necessarily about “I have to do this particular thing to get that.” I know many actors who don’t make action movies. I enjoy it because I watch them. And if it’s the kind I watch, I usually enjoy making it, too. I think the best way to build your career is to just do the things you love. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. without thinking about it too much. When you start looking at your career and options like in a graph, you end up doing a lot of math, and that gives the impression that you are being hypocritical and fake. You may be a fine actor with a great career, but many of your choices will be uninspiring.

You had a very warm welcome, and you weren’t new to Rome. What do you like about this city and Italy?

When I come to Italy I am always in awe. I was touched by people’s affection for some of the films I made, such as to the wild. she is really beautiful. Italians have good taste, so I’m not surprised they appreciate art and creativity (laughs). And that’s great to the wild It became…well…a great reputation in Italy and Europe.

She has also shot films in Rome, such as Sergio Castellitto’s “Venuto al Mondo” (Coming into the World).

I have shot three different films in Italy. Other than “Venuto al Monda”, there are also American night (Alessio Della Valle, editor) and state of consciousness, which was filmed in Bari. It is amazing our relationship with Italy. I’ve been here at least 10 times, at least. I love food, people, atmosphere, history and love everything different. One of my favorite artists is Leonardo da Vinci. It’s nice to come to his land and to be in his land: art, science and everything else. It would be worth coming there just for the architecture.

return to to the wild, It’s been nearly 20 years, although it feels like yesterday. This movie had a very strong impact …

one of the things about to the wild What resonates most with me is that when Sean Penn and I made the movie, we knew what its potential was. We wanted to honor Chris McCandless’s life and create something to be proud of. We wholeheartedly believed in what we were doing. This was not a situation where we had any doubts. So we gave 100 percent. I was very young, only 21, when I made this movie. I am now thirty-eight years old. It’s crazy that so much time has passed. I think the most satisfying thing is that I haven’t looked back with regret, “I wish I had worked harder on this, I wish I had paid more for it.” I know we put everything into this movie.

Do you think it’s one of the movies that started to change our awareness of the environment?

It’s hard to attribute it to one movie. what i noticed is, to the wild Not a movie that audiences saw 15 or 16 years ago when it came out, and that’s it. It’s a movie that people keep looking up, even the younger generations to watch. In the United States, they display it in schools. In high schools, during classes. I like to think that one of the reasons the younger generation is fascinated by this movie is the call to live life by following one’s dreams. Although they can sometimes be “wild”.

Tell us about your future plans. Are you done filming Bau Artist of War?

And inside manwhich will be released on August 11 in the United States War artist Bao Set in a concentration camp during World War II. I play Joseph Bao, an artist who, while in the camps, helped forge identification documents to smuggle people. intense film. I’m excited about that. I recently made another movie, decadent, which is poker and cards. That was also very interesting. I was in danger of becoming addicted to poker myself. I thought, “The movie is over and I’m still playing cards. I have to stop!”

You’ve had a career full of ups and downs. There were some moments in your personal life that set you apart. Do you feel obligated to prove that you have become a “good man”?

I think it’s simply about doing your job well and being able to put your heart and your priorities in the right place. no one is perfect. No one can do the right thing every moment of his life. I try to be a good person and live as best I can. For me, life is a very long journey. Things that happened in the past – I can choose to move on and be positive. If you always win in life, that’s one thing. But for me, the most important lessons are learned another way: How do you act when you find yourself in trouble? And I think being able to come back is an important advantage. You know, I often look back at some of the work I’ve done and try to learn from my characters. I do this to set myself on the right path.

Which characters?

Certainly McCandless, because of his idealism. But also Danny Dietz, the Marine I played the only survivor. A brave warrior who does not give up. If left, it recovers.

We conclude with a very relevant question. There is a lot of talk about artificial intelligence and the role of technology in today’s world. What do you think that? Do you think he is a threat?

Personally, I believe that artificial intelligence will find its place in the software world. It’s like virtual reality. Remember virtual reality and Mark Zuckerberg and how everyone would live in the metaverse? The truth about virtual reality is that it will never catch on. Maybe one day I will be wrong, and this interview will be shown as an example of a blunder. But I think reality is interesting enough without having to live in a fake reality, invented by a bunch of cowards. As for AI, I played around a bit with Chat GPT. I asked him some questions. And after about five or ten questions, I got bored and never opened it again. I don’t think AI can become a big problem for artists. When you look at art, you want to see art. Not some fake robotic bullshit.

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