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2010 April 29

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Brian Geraghty Brian Geraghty
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Brian Geraghty—a.k.a. “the other guy from The Hurt Locker”—has three impressive films screening at Tribeca. Remember his name. He’s about to blow up. BY EMILY GYBEN

THE DAILY: Congratulations! You’re a Tribeca triple threat!

Ha. Yeah, that’s what I hear. [Laughs] We’ll know when we get there. You can call it luck, I guess.

That’s a whole lot of parties. What’s your schedule looking like?

I’m trying to get there for a full week, so I’ll have a couple days to hang around. My friends are in a play, so I want to see that, and then Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I can go to a few screenings. A couple of my friends, Chris Messina and Ivan Martin, are in a movie called “Monogamy” that I’d really like to see, too.

You just wrapped a play in Los Angeles, “The Subject Was Roses.” Paychecks aside, do you enjoy doing theater as much as film?

I really do. But I like it differently. To do fifty shows in front of seven or 800 people a night was the greatest learning experience for me as an actor. I had the chance to change things and just see how it went, without having control of the outcome. And doing the show really kept me in work mode. I didn’t have time to think about anything else.

How has your career changed since “The Hurt Locker”?

To be honest, my career really started changing about five or six years ago when I did “Jarhead.” Before then, I had sort of lost faith in acting. I had moved to L.A., tried it for a year, and was really disheartened. It felt like everyone was an actor. It felt impossible. And so I started teaching surfing. I was making a living, had health insurance and all that, but I didn’t feel fulfilled. Then that movie came along, and a few months later I ended up getting the role. It seemed to start to legitimize me—especially working with Sam Mendes and Jake Gyllenhaal. That was really the beginning of it.

Between “The Hurt Locker,” “Jarhead,” and “The Subject Was Roses,” you’ve played a lot of soldiers. Are you afraid of being typecast?

I’m afraid of being typecast as a certain kind of character, sure. But doing war films or playing soldiers? No. They’re important roles, and you have an obligation when you sign up—plus you get to train with these amazing real people. That’s what always draws me to these projects. Whether I’m playing an actual guy or a composite of actual guys, it’s gratifying to be able to do the research. At the end of every day, it’s like “Ah, ha! I’m an actor!” I’m not just out here gratuitously trying to make money—though there are those jobs, too.

At Tribeca, you’ve got a thriller called “Chameleon,” a drama called “Open House,” and Kirten Dunst’s quasi-biblical six-minute short, “Bastard.” They’re all pretty dark. Is there a romantic lead in there just itching to bust out?

I play him every day, it’s just that no one sees! [laughs] I’ve done so many dark things in the last couple years; some deeply personal movies. So, yeah, I’d say I’m ready to have some fun!

 What was it like working with Kirsten Dunst on “Bastard”?

Kirsten and I have known each other for a while—we share an agent, actually. She’s worked so much and done so many great things; she really understands how to work with actors. She definitely deserved the respect that people give her on set as a director.

“Open House” sounds like a pretty grisly story. But between Andrew and Anna Paquin and Anna and Stephen Moyer, it sounds like it was a pretty familial environment.

Yeah, it was cool. It was a small shoot, a very small-budget movie, but we had a good time. All the actors were there for the right reasons.

What are you working on now?

Surfing! [laughs] I’ve actually got a couple charity events—I’m welcoming home Navy Seal Team One on Friday, so I get to go there and speak. And then I’m going back to D.C. to do this other charity that I belong to, called TAPS [Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.] We counsel and do things for families and loved ones who’ve lost someone in the war. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s interesting because I’ve done all these these military movies. It makes me more three-dimensional as a human being, because acting is such a selfish thing: me, me, me, all the time.

Think you’ll ever go back to teaching surfing?

There’s no money in that, I’ll tell you! It’s fun, and it had me in a good space, but I’ve done so many jobs. I was a personal trainer, I’ve waited tables, catered, worked in a video store—you name it. Those are all fine jobs, but to create, and think, and use my mind—it’s a dream scenario that I’ve been placed in. How it all worked out, I do not know.

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