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Wil Wheaton

  1. Peter Billingsley, A Christmas Story, 1983. Now better known as A Christmas Classic… At 11, Wheaton was a year younger than Billingsley when up for nine-year-old Ralph, who wanted a Red Ryder BB gun for Xmas in the 40s memoir. How come he lost? “Hey, Peter was Messy Marvin, the Hershey’s syrup kid,” said Wil. “He was like a major celebrity!”Wheaton went on to be the loved/hated Ensign (later Lieutenant) Wesley Crusher (son of the Enterprise-D's chief medical officer Beverly Crusher) in Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1987-1994. Plus the voices of Aqualad, 2003-2005, Cosmic Boy, 2007-2008, Ben 10’s Darkstar, 2007-2008 and 2010-2012. He also played and evil version of himself in The Big Bang Theory, 2009-2014. Billingsley grew up to produce the film’s Broadway take in 2008, and such movies as Iron Man, 2007. Sean Astin, Goonies,1985.  One of the Stand By Me kids, Wil auditioned “for every big movie that had a young person in it in the 80s.” Always up against Sean Astin, Keith Coogan, Corey Feldman...
  2. Ethan Hawke, Explorers, 1985.    ...and Jerry O’Connell, River Phoenix, Kiefer Sutherland, Jeremy  Licht.
  3. Henry Thomas, Valmont, France 1989.  Star Trek  would not release Wil for a week for Czech director Milos Forman’s take on Les Liaisons Dangereuses. “They told me the Trek episode was all about Wesley... Well, they changed the schedule, shot the second episode first, and wrote me out of it. So I could’ve done the movie. I was very upset and my agents really took advantage of it.”  Noah Wyle was also seen for Danceny  They were both… . Just. Too Young.  Wyle was 14, Wheaton 16 while Henry Thomas (to which name one is obliged to add: ET’s Elliott) was 17. In Stephen Frears’ far better take, Dangerous Liaisons, also shot in various French chateaux in that summer of ’88 (I know because I was working on his set for weeks), the Chevalier Danceny was no less than… Keanu Reeves, at age 24.
  4. Edward Norton, Primal Fear, 1996.    Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio were among some 2,100  actors vying for the role... that became Norton’s stunning debut. And first Oscar nod.
  5. Alan Tudyk, I, Robot, 2004.   Star Trek’skid grows up - and offers his voice and body to help computers bring life to Sonny, the blue-eyed robot suspected of murder in 2035.
  6. Ben Chaplin, Two Weeks, 2005.     Wil read as Keith Bergman,  among  four adult siblings gather at their dying mother Sally Fieldxs’  house in North Carolina for what they hope to be a quick, last goodbye. Title gives it away.  


 





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