An actor whose wide, affable grin and heavy eyebrows lend him an uncanny resemblance to Tim Allen, Justin Long unwittingly became a footnote to the illustrious history of Britney Spears' ascent to world domination when he appeared with the post-pubescent entertainer in her 2002 film debut, Crossroads. Cast as Britney's prom date, Long shared a kiss with the singer that earned him breathless adulation on Britney websites everywhere.
Three years before he locked lips with the peppy pop star, Long made his screen debut as a sci-fi geek in Galaxy Quest, a quirky genre parody that starred Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, and Long's would-be doppelganger, Allen. He then landed a role on the TV sitcom Ed (2000), which he followed in 2001 with a part as a lonely bunkmate in Happy Campers. That same year, he starred in Jeepers Creepers, a sleeper comedy-horror outing that cast him as one of two siblings terrorized by an inhuman monster. Long subsequently appeared in Crossroads, sealing his newfound popularity among teenage girls with a kiss.
In 2003, Long popped up briefly in the sequel Jeepers Creepers 2 while continuing to appear on Ed. However, the following year saw the conclusion of Ed and Long embarked on his film career full-time. First up was the sports comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Stealing scenes while co-starring with the likes of Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, Long proved to critics and audiences alike that his comedic skills could translate from the small-screen to the big one with ease. In the wake of Dodgeball's box-office success, audience's could next find the actor starring in the independent films Raising Genius and Waiting... and adding his voice to the Bill Plympton film Hair High. He appeared opposite Linday Lohan in Herbie: Fully Loaded, executing a perfect pratfall worthy of silent film comics in once scene. In 2006 he was one of the two leads in a series of witty television advertisements for Apple computers directed by Junebug's Phil Morrison. With Accepted, about a high-school graduate who starts his own college after being rejected by the institutions to which he applied, Long was finally allowed to take the lead in a big-screen comedy. The following year found the rising star voicing everyone's favorite singing squirrel in Alvin and the Chipmunks (a role that he would reprise in both the 2009 and 2011 sequels), and in 2001 Long returned to the small screen for a recurring role in FOX comedy series New Girl.