A precocious Swedish-American with a gift for comedy, drama, and Tae Kwon Do, Erik Per Sullivan notched a couple of hit movies and a starring role in the popular, critically acclaimed sitcom Malcolm in the Middle (2000) before the ripe old age of ten. Born, raised, and residing in Milford, MA, during his time off, Sullivan began acting at age five when his father took him to an open casting call for Michael Bay's blockbuster Armageddon (1998). After appearing as an extra in Armageddon, Sullivan won his first credited film role in the Oscar-winning film adaptation of John Irving's The Cider House Rules (1999). One of a group of New England locals cast as the orphans in Dr. Larch's St. Cloud's Orphanage, Sullivan drew attention for his touching performance as the sickly Fuzzy. Sullivan's distinctive looks and comic timing, though, turned him into a TV star on Malcolm in the Middle. As goofy youngest brother Dewey Wilkerson, Sullivan played an integral part in the humorous family dysfunction that turned Malcolm into an Emmy-nominated, mid-season hit for Fox.
Along with his role on Malcolm, Sullivan continued to work in movies. After appearing as the young Joe Dirt in the David Spade white-trash opus Joe Dirt (2001), Sullivan garnered praise as a child haunted by bizarre phenomena in the upstate New York woods in cult horror filmmaker Larry Fessenden's indie creature feature Wendigo (2002). Back in the realm of slick Hollywood drama, Sullivan subsequently played Richard Gere and Diane Lane's son in Adrian Lyne's sexy adultery thriller Unfaithful (2002).