Midwestern-born actor Garrett Hedlund debuted in the mid-2000s with a series of plum roles in A-list features. In the beginning, he seemed typecast as a well-rounded, average American young man, and made particularly strong impressions in that vein with his portrayal of high-school football hero Don Billingsley in Friday Night Lights, opposite Billy Bob Thornton. Yet Hedlund surprised and delighted his followers with a strong show of versatility thereafter, with effective portrayals as struggling musician Jack Mercer, who joins forces with his siblings to determine the reasons behind his mother's death, in John Singleton's urban drama Four Brothers (2005), and as Murtagh in the otherworldly fantasy Eragon (2006). In 2007, Hedlund essayed two very different roles: he joined Jane Fonda and Lindsay Lohan in the gentle rural drama Georgia Rule, then co-starred alongside Kevin Bacon in the one-man vigilante drama Death Sentence, about a father who attempts to wreak vengeance on those who rubbed out his family. Over the next several years, Hedlund would enjoy increasing success on screen, starring in TRON: Legacy, showing off his singing chops in Country Strong, and appearing in the highly anticipated Kerouac adaptation On The Road.
Hedlund had an impressive string of films, working with big-name directors, in the following years: Inside Llewyn Davis with the Coen brothers, Lullaby with noted Renaissance man Andrew Levitas, Unbroken with Angelina Jolie and the live-action Peter Pan film Pan, playing a young James Hook, with Joe Wright.