Breckin Meyer

Active - 1991 - 2020  |   Born - May 7, 1974 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Bearing an unconventional appeal that may have something to do with the slaphappy grin permanently stretched across his face, Breckin Meyer has made a name for himself playing characters that have an almost criminally laid-back attitude as their common denominator. Although he got his big break as endearing stoner Travis Birkenstock in Amy Heckerling's 1995 comedy Clueless, Meyer had been acting since he was 11 years old. Born in Minneapolis, MN, on May 7, 1974, Meyer was raised in Los Angeles, where he had early encounters with fame in the form of elementary school with Drew Barrymore (in her autobiography, Little Girl Lost, she credited Meyer with giving her her first kiss when she was ten and he was 11) and high school with a host of young actors, including future Clueless co-star Alicia Silverstone. Meyer got his start in commercials and television, appearing on various shows, including The Wonder Years. He had his rather inauspicious film debut in 1991, as one of the disposable teens in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, and had bit parts in various forgettable films and an appearance on Fox's Party of Five before being cast in Clueless.

Following the huge success of Clueless, Meyer went on to appear in another teen movie, The Craft (1996). After secondary roles in Touch and Prefontaine (both 1997), the actor had a fairly substantial part in 54, in which he got to play Salma Hayek's husband and wear a very small pair of shorts. The film, which starred Meyer's real-life friend Ryan Phillippe, flopped with remarkable gusto, and Meyer's other film that year, the independent Dancer, Texas Pop. 81, was released without fanfare. However, the actor had success the following year as part of an ensemble cast that read like a Who's Who of Hollywood's Young and Employed in Doug Liman's Go. Playing a white boy who believes he's black at heart, Meyer won laughs for his part in the widely acclaimed film, and his appearance in the company of young notables such as Katie Holmes, Sarah Polley, and Scott Wolf went some way toward further establishing the actor's reputation as a noteworthy young talent.

A fine supporting player to this point in his fledgling career, Breckin would finally come into his own as the hapless college student racing cross country to intercept a decidedly questionable videotape in director Todd Phillips's breakout comedy Road Trip. Though a subsequent stab at the small screen as the lead in the sports comedy series Inside Schwartz ultimately did little to advance Meyer's career, later roles in the theatrical comedies Rat Race and Kate and Leopold served well to keep the amiable comic talent in the public eye. After providing the voice for the eponymous wooden puppet in Roberto Benigni's 2002 misfire Pinocchio, Breckin helped to bring everyone's favorite comic-strip cat to the big screen with his role as the lasagne-loving feline's hapless master Jon Arbuckle in the 2004 family comedy Garfield. Vocal work in such animated efforts as King of the Hill and Robot Chicken found the actor earning his keep even when not stepping in front of the cameras, and in 2006 Meyer would return to the silver screen to the delight of children everywhere in the kid-friendly sequel Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties. In the years to come, Meyer would also find success as a voice actor on shows like Titan Maximum, King of the Hill, Robot Chicken, and Franklin & Bash.

Movie Highlights

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  • Went to elementary school with Drew Barrymore, who encouraged him to pursue acting.
  • Began his career working in commercials and appearing on the game show Child's Play and finally landed a guest spot on The Wonder Years in 1988.
  • Formed the production company Lucid Films with friends Seth Green and Ryan Phillippe.
  • Has performed onstage, playing the drums, with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine.