One of the more promising actors to emerge during the late-1990s Teen Invasion, Shawn Hatosy got his start in commercials and theatre. The Maryland native first broke into film with a miniscule role in the 1995 Home for the Holidays, and two years later appeared in a string of films, with his most notable role being the high school student who stands up for an outed Kevin Kline in In & Out. He gained further recognition the following year as a football player battling alien teachers in The Faculty, and in 1999 had a number of substantial roles: he could be seen as the protagonist of the Farrelly Brothers' coming-of-age comedy Outside Providence, as a young Nick Nolte in Simpatico, and as the guy who teaches Natalie Portman a few things about life in Wayne Wang's Anywhere But Here.
As the new century got under way, Hatosy could be seen in a variety of projects including Down to You, 11:14, and the indie hit The Cooler. He continued to work steadily in projects such as Faith of My Fathers, Alpha Dog, Factory Girl, and Nobel Son. He landed a major part in the cop series Southland, and found time during his work on that show to appear in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, and Michael Mann's historical gangster film Public Enemies.