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Nick stars as "Ben Hawkins" on HBO's series "Carnivale." Ben Hawkins - A troubled young man picked up by the carnival in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, circa 1934. Abandoned as an infant by his father, Henry "Hack" Scudder, Ben was raised on an isolated farm by his fanatically religious, mentally ill mother, Flora Hawkins. At an early age, he began manifesting supernatural healing powers. Frightened, his mother condemned him as devil-spawn, rejecting him emotionally and physically until her death in 1934 due to complications of dust pneumonia. He was subsequently picked up by Carnivale. Since joining the odd troupe, Ben has been plagued by disturbing and mysterious dreams. Forces within the carnival-specifically Professor Lodz, a blind mentalist, working under orders of a mysterious overseer known only as "Management"-seem to be manipulating him into using his healing powers, despite their terrible cost. Clues and strange signs seem to indicate that Ben's past-and his future-are inexorably entwined with that of Carnivale.
Wide-eyed young actor Nick Stahl made his feature debut opposite Mel Gibson and courted the late-'90s teen crowd with a role in the thriller Disturbing Behavior (1998), but a number of his movies have not been the average box-office fluff. Raised in Dallas, Stahl began acting at the age of four in commercials and local theater. After his first TV movie, Stranger at My Door (1991), Stahl soon moved to feature films with a starring role as the boy tutored by Mel Gibson's deformed recluse in the Gibson-directed drama The Man Without a Face (1993). Continuing to work with Hollywood heavyweights, Stahl played one of Susan Sarandon's sons in Safe Passage (1994) and acted with Walter Matthau in the TV film Incident in a Small Town (1994). After the young teen starred in the Disney film Tall Tale (1994), Stahl was back to TV movies with family drama Blue River (1995).
Alternating between mainstream fare and more challenging work, Stahl began to aim for a slightly older audience with a role in the independent rural crime drama and Sundance Film Festival entrant Eye of God (1997). Though Stahl joined the late-'90s teen movie brigade co-starring alongside Katie Holmes in the thriller Disturbing Behavior (1998), he also appeared that same year as a Charlie Company soldier who dies too young in Terrence Malick's hypnotic anti-war anti-epic The Thin Red Line (1998). Stahl began 2001 with roles in two Sundance Film Festival critical favorites, Todd Field's family drama In the Bedroom (2001) and iconoclast Christopher Munch's The Sleepy Time Gal (2001). On his way to becoming an indie fixture, Stahl then took on the unappealing role of the doomed titular character in controversial photographer-turned-director Larry Clark's exploration of true-life violent teen anomie, Bully (2001). Stahl, however, finished 2001 on the critical high note with which it began when In the Bedroom, featuring Stahl as Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson's son, earned raves and prizes as one of the best films of the year.
Though to this point Stahl's film roles had consisted of mainly low-budget and independent fare, all of this would change with the release of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in 2003. Rumored to have taken over the role of John Conner following original star Edward Furlong's much publicized bout with drug abuse, Stahl eagerly stepped up to the role. The summer of 2003 also found Stahl gearing up for the premier of his the new HBO series Carnivàle. Nick was born on December 5, 1979, in Texas. Nick Stahl currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
More fun stuff about Nick Stahl
Nick has wanted to be an actor since he was four years old.
He has two older sisters, Bonny and Emily.
Nick is 5'10" tall.
Nick and his sisters were raised by their mother in Texas.
Nick moved to Los Angeles just a few years ago.
Nick auditioned for the role of John Grady Cole in All The Pretty Horses, but lost to Matt Damon.
Nick was "hand-picked" by Mel Gibson as his co-star in The Man Without A Face.
Nick Stahl: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Since being picked out by Mel Gibson over thousands of other boys for a role in "The Man Without a Face", Nick Stahl has put together an impressive and diverse CV. His films include "The Thin Red Line", "Bully", and "In the Bedroom". Now he takes over from Edward Furlong to play potential saviour John Connor in "T3".
What was your impression of the first two movies?
I was a huge fan of the second movie; I saw it about six times as a kid. I was a bit young when the first one came out.
Did you audition for the role, as you were replacing Ed Furlong?
I did. It was actually quite extensive. I had maybe five or six lengthy sessions working the scenes, which was pretty exhausting.
Do you know when you're doing it, who you're up against?
I knew there was me and like two other guys.
Who were the other guys?
Er... Shane West and Jake Gyllenhaal.
What were your first impressions of doing the film and Arnold?
Initially I was pretty intimidated by the scale of the whole movie, but also him, and just being part of this larger than life world. I've never done anything a fraction the size of this scale. [Arnold] very much puts you at ease, because he's very calm with his work. He's a very hard worker but at the same time doesn't seem to take it too seriously. It was such a long shoot, it was pretty imperative that we had some laughs to get us through it.
You've just taken up golf. Did you play with Arnold, because he's a good golfer?
I can barely hit a ball, so I held off. He's also a big chess player and he loves to play chess on set. He said we should play, because I play a bit, but I was a bit scared to play him. So I never did.
Did Arnold encourage you to get on the weights?
He had this 20ft gym trailer, and he said I could use it any time. He invited me in, but after one look at all this gym equipment, I declined and went outside for a cigarette.
Nick Stahl Talks About "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"
Stepping into a role created by another actor is never an easy task. In "Terminator 3," Nick Stahl fills the role Edward Furlong occupied in "T2." Questions about the casting change are inevitable but one look at Nick Stahl's performance in the critically acclaimed relationship drama, "In the Bedroom," put aside any doubts the filmmakers had about his ability to express Connor's internal battle.
"Connor is very preoccupied with the existential dilemma in which he finds himself, so I needed an actor who could convey all that pathos, that emotion, that gravitas. It's difficult to find an actor who is 22 or 23 years old, and yet feels in some sense they're carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. That's what I thought was so compelling about Nick Stahl. He gives you that sense," explains director Jonathan Mostow.
NICK STAHL ('John Connor')
What is one little tidbit or surprise about your character that you can give away, without giving away too much?
I would say that John Connor is a little bit more hardened by his experiences and he's a little more cynical now. So he's coming from a different place than he did in the second movie. When he was a kid, the world was a little more wide open and now he's a little more grounded and a little more closer to reality.
Did you ever meet with Edward Furlong?
I actually never did. I watched the second movie a lot - and the first movie for that matter - but I think he did a great job with the role in the second movie. I didn't nessarily emulate but certain qualities you naturally pick up from a performance.
Are you feeling any pressure?
Tonight I'm just trying to have fun. I'm trying to rub the pressure off a bit. This is exhilarating, you know? I didn't expect this big of an event. Now I just want to have fun and see the movie and see the crowd's reaction. It's going to be fun.
Have you seen the movie yet?
I have actually seen it once but not with a crowd. I want to see it with a whole crowd.
What's happening with your movie, "Bookies?"
I don't know. I know it went to Sundance Film Festival and hopefully it will be distributed. I don't know but we'll see.
Nick Stahl In 'A Cool Breeze On The Underground'
Stahl (Terminator 3) is to star in New Line Pictures' thriller A Cool Breeze on the Underground, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber are directing A Cool Breeze on the Underground which is the first of five mystery novels by Don Winslow, each featuring the character of Neal Carey, the character Stahl is to play.
Carey is a 23-year-old graduate student whose college education is paid for by the Bank, an exclusive New England institution that keeps its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. The Bank also teaches him how to be a private investigator.
Carey's first assignment is to track down the rebellious teenage daughter of a prominent senator who has gone underground in London. Casting for the one-armed P.I. who mentors Stahl's character is under way.
'Terminator 3''s Nick Stahl Cautiously Talks About Sci-Fi Sequel
'In the Bedroom' actor taking on role of grown-up robot target John Connor.
As promised, the Terminator will be back, and in "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" he's bringing Nick Stahl with him.
"It's gonna be great," said Stahl, who has appeared in such films as "Disturbing Behavior" and "In the Bedroom."
'' I feel really good about it."
Currently shooting in California, "T3" sees the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800 model Terminator, a role he made famous nearly 20 years ago. Helmed by "Titanic" director James Cameron, 1984's original "Terminator" depicted Arnie as a murderous cyborg sent from a future ruled by machines to eliminate the mother (Linda Hamilton) of human resistance leader John Connor. Played by Edward Furlong, Connor was a teenager in the 1991 sequel, with a friendly, reprogrammed Arnie protecting him from a deadly new liquid-metal killer.
Hamilton will appear only in flashbacks in "T3," while Cameron and Furlong are nowhere to be found. "U-571" director Jonathan Mostow has stepped in for Cameron, while Stahl is taking over as a grown-up Connor.
"[I'm not trying] to imitate anything about the character that's been done," Stahl said of his approach to the role. "I just don't think that that's really realistic or that's even possible. You have to kind of use your own arsenal. So I've really just tried to kind of make it my own."
Stahl got his start as a young boy, playing alongside Mel Gibson in "The Man Without a Face," and later appeared in "The Thin Red Line," but he's best known for art-house hits like "Bully" and "In the Bedroom." He said he's aware of the high expectations for "T3," since he's a big fan of the series himself.
"I saw the first one when I was really young. The second one was probably one of my favorite movies growing up. So I've seen that many times. It was a really interestingly conceived sort of story. And it's a great kind of commercial mix of dark, dark action and comedy."
So will "Rise of the Machines" measure up?
"The script is really solid," Stahl promised. "I think the main aim was to basically up the stakes from the last one and to make the newest one even more groundbreaking. Because the second one, really nothing like that had been done before. And so I think in order to match that kind of enthusiasm, they have to really try that much harder as far as the story and the actual filming goes.
"And the effects, you know, there's a lot of effects that are done these days that weren't available 10 years ago," he continued. "In that way, visually, it's gonna be more realistic. It's hard to know how it's going to turn out, ... but if the script says anything I would say that it's definitely as good, if not better, than the last one."
Like everyone involved with the production, Stahl has been sworn to secrecy about the finer points of the "T3" plot. What is known is that resistance forces send yet another T-800 to protect Connor from a female Terminator, played by newcomer Kristanna Loken ("Gangland").
"She's just doing a great job," Stahl said. "She's doing months of weight training and then fighting training and weapons training. She's just really been very dedicated to it. And also, sort of like a mime movement class for the sort of robotic sense to the character. Once you see her in action, it's quite a transformation."
The "transformation" fans really want to know about is whether or not Loken's "Terminatrix" is made of liquid metal.
"Yeah, she is," Stahl offered cautiously. "And she's got ... It's new and improved. But I don't think I could ... They won't let me say any more. It's very top secret stuff."
"T3" has about three months of shooting left. After that, Stahl's off to make "Carnivale," a new HBO series about a traveling circus during the Depression. Stahl called it "a fantasy story about good and evil."
After that, what's next? Would Stahl be down for "Terminator 4"?
"Yeah, yeah, definitely," he said. "From reading the third one, it leaves some questions as to where you go from here. But I guess they thought the same thing after the second as well. You know, if it was around, I definitely would love to do it."
Nick Stahl and Claire Daines won't return for Terminator 4
According to SciFi Wire, Nick Stahl, who played John Connor in 2003's hit Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, told the site that neither he nor T3 co-star Claire Danes will appear in a proposed fourth Terminator movie.
"I'm not going to be in T4," Stahl said in an interview while promoting his latest film, the upcoming Sin City. "None of the cast is coming back." Stahl said that the producers' current plans may not even include original Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is now the governor of California.
Stahl added: "The [T4] story is changing conceptually. I believe it's a jump to the future, so my character will be quite a bit older. That's all that I know. So I'm not coming back, which is a drag. I don't know much more than that."