Often likened to River Phoenix and Leonardo DiCaprio for his boyish good looks and penchant toward portraying intense, but thoughtful characters, Emile Hirsch began his career as a teenaged guest actor in television dramas before earning a solid dramatic reputation in indie films. Following an acclaimed starring role in "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" (2002), Hirsch starred alongside Heath Ledger in the cult biopic "Lords of Dogtown" (2005) and brought coming-of-age complexity and considerable charisma to the fact-based crime drama "Alpha Dog" (2007). He next turned in an astounding performance as a peripatetic young idealist in Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" (2007), which earned the young actor a great deal of critical acclaim and several award nominations. Hirsch followed up by co-starring opposite Penn in "Milk" (2008), Gus Van Sant's Oscar-winning biopic about slain San Francisco politician and openly gay activist, Harvey Milk. He took a few steps back with a starring role in the critical and commercial flop "Speed Racer" (2008), and was virtually off the map in little-seen films like "Taking Woodstock" (2009) and "The Darkest Hour" (2011). Working with such venerated directors as William Friedkin and Oliver Stone, Hirsch attempted a course correction with offerings like "Killer Joe" (2012) and "Savages" (2012). One of the most committed and promising young talents of his generation, Hirsch consistently impressed with each new role.