Eric Michael Cole
A lanky, dark-haired, thick-browed actor capable of projecting both toughness and vulnerability, Eric Michael Cole landed his first break with Ridley Scott's "White Squall" (1996), cast as the smart but bullying Dean Preston among the crew of a sailing ship captained by Jeff Bridges. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, he began his career on stage, appearing in numerous productions ranging from Shakespeare to musicals. Cole made his feature debut in a bit part as an unnamed high school student in "Mr. Holland's Opus" (1995) and segued to the small screen in the 1996 CBS miniseries "Steve Martini's 'Undue Influence'." Cole landed his first leading role as a troubled teenager with a gift for writing in "Trash/Nobody's Children" (filmed in 1996; screened at festivals in 1999) which utilized his brooding dark good looks and innate talent to good effect. Similarly, "Last Call" (filmed in 1997 and released in Chile in 1999) played off his duality. In this tripartite feature, he was cast as an immigrant crashing at his brother's apartment who is mistaken for his sibling by a beautiful woman. Cole also displayed his talents on the small screen, playing a teenaged gang leader who harasses a married couple (Rob Lowe and Jennifer Grey) in "Outrage" (ABC, 1997) and as a supportive, sexually ambiguous friend of the troubled title character in the acclaimed HBO biopic "Gia" (1998).