Lou Taylor Pucci
Actor Lou Taylor Pucci embodied young men struggling to find their place in the world in a string of independent features during the early 2000s and beyond, including the award winning "Thumbsucker" (2005), "Empire Falls" (HBO, 2005) and "The Story of Luke" (2012). He began his acting career on stage, working in community theater in his native New Jersey before quickly graduating to Broadway in a production of "The Sound of Music." His feature-film debut came with 2002's "Personal Velocity: Three Portraits," which captured the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival that same year. The film's critical success soon minted Pucci as the go-to player for sensitive young men, a role he played to perfection in "Thumbsucker" (2005), which earned him major awards at Sundance and the Berlin Film Festival. Pucci would largely play variations on the same character for much of the 2000s in minor indie projects like "Fast Food Nation" (2006) and "The Informers" (2008), while generating positive reviews for performances as an autistic young man in the film festival favorite "The Story of Luke." However, one of his most successful projects - from a box-office standpoint - was "Evil Dead" (2013), the ultra-gory reboot of the Sami Rami horror classic. Its success underscored Pucci's ability to work well within both studio and indie environments, while also pointing to a future in mainstream features.