Perhaps best known as the face of the Tron sequel, 29-year-old Garrett Hedlund is that strange and beatific embodiment of Hollywood lore, the flesh-and-blood protagonist of an old tale, that of the dreamy Midwest farm boy with stars in his eyes, looking to make good on big-screen aspirations.
At 14, he left his father’s remote cattle farm in Wannaska, Minnesota and began heading west. First, to his mother’s digs in Phoenix, Arizona, where, over the next couple years, he became an unabashed cold-caller of agents and managers, repeatedly taking the ninety-minute flight to Burbank for any audition he could get. Then he swam out to the deep end—drove to Los Angeles. Within two weeks of moving, the script for Troy fell into his lap. All that paddling apparently paid off. Rather than sink or swim, Hedlund seems to be coasting on a deluxe inflatable with built-in beer koozies.