Jason Schwartzman

Look, you’ll just have to excuse Jason Schwartzman if he hasn’t been returning your calls lately. The actor first seen as the inimitable Max Fischer in 1998’s Rushmore has four movies coming out this year, starting with this month’s Hooking Up Ethan. When you throw in the fact that his band, Phantom Planet, is recording its second album, you have to wonder, when does the poor boy sleep?

Whence He Came:

Born into Holly-wood royalty on June 26, 1980, Schwartzman lives in his native L.A. with his mother (actress Talia Shire), two pugs and a greyhound. His father was the late producer Jack Schwartz-man, his cousins include Nicolas Cage and Sofia Coppola and his uncle is director Francis Ford Coppola.

Cyrano Would Be Proud:

In the comedy Hooking Up Ethan, Schwartzman plays a college geek who catches some much cooler classmates cheating. He then blackmails one of them (Devon Sawa) into helping him win the girl of his dreams (James King).

Revenge of the Nerd:

“There were a bunch of guys I knew in high school who were on the fringes of normality. Like you’d be in science lab and four students had to write a paper together and you’d notice that one kid didn’t really have the skills to relate to people. He was just conditioned to be angry and crazy. This character, Ethan, he’s psycho in many ways, and he’ll probably go on to own a huge computer company in Silicon Valley. He’s that guy.”

Git Along, Little Doggy:

Both Rushmore and Hooking Up Ethan take place in schools. So has being around all this education inspired Schwartman to new academic heights? Sort of: “I need an information gas station. I need to fuel up. I want to do more eclectic things. I wanna learn how to play the French horn. I wanna learn how to lasso. Is there a rodeo college?”

Animal House, Part Deux:

What was it like on the set? “Heavy alcohol! ‘Where the hell are the actors? Gotta go into their trailers and slap their faces.’ No, it was fun, professional.”

On Working With Bill Murray:

Schwartzman’s Rushmore cast mate clearly left a lasting impression. “Everyone looks up to him. He’s just a leader. He’s got this thing, it’s like, ‘Whoa, if Bill’s doing it, we should all be doing it!’”

On Working With Al Pacino:

The young actor appears opposite the Godfather in the upcoming film Simone. “He is likea glass of wine that has caffeine in it. Energizing, but also smooth and calming.”

Led Zeppelin and The Grateful Dead Were Already Taken:

Schwartzman moonlights as the drummer for Phantom Planet, which is named after a song from a ’60s science-fiction flick. It took a while to settle on that moniker, though: “All bands go through this phase where every word they see could be the name of their band: ‘Dude, let’s call the band Kitchen!’ ‘Why?’ ‘Cause we’re in your kitchen!’”

So, Thespian or Rock Star?

“I just think that’s a hard question. It messes up my space-time continuum in a major way. Like when Marty McFly went back in time, but he couldn’t bump into himself because it would f--- up the whole universe.”