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PODCAST: 'Into the Wild's' Emile Hirsch gets naked

November 18, 2007 |  2:36 pm

"To sugarcoat Chris McCandless would be to betray who he was!" cries Emile Hirsch, defending the role he plays in Sean Penn's "Into the Wild."


When we hooked up for drinks and a podcast chat at the Soho Grand Hotel in Manhattan, I asked Hirsch about the complaint that I've heard from a few Oscar voters that they wished McCandless was nicer to his parents in the film before he runs off to Alaska without telling them. If only his character was more sympathetic early in the film, some academy members feel they might care more about what happens to McCandless later when things turn dark.

"His whole mission was to find a truth he didn't have growing up," Hirsch adds. "He was an angry guy. He had a very difficult childhood. He could not easily forgive his family and that is part of the struggle." CLICK HERE to Download MP3 File and Listen to Our Podcast Chat. Note: You may need to hold down your computer's control key while clicking.

What was the hardest scene to shoot while Sean Penn was behind him "cracking the whip" in the arctic wilderness?

"There was a day when I floated naked down an ice river and I had already lost about 35 pounds," Hirsch says. "I was really skinny. There was snow everywhere. The water was 40 or 41 degrees. I got in and was completely overwhelmed by the cold. The position I needed to be in … I had to be completely relaxed. You can't shiver and get in a fetal position. It meant completely surrendering yourself to the cold. It was tricky."

(Photo: Paramount Vantage)

The comments to this entry are closed.


hey emile. i love ur work so much. u are a gifted actor and person. i'm sure ur parents are proud. i feel like a parent when it comes to u and ur movies. when i see u in one of ur fantastic films i just gush and think "what an amazing actor. he potrays every character like he is the actual person." i love u so much! and if u ever get to read this in person please email me. or contact me some way. love always,
ur biggest fan Caitlin

Hay Emile.
Huge huge fan of all your movies
loved into the wild
the way you capture your charcters fasanates me.

I love your work
and thanks you for all the work you put into shaing charcters with us.


Congrats Emile for doing this scene.

My ONLY regret is that you weren't filmed in CLOSE UP!

OR, that "it" wasn't filmed in close-up ...

LOVE how we are seeing you everywhere these days.

wow, naked swim is so wonderful. You are so strong. Maybe you can shere the experience with nudist on Bla,bla,bla



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