Keli (keli) wrote in capturing_skeet,
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capturing_skeet

Skeet Stakes his Own Claim (Date: April 2, 1998)

It's definitely the first true story that I've done, other than `Scream.'

Skeet Ulrich is talking about his latest movie, ``The Newton Boys,'' and his off-the-wall gag is an indication of how the young actor approaches things in his own unique way. Initially tagged as That Guy With the Funny Name Who Looks Like Johnny Depp, Ulrich's star has rapidly risen on updrafts of impressive versatility and distinctive film presence.

Trained at David Mamet's prestigious Atlantic Theatre Company, the North Carolina-bred Skeet (nee Brian) Ulrich, 28, has essayed the ultimate bad boyfriend in the ``Scream'' horror megahit, a monk turned faith healer in the film adaptation of Elmore Leonard's ``Touch'' and a conflicted street hustler in James L. Brooks' ``As Good as It Gets.''



As Joe Newton, he's the youngest of four bank-robbing brothers who were arguably the most successful safecrackers in U.S. history. While fellow Newtons Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio have a roaring good time as Roaring '20s Texans, Ulrich gives Joe a quiet, contemplative spin.

``Joe really enjoyed the benefits that they got from bank-robbing, but he was also very much the protector,'' Ulrich observes. ``He had a certain dry wit, and he loved his family, but he was also a devout Baptist who, I think, developed regrets about what they'd done as he grew older.''

Though drily wry and intelligently thoughtful himself, Ulrich also loves to indulge his good ol' boy side. Downtime during the ``Newton'' shoot last summer was taken up by horseback riding and target practice with Georgina Cates, the English actress (``An Awfully Big Adventure''), whom he married last fall. The happy couple now lives on a farm in northern Virginia.

``Getting away from Hollywood and New York has been the greatest thing,'' he says, ``because I can have my life back. It's 20 miles from the closest store, our address doesn't even predict where we live. We love it; it's a beautiful way of life.''

Despite his agents' reservations, Ulrich's retreat from the media loop has not harmed his work opportunities. He and Cates co-star in the upcoming ``Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,'' a haunting Vietnam War parable based on Tim O'Brien's celebrated short story.

And Ulrich, who comes from a family of Southern race-car drivers, is currently filming the Civil War tragedy ``To Live On'' for cerebral director Ang Lee (``The Ice Storm,'' ``Sense and Sensibility''). Fortunately, lots of riding and shooting and drinking is involved.

``I'm different from everybody else, and I never really wanted to be anybody else,'' says the eclectic star with the funny name (coined, by the way, by a Little League coach who thought the kid moved like a mosquito in center field). ``Acting provides you with a great way to live the way you want to live.''

From: Daily News (Los Angeles, CA) | Date: April 2, 1998
Byline: - Bob Strauss
Tags: 1998 articles, skeet ulrich, the newton boys
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