Icon: Garrett Hedlund

THE NEXT PITT? At the ripe age of eighteen, Garrett Hedlund debuted in the silver screen, sharing scenes with Brad Pitt in “Troy.”

He later dabbled in a number of enterprising performances; one of them included “Country Strong” where Hedlund dashingly captured the country spirit of a budding young singer on his road to stardom, something similar to his own acting career at that time. Quite unexpectedly Hedlund showed off his musical knack in that movie, playing guitar and belting his suave tone and raspy voice in several romantic ballads. Another highlight on his resume is the influential role as the troubled Dean Moriarty in “On the Road.” Not only did the flick seal his stature as a versatile actor, but it also initiated a new chapter for the American thespian, as he began a high-profile relationship with his co-star, Kirsten Dunst, whom he met during filming.

Career-wise, Hedlund, being both selective and daring, very much picks and chooses his every role. He’s declined a striking offer to play none other than the dominant Mr. Christian Grey in the rooted novel-adaptation movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Instead, the Virgo man opts to return in the sequel of “Tron: Legacy.” There’ll also be an upcoming big-screen drama titled “Lullaby” that will squeeze out Hedlund’s acting prowess following “On the Road.”

“I’ve been told I’m too good looking for certain roles, but that’s okay, it just motivates me to go deeper.”

While the press occasionally refers him as the successor of Brad Pitt – minus the arrogance – Hedlund has, indeed, gradually morphed into an icon, given his steady and affirming move in both motion pictures and fashion industry. This year he fronts the Yves Saint Laurent’s La Nuit de L’Homme fragrance campaign and, in relation to that, he becomes one of the regulars to fill the front-row chairs of Saint Laurent’s fashion shows.

“A great amount of good is always evened out by a great amount of bad. I find it’s best to acknowledge that weird balance.”

Off the set, Hedlund does not complicate his look much. Often seen in basic pairing of T-shirt and jeans, sometimes accompanied by a leather jacket and aviator, while sauntering around the city with the equally laid-back girlfriend, his main accessories only comprise his well-trimmed beard and hassle-free blonde locks. Meanwhile for red carpet appearances, Hedlund switches to suits that flatter his body silhouette in a monochromatic spectrum, leading him to be nominated several times on the best dressed list.

“I read everything I could find… so I could distinguish myself from all the other aspiring actors.”

When the conversation turns to personal interests, the 1984-born claims to be an avid reader and writer, getting literary knowledge from the likes of Jack Kerouac, Aldous Huxley, J.D. Salinger and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In an interview he also mentioned his rapid, rather impulsive writing skill that brings him seventy pages of work in one trip. That being said, Hedlund really knows how to work his charm and brain, thus setting the bar high for other aspiring actors.