An absurdly underrated actor born 1982, who died of a drug overdose in 2008. Acted in 21 films, with his debut at the lead character in 1994's "The Client", a thriller based on the Grisham novel, when he was eleven years old. It won him numerous awards, and many other incredible performances in other movies. Notably "The Cure", "Bully", "Apt Pupil". He also starred alongside Jonathon Taylor Thomas and Rachel Leigh Cook in the Disney adaptation of "Tom and Huck".
Though "Huck", which he filmed at twelve, was probably his least ambitious work, it is one of his most well-known and brought delight to many teenage girls in the mid-90's. CNN did some stories on the movie. The most notable one involved Brad getting dirt rubbed onto the soles of his feet, and laughing hysterically.He stated in one interview that he hated to be barefoot because the grass tickled his feet too badly.
Brad had a rough beginning. Both is parents were drug addicts, he suffered some physical abuse, and was given the role of in "The Client", because the producers wanted a tougher child. He was recommended by a police officer who saw him in a fifth-grade D.A.R.E production, in which he played a crack dealer.
Brad was extraordinary beautiful, and, bizarrely enough, this caused him a lot of discomfort. He once said that he was flattered by the attention, but that he didn't think of himself that way. He was arrested at sixteen for possession of cocaine and marijuana, and he sank further into the perils of drug addiction. He also became an alcoholic, and spent many years working on his sobriety.
His best movie, in my opinion, is the little-known 1995 film, "The Cure". It stars him and Joseph Mazzello. Mazzello is afflicted the HIV virus and is ostracized in his community. Renfro plays a lonely latchkey bully who eventually befriends the boy. After reading in a tabloid that a doctor in New Orleans found the cure in a bayou, the two decide to travel down the Mississippi river in search of the cure.
There is a lot of swearing, a lot of laughing, and you'll need a box of tissues at the end. However, the film is bizarrely unsentimental. It is honest, simple, and direct. It is one of the most optimistic films of the nineties.
Brad Renfro was one of the most incredibly gifted actors to come along. He was a latter-day James Dean.
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