Actor and born- again rebel Billy Crudup tells us who and what gets him all fired up
August 2000
Sarah Bailey
Picture Editor Duane Ashusrt


“Oh, I was a goody two shoes,” admits actor Billy Crudup, whose portrayal of heroin addict Fuckhead in the darkly funny junk elegy Jesus’ Son has nothing goody two-shoed about it. “I lived the typical American high-school life. I wasn’t an anarchist at all. I feel much more like a teenager now than when I actually was one. “I’m experiencing that level of anarchy now.”

Directed by Alison Maclean, Jesus’ Son follows the tortuous journey towards redemption of a ravaged drug loser, Fuckhead, as he stumbles through a series of offbeat incidents in 70s America. Billy shares the screen in Jesus’ Son with Brit chick Samantha Morton, whose character, Michelle, has an on-off liaison with Fuckhead. “She has more energy in her little finger than I have in 10 of mine. And she’s a fucking awesome actress. I just feel rewarded by being around her. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but it’s true.”

Away from work, Billy is a laid-back, downtown New Yorker with a passion for golf, theatre and his girlfriend of four years, actress Mary Louise Parker. And like all good born-again teenagers, he has a penchant for Led Zeppelin, something he blames on his next movie, Stillwater, writer-director Cameron Crowe’s 1973 rock’n’roll love letter. Playing the role of the lead guitarist has been a dream for Billy, a self-confessed addict for the rock god experience. “If I made a little guitar face at the front of the stage when I was playing solo, the extras in the audience went beserk. The power that instils in you is incalculable.”

Rock on, Billy.