Michael Pitt has been acting since he was a baby-faced tween in Henry Parker in Dawson Creek. Since then, Pitt has portrayed riveting characters in a multitude of films, including Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Bully, and The Dreamers. Currently he is starring on Boardwalk Empire, amidst heavyweights like Steve Buscemi and Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon. But here are 5 facts you may not know about the indie actor and newest HBO star.
1. He’s well on his way to becoming a creepier Leonardo DiCaprio: In college (when he was starring The Dreamers and Gus Van Sant’s Last Days), we used to call Michael Pitt “The chubby-cheeked Leo. But with DiCaprio himself widely fluctuating his weight in adulthood, we’ve had to change the nickname. Based on his character choices of boyish but terrifying roles in the American Funny Games remake and Bully, we’ve decided that Michael Pitt is what would have happened if you crossed Leonardo DiCaprio’s face with Michael Shannon (also from Boardwalk Empire)’s career choices.
2. He’s no stranger to Steve Buscemi: Although Nucky Thompson may have a complicated relationship with his (possible) son James “Jimmy” Darmody in Boardwalk, the two actors are much more chummy: Steve played Michael’s mentor in 2006′s Delirious, about a paparazzo (Buscemi) looking for his next big break, and not above using Pitt to get it.
3. He can’t let go of the Kurt Cobain: A fixture in the New York indie scene, Michael isn’t above putting on impromptu performances in local coffee shops: In 2007 he played a show at Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick, sans his band, Pagoda. What did his set list consist of? Mostly Kurt Cobain-sounding grunge acoustic rock. Guess he really took that character to heart.
4. He’s not really known for his hygiene: Pitt-stains? Michael isn’t one for vanity, and if you ever catch him around New York, you’re likely to do a double-take when you realize that guy in heavy parka in the middle of July that you mistook for a junkie is actually the famous actor.
5. He’s (maybe?) still engaged to model Jamie Bochart: But in typical Pitt fashion, he’s kept their relationship under wraps, finally announcing in 2009 that they’ve “been engaged for awhile now.” Maybe he just doesn’t want to fall in the trap of his last engagement, to Italian horror film heiress Asia Argento, who directed The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things…and in which Pitt played a supporting role.