THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Meet Yuri Lowenthal - A New Geek Hero for a New GeekHollywood
The face behind the voice: a hero leaps from the small screen to the big one
HOLLYWOOD, March 24 -- In a Hollywood where the hottest properties are coming from comic books, cartoons andvideo games, it seems only right that Yuri Lowenthal should be the next breakout talent. After all, already at this stage in his career he's played some of our times' most-loved heroes and once even kicked an animated Samuel L. Jackson's butt.
Lowenthal has thousands of fans, yet most have never seen his face."Well, to be honest, Sam did kick mine back. And he kicks harder," saidYuri, in a recent interview in his Hollywood home. He's referring to his role in Spike TV's AFRO SAMURAI, which Jackson produced and starred in and to which a sequel and a video game is already in production. In it, Yuri plays Afro (Jackson)'s childhood friend turned mortal enemy. "Stuff like that's a dream come true," says Lowenthal, a self-avowed fanboy who has played no less than Superman on Kids' WB's hit show,LEGION OF SUPERHEROES. "Yeah, I pretty much should just retire after that. I mean, where do you go from there?"
Apparently the answer is: only up, up and away. He has been heard in hundreds of shows, videogames and television commercials. "It's a funny wayto be famous, though. I still get to keep my anonymity." Not for long. With roles on TV shows like ALIAS, THE GILMORE GIRLS and CLOSE TO HOME, and several upcoming feature films, he might have to breakout his sunglasses and baseball cap.
And perhaps the ultimate crossover? PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OFTIME, the seminal videogame that won him a legion offans for his work as the Prince, is set for a big-budget adaptation byDisney and JerryBruckheimer. Will there be a part for him in the new incarnation? "I hope so. I'm campaigning for it now. It would certainly be a love letter to the fans who've made the franchise so popular," says Lowenthal.
So what's next for Yuri? For the internationally raised actor, travel is nothing new. At the end of the month he's off to Japan (Lowenthal is fluent in Japanese, French and German) to shoot the lead in a feature forTokyopop. He's also prepping for a feature by first-time director Keith Arem scheduled to begin shooting at the end of the year.
"We're excited that our film, TUMBLING AFTER, is in its final stages of post-production," says Lowenthal. The feature film, produced by his production company, Monkey Kingdom Productions with wife and partner Tara Platt, already has interest among distributors. "We formed the company because we believe there's power in creating your own opportunities." And in this new geek Hollywood, everyone knows that "with great power comes great responsibility."