Hooray for Hollywood, the land of dreams where any office boy or young mechanic can be an actor. While this romantic notion is more than a little archaic, as a culture, we still idolize movie stars. We assume their lives come ready-made with riches and acclaim, as if seeing their names in lights is still a fail-safe investment in their own fiscal security. This is a myth.

While waiting to interview Looper director Rian Johnson during Fantastic Fest, a chance encounter challenged even my notions of what it meant to be a movie star. Sitting there, in the garish luxury of the Four Seasons hotel lobby, I met a rather lost-looking young man with whom I struck up a conversation. He was passionate and sharp, and it took a good five minutes before I recognized him as Noah Segan, the actor who played Kid Blue in Looper. I assumed he too had been sent by the studio to promote the movie, but in fact he had come of his own volition, on his own dime, and was being soundly ignored by the publicists.

Talking with Noah, it became clear that, though he had appeared in several theatrical films, he was far from living the life of privilege and extreme comfort we tend to associate with movie stars. Noah’s experience echoes those of many with occupations in the creative field; the epitome of the blue-collar artist.

This interview was completely unexpected, and we didn’t end up talking much about the movie, but if you’re struggling with the financial logistics of doing what you love professionally, you too will probably find a kindred spirit in Kid Blue. Read full interview

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