Missy Schwartz
April 18, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

1. The son of a soccer player for the Dublin-based Shamrock Rovers, he considered becoming a footballer before enrolling in Dublin’s Gaiety School of Acting…

2. …which he ditched in 1996 upon landing a part in the BBC series Ballykissangel, followed by his first movie role in the low-budget (and appropriately titled) Irish drama Drinking Crude.

3. Director Joel Schumacher digs him: In addition to the current box office hit Phone Booth, the lad starred as a Texan soldier-in-training in 2000’s gritty Vietnam-era Tigerland.

4. He has a knack for playing notorious historical figures: Jesse James in 2001’s flop American Outlaws and the titular king of Macedonia in Oliver Stone’s Alexander, due in 2004.

5. He’s a mama’s boy.

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