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10 things you should know about Skeet Ulrich

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1 Jericho‘s nuclear-war plot doesn’t scare him: At 10, Ulrich had open-heart surgery for a congenital defect. ”I had a 25 percent chance of living,” he recalls. ”I’ve had this ‘F— odds’ attitude for a long time.”

2 The Johnny Deppelgänger scored six film roles straight out of NYU, including a killer part in Scream (1996). ”It’s the easiest time when you’re the new guy, the It Guy.”

3 Much of his role as a gay hustler in 1997’s Oscar-nominated As Good as It Gets was cut. ”I decided my character would have a Brad Pitt fetish and I [ad-libbed] a little ditty, ‘Brad Pitt, he’s the s—.”’

4 ”I did a couple of really bad movies.” See: 1999’s Chill Factor, a.k.a. Speed on an ice cream truck. Or, don’t.

5 Then, ”I took a couple years off to be with the kids,” 5-year-old twins Jakob and Naiia, from ex-wife, actress Georgina Cates (Illuminata).

6 The Virginia native says his parents’ divorce and his turbulent childhood actually ”made me a great dad.”

7 And a better actor? ”David Mamet said to us [at] NYU, ‘If you didn’t want to be an actor, you should have had a good childhood.”’

8 Born Bryan Ray Trout, Ulrich is his ex-stepdad’s name. And Skeet? Not his idea. ”I’m not that dumb,” he says.

9 He’s digging doing TV. ”It’s fun to have an arc that lasts 22 episodes. You don’t know where [your character is] going…. It’s a rush.”

10 In his decade in the business, he’s gained some perspective. ”Who knows what’s gonna happen? [Hollywood] is a big high school.”

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