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Bigfoot is having a moment

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The hardest-working man in Hollywood these days is eight feet tall, is covered with hair, and rarely ventures from his home in the hills. If that’s even where he lives. We couldn’t actually get him on the phone to answer that question — or account for his sudden burst of projects — because we’re not even sure he employs a publicist.

Yes, Bigfoot is back, and the mythical creature — whose last major starring role was opposite John Lithgow in 1987’s family comedy Harry and the Hendersons — is again tweaking his infamously gruff image for laughs. You’ve probably seen the long-running series of TV commercials for Jack Link’s beef jerky — they’re a hit on YouTube, of course — in which Sasquatch takes revenge on jerky-eating jerks who won’t stop taunting him. He’s also the star of two upcoming feature films: A group of slackers, including Justin Long and Joey Kern, look for the big guy in The Sasquatch Gang (out now in limited release), while February’s zany Strange Wilderness finds Steve Zahn and Long (again!) searching for Bigfoot in order to save a ratings-challenged wildlife TV show.

Long, who swears that his appearance in the two movies is just a coincidence, stepped in to explain the evergreen appeal of his favorite new costar. ”I want to believe,” he says. ”We are all fascinated by mysteries. There’s something to these legends, even if it’s just some guy in the woods with a body-hair problem working on a manifesto.”

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