August 24, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

AGE 20 WHERE YOU’VE SEEN HIM As Steve, Dell computer’s smarmy teen pitchman. EDDIE HASKELL, ANYONE? The Chattanooga, Tenn., native — who’s the son of a preacher man — says Steve is ”the kid next door that you either love to bring to your house or try to avoid at all costs.” YOUNG GUN Answering a casting call that asked for 12- to 17-year-olds, Curtis showed up at his audition acting like ”the more cheesy, in-your-face, obnoxious surfer version of me at age 16.” MATH WHIZ Dell’s consumer revenue grew 46 percent in last year’s fourth quarter — right when Steve began popping up on TV spots. FREEBIES? No free Dell computer yet: ”I used my roommate’s computer all year, which is actually a Dell. So, I guess that works.” NEXT His third year at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and continued studies at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Possibly a fifth Dell spot.

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