The Client Kid
"Everybody thinks I'm, like, a bad boy. I've had my day, but I just sit at home and play the blues mostly." Brad Renfro
First critically acclaimed while costarring as street-wise Mark Sway, opposite Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones, in The Client (1994), Brad Renfro continued to gain praise for acting in The Cure (1995), Tom and Huck (1995), Sleepers (1996) and Apt Pupil (1998). He also played roles in such films as Telling Lies in America (1997), Happy Campers (2001), Bully (2001), American Girl (2002), and The Jacket (2005) and will soon complete his upcoming film 10th & Wolf.
Light brown-haired, brown-eyed Brad Renfro stands at 5'11" tall. He won The Hollywood Reporter's Young Star Award in 1995 and became one of People Magazine's "Top 30 Under 30.” From 1998 to 2002, he gained negative hype for his problems with the law, which included drug abuse, theft and other offences. As for his private life, Renfro has dated actress Gaby Hoffmann (born on January 8, 1982) since spring of 1997.
Pagey, Renfreak, Fro
Childhood and Family:
On July 25, 1982, Brad Barron Renfro was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is the only child of parents Mark Renfro (works in a blueprint factory; divorced Renfro's mother in 1987) and Angela Olsen (remarried; relocated from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Michigan). After his parents’ divorce, Renfro’s paternal grandmother, Joanne Renfro (church secretary) raised him in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has a half-sister named Haley Rose Olsen.
Brad Renfro, nicknamed Pagey, Renfreak and Fro, attended public school in Knoxville and later transferred to Montessori school. An adept guitar player whose idol is Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, Renfro also enjoys writing poetry and screenplays.
While playing a drug dealer in his school play (sponsored by DARE, an anti-drug program for young people), 12-year-old Brad Renfro was discovered by a talent scout who held a national casting audition for the role of an 11-year-old targeted witness in Joel Schumacher’s new film, The Client (1994). Renfro immediately won the role and found himself acting with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in the drama thriller film adopted from John Grisham’s novel. His brilliant acting performance earned a Young Artist Award in 1995.
Subsequent roles followed and Brad starred as a young boy who befriends an 11-year-old boy with AIDS (played by Joseph Mazzello) in Peter Horton's The Cure (1995), a role which handed him a Young Star Award. That same year, Renfro starred with Jonathan Taylor Thomas (played Tom) in Peter Hewitt's adaptation of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," Tom and Huck (1995, Renfro played Huck) and received a Young Star Award nomination in 1997.
In Barry Levinson's gritty drama film based on the allegedly true story by Lorenzo Carcaterra, Sleepers (1996), Renfro played Brad Pitt's younger character and scored another Young Star Award nomination. He then costarred with Kevin Bacon in Guy Ferland's Telling Lies in America (1997).
"I'm really lucky to do what I do and get paid for it. I'd do it for free if it's good." Brad Renfro
The rest of the 1990s saw Renfro became a star pupil obsessed with Hitler in Bryan Singer's harrowing psychological thriller, adopted from a novella by Stephen King, Apt Pupil (1998, opposite Ian McKellen), in which he won a Tokyo International Film Festival’s Best Actor Award. He also costarred with Vicellous Reon Shannon in Tony Smith's drama comedy 2 Little, 2 Late (1999).
In the new millennium, after starring in the animated family short Herschel Hopper: New York Rabbit, Renfro joined Bug Hall, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Tamra Davis' screen version of Tim Sandlin's novel, the 1960s-set, coming of age drama Skipped Parts. He also starred and co-wrote Roger Bourdeau's short film Meter Man and teamed with Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson in Terry Zwigoff's adaptation of Daniel Clowes' comic book, Ghost World. After working with Tuesday Knight and Athena Stensland in Gabriel Bologna's The Theory of the Leisure Class, Renfro starred with Dominique Swain in writer-director Daniel Waters' dark teen comedy Happy Campers (both in 2001), which was screened at Sundance.
Renfro reunited with Dominique Swain in writer-director Christina Wayne's Tart and costarred as one of the peers and killers of bossy Florida teenager Bobby Kent (played by Nick Stahl) in Larry Clark's true-story-based film inspired by Jim Schutze's book, Bully (both in 2001). The next year, Renfro teamed with Stephen Dorff in Scott Kalvert's mob action Deuces Wild and joined Jena Malone in Jordan Brady's bittersweet teen comedy American Girl.
More recent, Renfro costarred with Daryl Hannah in writer-director Kenny Golde's action adventure The Job (2003) and played demented Wyatte in writer-director J.S. Cardone's adaptation of his own stage play, Mummy an' the Armadillo (2004, starring Clare Kramer). He also played hitchhiker Jamie in Fabio Segatori's Hollywood Flies (2004), shared the screen with Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley in John Maybury's The Jacket and starred in Matt Oates' 7-minute Coat Pockets (both in 2005). Soon, Renfro's fans will watch him costar with James Marsden and Giovanni Ribisi in Robert Moresco's upcoming crime drama 10th & Wolf.
- Sedona International Film Festival: Director's Choice Award - Most Spirited Rising Performance, 2004
- Tokyo International Film Festival: Best Actor Award, Apt Pupil, 1998
- YoungStar Award: Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama Film, The Cure, 1995
- Young Artist Award: Best Performance by a Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture, The Client, 1995
- Hollywood Reporter's Young Star Award, 1995