The Doe Boy
“I try to live instinctively and I guess I’ve always enjoyed living in a fantasy world, daydreaming. I really do think that dreaming and fantasies are very important to the human psyche and the soul. That’s why I want to act.” James Duval
Very busy in the independent circuit, actor James Duval gained notice as a result of his affiliation with filmmaker Gregg Araki in the director’s trilogy “Totally F***ed Up” (1993), “The Doom Generation” (1995) and “Nowhere” (1997), from which he received rave reviews. He was introduced to mainstream audiences as the responsible kid in the sci-fi blockbuster “Independence Day” (1996), a role that brought the actor a Saturn nomination. He further achieved a good reputation as Frank in the cult film “Donnie Darko” (2001) and starring as Hunter Kirk in the drama “The Doe Boy” (2001). The latter film brought him an American Indian Film Festival Award and a Wine Country Film Festival Award. Other films in which he has acted in include “SLC Punk” (1998), “The Weekend” (1999, shared a Seattle International Film Festival Award), “Gone in Sixty Seconds” (2000), “May” (2002), “Window Theory” (2004), “Standing Still” (2005), “Mad Cowgirl” (2006), “Toxic” (2007) and “The Pacific and Eddy” (2007). In addition, he acted in such films as “The Art of Travel,” “Evilution” (both 2008), “2 Dudes & a Dream” (2009), “Penance,” “The Black Waters of Echo Pond,” “Cornered” (all 2009), “The Black Belle” and “On Holiday,” to name a few. A busy actor, a few of his upcoming film credits include “Not Another Not Another Movie,” “Free Samples,” “Naked Angel” and “Sushi Girl.” In addition to acting, Duval is a musician and played guitar for Antoneus Maximus & The Nuthouze Band.
Childhood and Family:
In Detroit, Michigan, James Duval was born on September 10, 1972. He was raised in California by his Native American, French and Irish descendant father and his mother who is of French and Vietnamese lineage. He spent 1986 to 1989 studying at Gladstone High School in Covina California. He was also educated at Mira Coasta High School in Manhattan Beach and Fair Valley in Covina. James was trained as a concert pianist while growing up and joined a band in his late teens.
A classical trained pianist, James Duval was involved in a band before breaking into film in the early 1990s. While hanging out at an ice cream parlor, he caught the eye of the then-underground director Gregg Araki, who was in the process of casting the first film of his teen trilogy (1993). Duval won the starring role of Andy in the first film and kicked off his film career. He re-emerged the following year as a biker in the teen movie “Mod F**k Explosion,” directed and written by Jon Moritsugu, before reuniting with Araki for the apocalyptic road comedy “The Doom Generation” (1995). The next year, he enjoyed mainstream success with the box office hit “Independence Day,” where director Roland Emmerich cast him in the memorable role of Miguel, the responsible son of a drunken crop duster (played by Randy Quaid). The role earned Duval a Saturn nomination for Best Performance by a Younger Actor.
In 1997, Duval once again teamed up with Araki for “Nowhere,” where he won critical praise for portraying Dark Smith. He then appeared in a supporting role in the disappointing movie “River Made to Drown In.” He next received credit for portraying roles in such films as “Lunch Time Special” (1998, costarred with Scott Caan), “How to Make the Cruelest Month” (1998), “SLC Punk” (1998, opposite Matthew Lillard) and Doug Liman’s “Go” (1999, starred Katie Holmes, Scott Wolf and Sarah Polley). In “The Weekend” (1999), helmed by Brian Skeet and costarring Gena Rowlands, Jared Harris, Brooke Shields and Deborak Kara Unger, he jointly nabbed a New American Cinema for Citation of Excellence for Ensemble at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Entering the new millennium, Duval returned to mainstream films with his supporting role in Dominic Sena’s “Gone in Sixty Seconds,” an action picture that starred Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie. The same year, he was seen on the small screen in Araki’s pilot for MTV’s “This Is How The World Ends” and after an appearance in “Amerikana” in 2001, the actor became popular for his role of Frank in the Richard Kelly cult film “Donnie Darko” (2001), which starred Jake Gyllenhaal. He next achieved rave reviews for his portrayal of Hunter Kirk in the drama “The Doe Boy” (2001), from which he netted an American Indian Film Festival and a Wine Country Film Festival for Best Actor. Both films debuted at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.
In 2002, Duval teamed up with Jeremy Sisto and Angela Bettis in the independent film “May.” He then appeared as Drew in a drama written and directed by Lee Madsen, “Pledge of Allegiance” (2003), had a supporting role in the Canadian romance “Window Theory” (2004), and was featured with Michael Madsen in the crime film “Chasing Ghost” (2005). He also starred as Stoner Steve in the indie comedy “Standing Still” (2005) and shared the screen with Sarah Lassez in “Mad Cowgirl” (2006). Always busy, Duval also worked with Susan Ward in the thriller “Toxic “(2007), costarred opposite Ryan Donowho and Dominique Swain in the drama “The Pacific and Eddy” (2007), and portrayed Cyrus in “Kush” (2007). He was also seen in “The Art of Travel” (2008), had a featured part in the comedy “2 Dudes & a Dream” (2009) and costarred in “Kaboom” (2010), to name a few acting gigs.
A few of the upcoming projects Duval is involved in include starring in “Sissy,” which is about a teenager living on the streets, and starring in “Look at Me” and the dramatic comedy “All Together Now.” In addition, he will portray characters in “Noirland,” “Amelia’s 25th” and costar with John Savage in “Spreading Darkness.”
American Indian Film Festival: Best Actor, “The Doe Boy,” 2002
Wine Country Film Festival: Best Actor, “The Doe Boy,” 2001
Seattle International Film Festival: New American Cinema, Citation of Excellence for Ensemble, “The Weekend,” 2000