Alex Kaluzhsky

Alex Kaluzhsky’s entry into the entertainment business was not auspicious. “I was 16, and my dad said, ‘Hey, you’ve got a nice smile. Do you want to try and make some money off it?’” Kaluzhsky says. “My dad knew a photographer, but it was one of those scams where they take your picture and say they’re going to get you on the cover of GQ.” Nevertheless, the 25-year-old New Yorker went on to attend both the School of Visual Arts and NYU and started doing Off-Off-Broadway work and shooting his own short films. He formed a production company, Apropos Films, with a partner; their first effort, The Missing Person, was screened at the Sundance Film Festival last year. He also scored roles in both last year’s The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and the forthcoming Steven Soderbergh–produced drama Solitary Man. During the making of Pelham, Kaluzhsky got to know the film’s star, John Travolta. “We ended up training together,” Kaluzhsky remembers. “I picked his brain. We talked about what it was like when he was younger—dealing with the struggles and successes.” On Solitary Man, Kaluzhsky worked alongside another Hollywood heavyweight, but this one let him know who’s boss. The plot centers around a car salesman—played by Michael Douglas—and his personal indiscretions. “In the film, he steals the girl I like,” Kaluzhsky says. “I get shown up by Michael Douglas.”