Two-Minute Date with Alessandro Nivola

The star of The Eye talks about life under the radar.

Plopping down in a Brooklyn lunch spot, Alessandro Nivola couldn't seem more at ease. There's good neighbor Heath Ledger, he points out, and over here is Hope Davis — whom he lost a house to in a bidding war. Just a bunch of unassuming movie stars, keeping it real over coffee. "I want to write a Saturday Night Live sketch about an actor nobody's heard of who wears a hood and asks to be seated in the corners of restaurants,"he laughs.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

To this point, Nivola could afford to be blasé about fame. Despite strong work in Face/Off, Junebug, and TNT's miniseries The Company, he isn't exactly a household face. But let's see if that changes with the chilling new remake of the Hong Kong thriller The Eye, where he plays a neuropsychologist helping a corneal-transplant patient (Jessica Alba) deal with the ghoulish images that flash before those pretty new peepers. With the red-hot international duo David Moreau and Xavier Palud (Them) directing, Nivola made certain this splashy role was still quietly textured. "We veered from the typical hunky doctor,"explains the — well, hunky Nivola, "so we turned him into a misfit who is confident in his job but insecure with who he is."

Not Nivola's issue: Offscreen, domestic bliss revolves around his wife, actress Emily Mortimer, and 4-year-old son, Sam. Of being a product of super-elite Exeter and Yale, he says, "I learned so many ways of faking it, and I've put each and every one of them to use in my work."

Color us unconvinced. We always know the real deal when we see it.

More from Marie Claire:
Celebrity
Share
Kylie Jenner's New Puma Campaign Is Some Pretty Gorgeous Workout Inspo
Celebrity
Share
The Trailer for the Britney Spears Lifetime Movie Is Here and You Better Work Bitch, Because It Looks Epic
Celebrity
Share
Beyoncé Gave a Very Rare Interview to Gush About Her Mom
Celebrity
Share
Everything You Need to Know About 'Westworld' Season 2: Release Date, Cast, Filming, and Fan Theories
Celebrity
Share
'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' Cast Reunited Yet Again at the Women's March
Celebrity
Share
Rachel Platten Was *Not* Happy The Piano Guys Covered Her Song at Trump's Inaugural Ball
Celebrity
Share
18 Pictures of Celebrities as Bridesmaids to Remind You You're Not Alone
Celebrity
Share
Blake Lively Just Posted a Moving Instagram About Why She Marched
Celebrity
Share
Kendall Jenner and A$AP Rocky, Just Two Casual Friends Thrifting in Paris
Celebrity
Share
Millie Bobby Brown Looks Stunning in Calvin Klein's New Line