Less Than Zero

Less Than ZeroLess Than Zero is the 1987 film based loosely on the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. Ellis wasn’t initially a fan of the film and felt that most of the characters had been miscast, although he did have positive things to say about Robert Downey Jr and James Spader’s performances.

Andrew McCarthy is Clay, a young man in his first year at college who recently found out his girlfriend has been cheating on him with drug addict and close friend Julian, played by Robert Downey Jr. When Clay comes home for Christmas his girlfriend Blair, Jami Gertz’s character, tries to act like nothing has happened. As the film progresses, Julian’s drug problem becomes worse the plot revolves around his life and how it’s spiralling out of control.

The film version was very different from the book mainly because of the strong anti drugs message that it demonstrates and also the fact that Clay’s character is quite different and a lot of the decisions he makes aren’t the same.

A sequel to Less Than Zero has been written by Ellis called Imperial Bedrooms. A film is currently being talked about and is due to be released at some point in 2012.

Movies sometimes portray things like drug addiction and addictions treatment in a way that differs from what they really are like in real life.

Less Than Zero Rating

A bit dark in parts but some excellent acting from a great cast and anyway, the Bangles’ brilliant version of Hazy Shade of Winter means it was always going to get a good review from me! Less Than Zero gets a Brat Pack rating of 8/10.

Less Than Zero Characters

Clay – Played by Andrew McCarthy
Blair – Played by Jami Gertz
Julian – Played by Robert Downey Jr
Rip – Played by James Spader

Less Than Zero Trivia

$38 was the fee Brad Pitt got paid for his uncredited appearance.

Less Than Zero was the first movie where Robert Downey was credited as Robert Downey Jr.

Clay Easton was originally going to be played by Keanu Reeves.

Less Than Zero Links

Less Than Zero at 80s Movies Rewind

Less Than Zero Review from 1987 by Roger Ebert

James Spader

James SpaderJames Spader was born on 7th February 1960. Before breaking into acting, he bused tables, shoveled manure, and taught yoga. He began his career in TV movies before graduating to a host of classic 80s movies including Brat Pack’s Pretty In Pink alongside Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy. His role in 1989’s Sex Lies and Videotape was critically acclaimed.

Spader’s other hits during the 80’s include Less Than Zero, Wall Street and Mannequin and although not having the lead role in any of these movies, the part he did play was always pivotal.

While a lot of his work during the 90s was very hit and miss including the obscure Crash where he played a car-accident fetishist as well as guest starring in an episode of Seinfeld, it was in 2004 when Spader’s career truly flourished. In Boston Legal, a spin off of The Practice, Spader played the role of Alan Shore for five seasons. His chemistry with William Shatner was electric and it landed him three Emmy Awards.

Married twice with three children, James Spader is an actor who has managed to continue his success in the 80s throughout his career.

James Spader Quotes

“I’ve had a lazy career, sometimes one film a year, sometimes none. I’m walking around in the street and doing this other thing, living, that I’m much more interested in. I just do some acting on the side.”

“You just want to work. I like playing character roles and I do not mind being a real son-of-a-bitch, or embarrassing myself. But as you go along you begin to realize that the work has a criterion and as your choices get broader you start cutting out the things that are not worth the time. On the whole I have been lucky; I do not look back with a huge amount of distaste for the work I have done.”

James Spader Links

James Spader dot com