Dec 18, 2012

Joe Mazzello and Friend

Joe Mazzello made a career out of playing lonely, abused, oddball, or outcast boys, or the boy who bonds with them.

In 1992, at the age of eight, he won critical acclaim in Radio Flier, about a boy (Elijah Wood) who discovers that his stepfather is abusing his younger brother (Joe), and develops an imaginative escape plan: they'll transform his toy wagon, a Radio Flier, into an airplane.


In The Cure (1995), jock Erik (Brad Renfro) befriends Dexter (Joe), who has AIDS.  His mother forbids the friendship, and the bigots at school call them homophobic names, but their bond transcends all obstacles.   When they discover that a doctor in New Orleans has discovered a cure, they raft down the Mississippi like Huck and Jim.






Joe took a break from the gravitas in Star Kid (1997), where he plays a kid who finds an alien warrior cybersuit, but in Simon Birch (1998), he takes on the jock role; his Joe Wentworth befriends Simon Birch (Ian Michael Smith), who is small and frail due to a hormonal condition.  Simon believes that God has a special purpose for him, and the two embark on a journey of self-discovery (I haven't actually seen this one).

Movies about intense friendships are harder to do with adults, since muscular physiques and the promise of sexual potency make it harder to ignore the homoerotic.  So as a young adult, Joe did some tv series (CSI, Without a Trace, Providence) and some independent movies, and had a starring role in The Pacific (2010), a miniseries about World War II (where his character has a homoromantic bond with James Badge Dale, right).

 In 2010, he starred in The Social Network as Dustin Moskovitz, who helped Mark Zuckerberg start the Facebook social network site.

No word on whether he's gay or a gay ally.