I attended the graduation ceremony of Nick Stahl, an actor who had been in a movie with Mel Gibson …
Many years ago, a close family member graduated from a tiny Dallas high school called Bending Oaks.
I remember but a few things from the commencement. Only 15, maybe 20, students walked across the teensy the stage, if you could call it a stage.
More importantly, the class of ’95 included a grad of supreme significant interest to my sister and I—it certainly was not our brother.
No, Nick Stahl, an actor who had been in a movie with Mel Gibson, was a class member, so we spent the ceremony giggling while watching the charmingly shaggy back of his head.
After appearing in “Man Without a Face” alongside (pre openly anti-semitic) Mel, Nick went on to do a ton of movies. On my radar, two of those — little-known indies “In the Bedroom” and “Bully” — proved suburb, showcasing young Nick’s tremendous talent.
Now that I review the trailers, both films were terribly dark and the guy’s characters did not meet with great ends (that’s no spoiler; the previews indicate as much).
He was in a few bad movies, such as “How to Rob a Bank.” But he continued working, making some 40 shows over the years.
Then, like some ill-fated people he portrayed, Nick disappeared.
In 2012, he literally went missing, and at the time outlets reported that he’d vanished before, just never this long. Generally not a cue that life is peachy. A few days later he emailed friends from a drug treatment facility.
He had several run-ins with the law after that.
Last year he showed up in Dallas at a comic convention.
As Nick addressed addictions and whatever other demons he faced, a recovering heroin addict and ex-con, Ryan Leone, wrote a novel-become-screenplay that director Will De Los Santos is making into a movie called “Love in Vein,” reportedly “a gruesome and hilariously macabre look at heroin addiction.”
“Love in Vein,” stars Nick Stahl and Maiara Walsh (a youthful beauty whose credits include “Desperate Housewives” and “Zombieland”), according to IMDb.
Little else has been reported about “Love in Vein.” De Los Santos enjoys a solid cult following, so, here’s hoping it’ll be a bloody high note that reboots the Dallas native’s career.