A Walk to Remember
“I don’t know -- like I said before, it’s all kind of new to me. I’m just starting to suddenly get noticed when I go out. As long as it stays on a calm level, I’ll be fine, I won’t mind.” Shane West on being famous
Hollywood television and film actor Shane West, born Shannon Bruce Snaith, became famous while portraying the teenaged son Ali in the surprise hit ABC series “Once and Again” (1999-2002). The member of the rock band Jonny Was and the punk group The Germs, West gained additional popularity for playing the intern Dr. Ray Barnett in NBC’s medical drama “ER” (2004-?). On the silver screen, the young sandy-haired actor is perhaps best-known for his starring role of Mandy Moore’s boyfriend in the box office hit A Walk to Remember (2002), where he took home a Teen Choice Award.
West’s fans should not miss his attractive performance in the forthcoming films What We Do Is Secret (2006) and The Elder Son (2006).
Off camera, West is a video game junkie. He has a celtic emblem tattoo between his shoulder blades, and his favorite food is pepperoni pizza. The star of the 2002 hit A Walk to Remember was so smitten with the 1968 Camaro drove in the film that he purchased it for $5000. As for his love life, the 6’ 1” actor has been involved with such celebrity beauties as Rachael Leigh Cook (together in 1998), Dina Meyer (dated in 2002) and Jenna Dewan (reportedly together since 2003).
“I’m attracted to petite girls.” Shane West
Childhood and Family:
Shane West was born Shannon Bruce Snaith on June 10, 1978 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His father is Don Snaith, a drugstore owner who was born in Jamaica, and his mother is Catherine, an attorney. Both of West’s parents were musicians when he was young. He has a younger sister named Simone, and is a half brother to Marli Ali. When West was four years old, his parents separated, and he moved to Norwalk, California with his mother six years later. He built up a love for acting after being forced to attend a drama class in high school as a requirement to graduate.
“In high school, my nickname was Hopeless Romantic. If I was interested in a girl, I did a lot of lovey-dovey things like writing poems. I’m still like that deep down, but it’s hard to find somebody who I can be that way with.” Shane West
Once and Again
Developing an interest in acting after being compelled to take a drama class in high school, 15-year-old Shane West made a decision to become an actor and found early work on several regional productions before heading to Hollywood in pursuit of a career in film and television. Arriving in L.A in 1995, West got his start on TV series with episodic roles in such shows as “Picket Fences,” “California Dreams” (both 1995), “Boy Meets World” (1996) and “Mr. Rhodes” (1997). In 1997, he debuted on TV film by having the small role of speech spoiled computer whiz kid Christopher Theodorakis in the Showtime thriller The Westing Game, based on a popular children’s mystery novel by Ellen Raskin. A string of guest roles followed the next year, including in the CBS “The Closer,” WB’s hit “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” and the Sci-fi Channel “Sliders.” However, it was his role of Angel, the unlawful son of lead character Homer in the 1998 Mark Taper Forum production of John Irving’s The Cider House Rules (West’s Los Angeles stage debut) that brought the young actor some recognition.
West gained even more attention when he was cast as a regular in the ABC drama “Once and Again” (1999-2002). He portrayed Ali Sammler, the 16-year-old son of a man (Billy Campbell) who is romantically involved with a divorced mother (Sela Ward) after his own separation. As the Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick-created show became an immediate hit, West was launched to teen heart-throb status.
Following his major TV role, West made his big screen debut with a supporting role in the Barry Levinson-helmed Liberty Heights (1999), about a Jewish family in Baltimore. He continued with performances in films like the drama A Time for Dancing (2000, as DJ Paul), the teen comedy Whatever It Takes (2000, starred as the intellectual unpopular high school student Ryan, who unites with a tongue-tied jock in a strategy to win the respective girls of their dreams), the Gerard Butler starring vehicle Dracula 2000 (2000) and the teen romance Get Over It (2001, appeared as Bentley ‘Striker’ Scrumfeld/Demetrius).
The 2002 Young Hollywood Superstar of Tomorrow was put on the mainstreams of Hollywood in the following year when director Adam Shankman had him play Mandy Moore’s love interest in the teen drama A Walk to Remember. The film was a blockbuster smash hit, grossing $41 million in the United States. As for West, he got much attention following the enormous publicity surrounding the pop superstar status of Mandy Moore and won a Teen Choice for Choice Chemistry (shared with Moore).
In 2003, West found himself acting opposite Sean Connery in the promisingly but ultimately inadequate comic book adventure The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, portraying an adult Tom Sawyer who is now a U.S. espionage agent. He returned to series TV in the next year by joining the cast of the NBC long-running medical drama “ER” (2004-?) in the regular role of intern Dr. Ray Barnett.
The 28-year-old actor is scheduled to star in two films in 2006. He first will portray Darby Crash, a member of the 1970s punk group The Germs, in the independent biopic What We Do Is Secret, directed by Rodger Grossman and co-stars Bijou Phillips. Next up, he is going to team up with Leelee Sobieski, Rade Serbedzija and Eric Balfour for the upcoming comedy The Elder Son, for director/writer Marius Balchunas.
In addition to acting, West also shows an interest on music. He writes and plays the guitar for a band named Jonny Was, formerly known as Average Jo. The rock band performs in clubs in Los Angeles and the OC. One of his songs, “So What Does It All Mean?,” was featured in the soundtrack of his film, A Walk to Remember (2002). He also becomes the member of the newly reunited punk band, The Germs, replacing the late Darby Crash.