Thought Catalog
July 29, 2011

What Would Jesse Bradford Do?

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What is the issue?

I was watching Romeo + Juliet the other night and in between jamming to the Cardigans’ ‘Lovefool’ and mourning young Leonardo DiCaprio, I remembered a ’90s hottie I hadn’t thought about in a while.

What ever happened to Jesse Bradford?

He has a total of three lines in R+J but I always thought he’d break out into ‘Teen Beat’ material following Bring It On. It never quite happened. Mega comedy superstar Paul Rudd also briefly appears in Romeo + Juliet. It was one of his first big film roles. Here’s what I think would happen if Jesse Bradford got a chance to have a one-sided reunion with Paul Rudd.

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Hey, man!

Hey, what’s up? Long time no talk, dude. How’s it going? I’ve heard things are going really great for you, man. How Do You Know was just super. I love James L. Brooks. I would die to do a guest voice on The Simpsons. Oh, word? You’ve done it? Twice?! That’s great for you, man. Just great.

Me? I’m doing all right.

Look, I know we didn’t have any scenes together in Romeo + Juliet, that movie we were both in when we were equally as famous as each other, but at the time, I really felt like we connected. We were going through the same tiring ’90s Hollywood stuff, you know? We were both young actors, on the cusp of becoming thinking women’s heartthrobs. Neither of us were like, thin-Leo-DiCaprio attractive, but we were harmless and slightly nerdy. Our dark hair and goofy personalities suited us. Ladies Loved Cool J (as in Jesse)!

Then, you went on to play a smarmy sarcastic jerk with a heart of gold trying to win a blond, shallow girl’s unlikely love in a classic ’90s movie called Clueless. That’s cool. I played a smarmy sarcastic jerk with a heart of gold who wins over a blond, shallow cheerleader in Bring It On. But you know, you did it first. Can’t hate on that.

Hey, did you see Swimfan? No? Oh, that’s cool. People really dug it at the time. Erika Christensen played this girl who was like, obsessed with me because I was a really good swimmer. Who’s Erika Christensen? She was this blond actress who almost made it big in films in the late 90s, early 00s. Sort of a like Kristen Dunst meets Alicia Silverstone meets Sarah Michelle Gellar meets Julia Styles meets Reese Witherspoon type.

Yeah, yeah. There were a bunch of us back then, huh? Guess I can’t expect you to remember everyone’s name now that you’re so big time, Mr. Saturday-Night-Live-Host.

Anyway, I never got to tell you; you were great in Wet Hot American Summer and 200 Cigarettes, by the way. Cult classics.

Look, I’m glad I ran into you actually. I’ve been meaning to call your agent about this, but I’ll tell you now: I’ve been handed the first draft of Clockstoppers 2, the much-anticipated sequel to my own 2002 sleeper cult hit Clockstoppers, in which I played Zak Gibbs, an average teenager who accidentally activates a machine that enables him to speed up his body so that other people seem to be standing still.

Okay, well, in the sequel, Zak is back! (Possible tagline?) This time, his brother Mac, played by you, is with him and they have to stop the evil Time Ruler Zargon from…

What? Oh, you’re not really interested in time travel stuff? Oh. Hey, me neither really. Except when I was in the theater seeing Dinner for Schmucks. Then I wished I could time travel back before I bought my ticket!

I’m just razzing you, bro. It’s us guys that knew you before all this fame that have to keep you grounded.

Anyway, look; I’m not saying you stole my career. I’m just saying it could have been either one of us, man, and I’m happy for you. Everyone who had a bit part in R+J is doing pretty well for themselves. I’m gonna be in a movie coming out this year with Heather Graham. (Remember her?) I play ‘David the Agent.’ It’s a pretty meaty role.

Hey, you should come by sometime when I have Harold Perrineau Jr. (He played Mercutio, in case you forgot. Did you know he was on LOST?!) and Jamie Kennedy over for some brewskies. My cousin just hooked me up with a Nintendo Wii he got on Craigslist, so it’s pretty sweet.

Well, I’ll let you go, man. It was nice seeing you.

Oh, hey, one more thing: do you have Judd Apatow’s phone number? TC mark