He just wants to rest!

COPYRIGHT Steve Tilley
Tuckered-out Tobey just wants to rest
By STEVE TILLEY -- Edmonton Sun

HOLLYWOOD -- Keep it down, would you? Tobey Maguire is trying to sleep.

While he may not be the hardest-working man in show business - that distinction probably belongs to Regis "I'm everywhere!" Philbin - the 24-year-old star of The Cider House Rules and Wonder Boys is determined to take it easy for a while.

Maguire has just come off the equivalent of a sports team's gruelling road trip: Three demanding pictures, back to back, all shot on location in different parts of the U.S.

The last was Wonder Boys (opening in theatres today), director Curtis Hanson's follow-up to his Oscar-winning L.A. Confidential. Maguire plays James Leer, a misfit college student with huge literary talent who gets taken under the wing of a frumpy, pot-smoking professor (Michael Douglas). Maguire says he had no intention of even making The Cider House Rules (nominated for seven Oscars) after his tough five-month shoot in Kansas and Missouri for director Ang Lee's Civil War drama Ride With the Devil. But he couldn't refuse the script (adapted from John Irving's bestseller) or the chance to work with Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom.

"I felt like it (The Cider House Rules) was more important than me being homesick, it was more important than me needing rest," says Maguire. "I felt like I had to do it because I liked everything about it." So he went straight to New England for another four months of long days. When that wrapped, the young star was truly anxious to get home - until he got a copy of the script for Wonder Boys, based on Michael Chabon's acclaimed novel, and was offered a part. "I was going, 'Oh no, I like this script and I really want to work with Curtis and Michael Douglas and I think I'm going to end up working again.' " After three months of shooting in Pittsburgh, Maguire finally fled home to California to get some much-needed rest.

It's an embarrassment of riches for the young star, who had his first movie role in This Boy's Life (where he met and befriended current pal Leonardo DiCaprio). He got noticed in Ang Lee's The Ice Storm and Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry before getting his first meaty starring role opposite Reese Witherspoon in Pleasantville. But as with anything that becomes popular quickly, Maguire has suffered backlash from critics, who call his acting style "minimalistic" - particularly in Cider House and Wonder Boys. "Minimalistic?" he asks with raised eyebrows. "I dunno. That's what my furniture is, so I suppose maybe there's some truth to it."

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