HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - “NCIS: Los Angeles” star Chris O’Donnell received the 2,544th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today, honoring a career that unexpectedly began as a teenager when he was cast in the 1990 comedy-drama “Men Don’t Leave.”
Paul Brickman, the film’s director, spoke at the late-morning ceremony in front of Jameson’s Irish Pub on Hollywood Boulevard, and Jon Avnet, its producer, was in attendance.
“If they hadn’t given me the job 27 years ago, I for sure wouldn’t be here right now,” O’Donnell said. “I don’t know what the journey my life would have taken.”
Brickman had speculated earlier that O’Donnell would have become an options trader on Chicago’s LaSalle Street. Brickman recalled that O’Donnell almost missed the audition because of crew practice.
“It was clear at time that Chris had no intention of being a professional actor,” Brickman said. “I don’t think he had ever been in a play. He never studied theater. I think he was just looking for a summer gig
before heading off for college.”
O’Donnell portrayed the rebellious son of a debt-ridden widowed housewife (Jessica Lange) in “Men Don’t Leave.”
O’Donnell’s “NCIS: Los Angeles” co-star LL Cool J credited his leadership and “the tone he set from Day 1 on the set” for the success of the series, now in its sixth season.
“The vibe was right,” LL Cool J said. “The energy was right. There was positivity. There was no negative energy.” LL Cool J also praised O’Donnell for his support, which he has reciprocated.
“If I was a little down, he would lift me,” LL Cool J said. “If he was a little down, I would lift him up.”
O’Donnell had an extensive film career before “NCIS: Los Angeles” premiered in 2009, best-remembered for portraying Robin in 1995’s top grossing film, “Batman Forever,” and reprising the role two years later in “Batman and Robin.”
O’Donnell received a best supporting actor in a motion picture Golden Globe nomination in 1992 for his portrayal of a prep school student who becomes an assistant to an eccentric blind retired Army officer (Al Pacino) in “Scent of a Woman.”
O’Donnell’s other movie credits include “The Chamber,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Cookie’s Fortune” and “Kinsey.”
“He absolutely without a doubt deserves this moment because he put the work in,” LL Cool J said.