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Newcomer gets lead in 'Beth Cooper'

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
July 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The weekend's sees a new comedy with a PG-13 rating. "I Love You, Beth Cooper" aims for more of the teen crowd, with a newcomer who gets top billing.In the movie, a high school valedictorian declares his love for a popular cheerleader, but at a most inopportune time - during his graduation speech. The surprising proclamation of affection leads the two new friends on a graduation night adventure no one will forget.

Actor Paul Rust co-stars opposite Hayden Paniettiere of the TV show "Heroes." The Hollywood newcomer is as surprised as anyone to jump into leading man status.

"I moved out to L.A. to do sketch comedy, and when I became the lead of a movie, it was very surprising thing for me," said Paul. "I had one scene in a previous movie, called 'Semi-Pro,' but I got cut out. I was really bummed out. Then the DVD came out, and I thought, 'Oh, they must put me in.' They didn't. Well, maybe the deleted scenes section. And it wasn't in there, either."

Paul knows that he's made the final cut of this new movie, and he also knows it's in for a battle in this competitive movie season. The actor hopes comedy might win out over the current box office kings.

"I think with the recession, people are interested in laughing. Or giant robots that break things. Those are the two things, which I think is great, too," said Paul.

"I Love You, Beth Cooper" is rated PG-13.

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