Emile Hirsch Promises Audiences Will Drink ‘Milk’ Up

Just for a minute, forget about superheroes and sequels. Because sometimes even movie geeks need to stop eating popcorn and get some nutrition. And that’s why we’re looking forward to rounding out 2008 with a nice, big, informative glass of “Milk.”

“I just did this film called ’Milk’ with Sean Penn and Gus Van Sant about Harvey Milk,” explained Emile “Speed Racer” Hirsch recently, giving us some early details on what many are already calling this year’s Oscar flick to beat. “I think it’s going to be a really good film.”

When we caught up with Josh Brolin a few weeks back, he had a lot to say about the top-secret biopic, which will depict one of the most bizarre stories in American politics. And in this age of Eliot Spitzer, that’s saying quite a bit.

“Not many people know the story yet,” insisted Hirsch, who plays real-life gay activist (and eventual creator of the AIDS memorial quilt) Cleve Jones.

Although the 23-year-old actor was hesitant to pinpoint Van Sant’s timeline, he did confirm that the film will depict Milk’s rise to prominence and assassination, on through the infamous Twinkie trial and imprisonment of his killer, Dan White. “Yeah, [it will go until] around then,” he said. “I don’t want to give anything away by telling you a timeline, but it’s not really giving anything away, because it’s historical fact.”

With Penn and the red-hot Hirsch and Brolin in the leads, and a solid supporting cast that includes Diego Luna and James Franco, “Milk” is already positioning itself as a late-November awards contender. And according to the young star, the film will be an appropriate memorial to the executed activist who said: “”If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.”

“Milk represented change for a lot of people, and was a catalyst to that,” Hirsch said, explaining the film’s intended significance. “And his eventual assassination similarly mirrored Martin Luther King.”