On Saturday (February 20), the popular teen comedy Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen turns 12 years old. Starring Lindsay Lohan, the movie followed Lola (Lohan) as she unwillingly moved from New York City to the suburbs of Dellwood, New Jersey, making friends with the loner girl (Alison Pill) and enemies with the school’s resident mean girl (Megan Fox), all while crushing on the lead singer of Sidarthur (Adam Garcia) and starring as the lead in the school’s modernized musical version of Pygmalion.
But like most teen comedies, there’s a ~romance~ between the two leads, which involved Eli Marienthal, who played Sam. He was sweet, cordial, and super cute. But of course, Lola had to fall in love with a douche before realizing Sam was the right guy for her. So it goes.
Confessions was Marienthal’s last acting role, according to IMDb, and he’s taken a very different career path since the movie first premiered.
From 2004-2008, Marienthal attended Brown University where he got his M.A. in International Development, and he’s a PhD candidate in geography at UC Berkeley. He cofounded W.I.L.D. and codirects Back to Earth with high school pal Jesse Sachs.
W.I.L.D., which stands for “Wilderness Immersion and Leadership Development,” is a 10-day backpacking program that helps teen boys “achieve their next level of maturity and express their authentic selves.” It creates leadership skills as well as fosters a positive relationship with nature.
Furthermore, he’s a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), which is all about wilderness education. He’s done work in both India and Haiti, and you can listen to his Haitian story about a boy obsessed with his Haitian twin.
Basically, he’s a tree hugger, which is awesome, but quite different from the entertainment industry. Of course, he’s still entertaining people, just through another medium. Marienthal is also big into the art of poetry and was a member of Youth Speaks.
He was the youngest member of a winning Brave New Voices National Slam Team and is even on the CD track list of The Spoken Word Revolution: Slam, Hip Hop and the Poetry of a New Generation.
While Marienthal isn’t acting anymore, he played some iconic roles in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Besides Confessions, he was Stifler’s younger brother in American Pie and American Pie 2, a.k.a. the kid who watched Jason Biggs, ahem, finish early during that one scene. (Oh, you know the one.)
He was also in Jack Frost and The Country Bears, but perhaps his biggest claim to fame is The Iron Giant. He was the voice of protagonist Hogarth Hughes. Because the animated classic took two years to complete, Marienthal worked on it from ages 11-13, with his voice starting to drop right at the very end, he told Powerlight Studios in an interview.
The movie was re-released in theaters in 2015, and Marienthal reflected his on positive experience with it, sharing a nice message on Instagram.
“Every few years #theirongiant pops back up in my life, now around the release of a new theatrical version and a signature edition with some new material. And every time it does I get to remember all over again how beautiful a piece of art it is, and how lucky I feel to have contributed to its enduring impact.
“I’d like to think that somewhere along the way #hogarth really found his way into my voice too, and that as much as I gave him life, some of his open-hearted courage rubbed off on me along the way. Thanks #warnerbros #bradbird #fathomentertainment and everyone else who had a hand in this one #bigups.”
But while his voice will forever be Hogarth, the rest of him will always be Sam to us. ♥