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As the endearing Steven Karp on the well-loved but short-lived Fox sitcom Undeclared, Jay Baruchel took the campus staple of the former high school nerd who attempts to reinvent himself in college and sparked older audiences' nostalgia while simultaneously playing on the younger generations' familiarity with current dormitory escapades. With this and a pair of small but memorable feature roles, a directorial debut, and a leading-man role all falling into the up-and-coming young actor's lap over the course of the first three years of the new millennium, chances are that audiences who aren't familiar with Baruchel's face will soon be. A native of Canada who began taking acting lessons at the age of 12, Baruchel was first introduced to television audiences through his numerous appearances on the popular small-fry chiller series Are You Afraid of the Dark? Baruchel would next receive his first taste of sitcom life with a leading role on the short-lived sitcom My Hometown (1996). Though he equates his subsequent stint as host of Canadian television's Popular Mechanics for Kids with his mother showing a date his naked baby pictures, the exposure it gave Baruchel got him stateside attention and he soon made his feature debut, as an obsessive Led Zeppelin fan, in director Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous. Relocating to Los Angeles from his hometown of Montréal, Québec for the filming of Undeclared proved an exciting experience, and the French-speaking Canadian's next role was in the made-for-television horror-comedy Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher (2001). After appearing alongside an impressive cast of young actors in director Roger Avery's The Rules of Attraction (2002), Baruchel made his directorial debut (in addition to producing, editing, writing, and photographing) with the romantic horror-action film Edgar and Jane (2002). It wasn't long before the multifaceted youngster was making his leading-man debut, and with 2003's Paper, Scissors, Stone, Baruchel did just that.
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