The Real Reason You Recognize J.D. Vance From Hillbilly Elegy

Netflix has generated a great deal of buzz with one of its latest films, Hillbilly Elegy, which focuses on the domestic drama of a blue-collar family in Ohio. The film, which is directed by Ron Howard and stars Amy Adams and Glen Close, is based on the memoir of the same name by J.D. Vance (via Collider). Even though the movie received some mixed reviews for its depiction of poverty, per The New York Times, fans did take note of the stellar cast. And in particular, many were left wondering about its central character, played by Gabriel Basso, who may look extremely familiar to you. 

Basso may be a little older than the last time he was in a big project, but the 25-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri, is no stranger to the screen, big and small (via Your Tango). And he's been lucky enough to star in some major projects, alongside some of Hollywood's top-tier talent.

Gabriel Basso starred in well-known movies and TV shows before Hillbilly Elegy

Basso actually got his first big break in the coming-of-age, sci-fi action thriller Super 8, directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Stephen Spielberg. The movie, which premiered in 2011, received much fanfare due to its nostalgic leanings toward beloved sci-fi favorites of the past, including the Spielberg-directed hits E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (per The Atlantic). 

Basso also acted in more coming-of-age films, including Kings of Summer and Barely Lethal, which starred actress Hailee Steinfeld (via Your Tango). Moreover, Basso appeared in Meg Ryan's directorial debut Ithaca and played Laura Linney's son in the Showtime drama The Big C, which aired for four seasons from 2011 to 2013, per The Hollywood Reporter. He is currently signed to the WME talent agency and shares representation with A-list stars like Ben Affleck and Jake Gyllenhaal. There's no doubt we'll be seeing more from the rising star very soon.