Edward Norton, Examining the Dark Side

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Edward Norton, photographed at Cannes in 2005. i

Edward Norton, photographed at Cannes in 2005. Carlo Allegri/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Edward Norton, photographed at Cannes in 2005.

Edward Norton, photographed at Cannes in 2005.

Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

From a disingenuous altar boy in Primal Fear to a Neo-Nazi skinhead in American History X, actor Edward Norton has never been afraid to inhabit disturbing characters.

Hear From Norton

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Listen: Taking Risks in the Movie Industry

Now he's playing a demented and dangerous would-be cowboy in Down in the Valley, directed by David Jacobson (who also directed 2002's Dahmer, based on the real-life serial killer).

As Harlan Fairfax Carruthers, Norton's "aw shucks" manner wins the heart of a teen girl and her neglected younger brother. Then he's revealed to be a bit off his rocker.

Norton produced the movie in partnership with the indie studio Think Film.

Liane Hansen talks with Norton about choosing roles, independent filmmaking and the subtle art of character revelation.

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