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Wild Iris


Lee Tergesen plays Lud van Eppy, the owner of the local garage and filling station.

The sensitive teenage boy who is central to the story, Lonnie Wheeler (played by Emile Hirsch), seems to look upon Lud as a father figure and often works at the garage. Lonnie's own father committed suicide when he was quite young.

New York Magazine sums up this Showtime-produced TV movie accurately in an Aug. 6, 2001, review:

"Wild Iris" is a feel-bad movie about the young son (Emile Hirsch) of a suicide who tries to kill himself -- the only way he can think of to escape the low-intensity warfare ... between his grandmother (Gena Rowlands), a monster of good intentions and profound denial, and his mother (Laura Linney), who drinks vodka in cans of diet Sprite. To be seen only for the performances of these extraordinary actors, including Miguel Sandoval as a photographer and Lee Tergesen as the owner of the filling station.

Lee appears only briefly in the first half of the movie, but he is seen more toward the end. He is the one who breaks the news to Lonnie's mother and grandmother that Lonnie has tried to kill himself -- very much in the same way that Lonnie's father killed himself. He also takes Iris to the hospital to "identify" her son. 
His performance is affecting, and Lee makes the most out of a meager role.

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Available on VHS

TV Guide review

eFilmCritic review