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YM (On the Verge)
Jason Schwartzman
by Patty Adams

Most stars don't interrupt an interview to satisfy a Taco Bell craving. "Sorry, but I needed my beans with chicken and cheese," says Jason, 21, as he gives the fast-food employee a dorky-yet-cute "Thank ya, baby." Then he proudly tells me, "I got a whole meal for 86 cents. It probably would've been a dollar, but I gave her the double wink."
     So adorable and funny, just like the lovesick prep-school boy he played in 1998's cult classic Rushmore. This month Jason has a role as Ethan, a nerdy blackmailer obsessed with James King's character, in Slackers. he didn't exactly have to claw his way to the top - his mom is Talia Shire (of Rocky fame), and his cousins are Nicolas Cage and Sofia Coppola.
     But acting's not Jason's only talent. He's been playing drums since he was 10 and formed his current band, Phantom Planet, when he was 14. They released an album shortly after, but they don't like to talk about it because they think it sounds immature. Their "very mature" second album, The Guest,, comes out any day now. Depending on the song, their acoustic rock is as melodic as Ben Folds, as dreary as Travis, or as cheerful as the Beach Boys.
WHY PHANTOM PLANET COULD HAVE BEEN CALLED GODZILLA: "Our singer, Alex, had the Neil Norman and His Cosmic Orchestra's Volume I Greatest Science Fiction Hits CD, and he loved the Phantom Planet movie theme song. So he said, 'That's the name of the band.' Then it turned out he miscounted the tracks and he actually liked the Godzilla song."
SIGN THAT PHANTOM PLANET'S NOT SELLING OUT STADIUMS-YET: "Last night our dressing room was the men's bathroom. Usually we ask if there's a bathroom in our dressing room, not the other way around."
THING HE'D NEVER DO FOR A GIRL: Shave her initials in his chest hair, like his character does in Slackers. "I've written songs for my girlfriend, but I'm not obsessed with her."
OBJECTS APPEAR SMALLER ON-SCREEN: "I look like the characters I play, but I'm taller in real life," says the 5'5" actor. "I'm 7'8". When I'm on-screen, I wear special shoes to make me shorter. Converse makes them. They're great."
HE'D TRADE PLACES WITH: Jay-Z. "I'd like to be big pimpin' for a day."