Breckin Meyer has been an actor ever since his grade school classmate Drew Barrymore introduced him to her agent in the mid-1980s, but he is best known for his breakout role as Travis Birkenstock, the stoner high school student/skateboarder in the 1995 hit film Clueless.
What, you may ask, has happened to him in the years since Clueless was released? Well, he's had little trouble staying busy: His projects include forming a production company with longtime friends Seth Green and Ryan Phillippe; playing drums for famous musicians; winning Emmys for writing; creating a network television sitcom; acting in a variety of film and television projects (including playing Garfield the cat's owner); doing lots of voice work; and becoming a father.
Phew! So, yeah - while he might still be best known for playing Travis Birkenstock, he never really disappeared. Of course, at age 46, there's still time for him to chase his childhood dream of being a kindergarten teacher.
He Has Received Multiple Emmy Nominations As A Writer On 'Robot Chicken'Photo: Adult Swim
Meyer's foray into writing started off with a bang, as he received a Primetime Emmy nomination for the very first project on which he received a writing credit - Robot Chicken: Star Wars (2007). This nomination was in the category of outstanding animated program (for programming less than one hour) and shared among the other writers and producers on the show. Meyer has since gotten three more similar Emmy nominations for his writing work on various incarnations of Robot Chicken.
Robot Chicken was co-created by Meyer's longtime good friend Seth Green. In an interview, Meyer explained that the concept for the show started out as a "Hey, wouldn't this be funny...?" concept that grew into an award-winning show. He said, "It started out as the fun stuff. Which, by the way, is where the best stuff comes from is the stuff where you just started out having fun."
He Co-Starred With Mark-Paul Gosselaar On The TNT Series ‘Franklin & Bash’Photo: TNT
After a few earlier failed attempts at having a lead role on a successful non-animated television series, Meyer saw his luck improve when he was cast as Jared Franklin, one half of a team of unconventional lawyers who are recruited to join a prestigious but stodgy law firm. Gosselaar played Peter Bash, Meyer's best friend and law partner. A combination of buddy comedy and courtroom drama, the series got mixed reviews overall, but positive ones from critics writing for Variety ("[an] unexpectedly quirky legal show is playful, silly, and wholly unpretentious"), the Los Angeles Times ("a charming, enjoyably light and occasionally thoughtful legal procedural"), and The Hollywood Reporter.
The show lasted four seasons before being canceled, in part to slipping ratings and the network's desire to go with edgier programming.
He’s Played Drums For Several Famous Musicians, Including Tom Morello
In addition to his work in films and television, Meyer is a talented musician. From 2008 until 2011, he played the drums and sang backup vocals for the Freedom Fighters Orchestra, which is the backing band for Tom Morello's (of Rage Against the Machine) solo project, The Nightwatchman. Meyer has also played drums for artists such as Ben Harper and Cypress Hill, as well as for the punk band the Streetwalking Cheetahs (his older brother Frank was the frontman). The Streetwalking Cheetahs played a handful of gigs around Los Angeles with Meyer as the drummer in 1995 and 1996. They also recorded a demo where he sang the lead vocals on two of the songs, "Carnival" and "Dave." In the mid-1990s he formed a short-lived band called Bellyroom with Seth Green and Alexander Martin (the grandson of Dean Martin).
Meyer has said that he started playing drums as a kid as a way to try and hang out with his older brother and that he eventually met musicians he would jam with on occasion. "One of the highlights of my life is that I started playing these weekly gigs (at Hotel Cafe) with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, who is one of the top 20 greatest guitar players of all time," he admitted. "I was backing Tom up, and Tom's got a healthy rolodex of rock friends, and suddenly you find yourself drumming with Slash and Perry Farrell... everyone I grew up rocking to, I was backing up. It was insane."
He went on to say that he eventually went on an eight-city tour with Morello, where they would visit a local charity during the day, then do a gig at night with all the money brought in going to the charity. He admitted the whole experience was eye-opening for him.
'Road Trip' Marked His First Leading-Man Role In A FilmPhoto: DreamWorks Pictures
In late 1999 Meyer got cast in the film Road Trip, playing the lead role of Josh Parker, a college student who sets out on an 1,800-mile trip with his buddies to try and retrieve a videotape that was accidentally mailed to his long-distance girlfriend.
Made on a budget of about $16 million, it was an immediate hit when it opened in May 2000 and ended up grossing more than $119 million worldwide. But it didn't propel him to leading-man status.