While most people in their early-“20s face a very difficult time in their lives, usually involving college and deciding their future profession, 22-year-old Nick Stahl, who is co-starring in the film “In the Bedroom” with Marissa Tomei, also leads a challenging life that of an up-and-coming new actor.

Stahl began acting as a young child, doing theater in his home state of Texas before moving onto commercials and then films.

“For me, (my childhood) was sort of a dual life. I was, like, a normal kid in Texas, and then I would fly off and do a movie and come back,” Stahl said. “It was different wasn”t what the rest of my friends were doing.”

Stahl earned the breakthrough he needed when he was hand-selected to star opposite Mel Gibson in “The Man Without a Face.” Stahl was 12 during its filming, and has since endured the obstacles of overcoming childhood success in the film industry.

“It was difficult at times. You have, like, a certain set of roles that you”re up for as a kid, and as you age it really changes. When I was (around the age of) 14, I didn”t work for almost two years, just because that”s a really awkward age to begin with.”

With a recent surge of roles, including the films “Disturbing Behavior” and “Bully,” he feels like he is finally playing more mature characters, especially in Todd Field”s upcoming “In The Bedroom.”

“It”s definitely tricky for me still, but this movie, I feel, is one of my first more adult roles.”

Stahl acknowledges that there were many factors in his wanting to be a part of Todd Field”s directorial debut. “I think there was a real transformation in the character that was interesting. And really, I just loved the script and the writing.”

Stahl portrays Frank Fowler, the only son of a seemingly perfect couple, who spends his summer before college on a lobster boat, while also engaged in a relationship with a much older woman (Marisa Tomei). Stahl actually prepared for the movie by being a real lobster fisherman for a few days.

“It was really great. I wish I had had more time to do it actually. We got to go out a couple days, but it was a real discovery for me, because it”s a real different world. And it helped me physically to sort of acclimate to the role, and I came away with a real respect for the profession as well. I mean, these guys that do this for a living it”s a real tough job and sort of a lonely job as well.”

Stahl admits being “really excited” at the early Oscar buzz for the film, as he also responds to the claim that “In the Bedroom” is not for the emotionally squeamish.

“If people don”t want to go to a film to experience emotion then I guess they should just go see the newest teen flick. The film attempts to make a statement that is more than a lot of films that I have seen attempt to do.”

Stahl is currently in Germany shooting a movie called “Bookies,” about three friends attending college together, which is due out sometime next year.

As for Stahl”s own personal education plans, he is just enjoying his acting career right now.

“Its kinda hard to say what I”ll be doing down the road. I really like what I do now. I don”t know if I will go to school or anything like that, because that”s really not my goal right now it”s to keep working.”

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