There was, however, one person who was puzzled that Mr. Stan had taken this role: Mr. Gillooly.
Shortly before filming began earlier this year, the two met at a restaurant in Portland, Ore., where Mr. Gillooly and Ms. Harding first met and where Mr. Gillooly still lives. As Mr. Stan recalled, “The first thing Jeff said to me, when I sat down, was, ‘Why would anyone want to do this? Who would want to see this thing?’”
Mr. Stan’s answer?
“I told him it was a really great script.”
Mr. Stan had spent the previous couple of months obsessively researching Mr. Gillooly, finding on YouTube a television interview that Mr. Gillooly had given several years ago, and also listening to the audiotape of a three-hour interview Mr. Gillooly had given to Steven Rogers, the film’s screenwriter.
“Steve sent me that tape and I walked around the city over the holidays, listening to Jeff’s voice over and over and over again,” he said.
When the two finally met, Mr. Stan wasn’t particularly interested in probing for more details about the Kerrigan incident, or hearing Mr. Gillooly’s side of the story. Instead, he was looking for biographical details that would help him find his character. “There was an earlier Jeff in the script that I couldn’t find anything on,” Mr. Stan said. “How was he when he was in high school? Who was he back then? What did he want to be? How did he smile? When he got excited, how did he move his hands?”
But he said the face-to-face meeting was a bit unnerving: “I had spent so much time listening to him, and watching him, and now here he was in person. It’s almost like you are doing a double take.”
Next up for Mr. Stan is “Destroyer,” by the director Karyn Kusama, also starring Nicole Kidman and Tatiana Maslany, which he begins filming in January. He has also become something of a fashion world favorite (perhaps a result of him having played a memorably shirtless drifter in the 2013 Broadway revival of “Picnic”). He has been invited to the Public School shows, accompanied Todd Snyder to the CFDA Awards and was profiled in a GQ Style fashion shoot.
On this afternoon, he was wearing a black IRO coat, a dark green Theory T-shirt, black A Gold E jeans and weathered Frye boots that he said were taken from the set of the “Avengers” movie.
Though born in Romania and raised by a single mother in Vienna before she married an American and the family moved to Rockland…