The Missing: Tobey Maguire

Question: I'm hoping you can help me solve a little mystery that has been driving me nuts for years. I'm a big fan of Empire Records, with Liv Tyler, a then-unknown Renée Zellweger and others. Tobey Maguire is listed in the credits and he's talked about the movie in interviews, mainly in the context of working on it during a very difficult time in his life and being absent from the set a lot. My friends and I have watched the movie — both the original and the extended-DVD versions — more times than I can tell you, but we've never been able to locate him! Does he actually appear in it and, if so, where?

Answer: Tobey Maguire, then 19 and the product of a rootless upbringing and more than a decade of commercial and television work as a child actor, was apparently going through a bad time when he auditioned for one of the leads in Empire Records (1995). He instead landed a very minor role as a character named "Andre" and that, in combination with other personal issues, sent him into some kind of funk. Having already shot some sequences, he asked director Allan Moyle to release him from the project. Although he is still listed in the credits, his scenes were completely cut from the theatrical version. I can't swear that they're not in the extended-DVD version, but the fact that you've watched it so many times and have not seen him suggests to me that they were never restored.