HOLLYWOOD -- Reporters who would interview 16-year-old Edward Furlong, the charismatic young costar of 'Terminator 2' and other hit films, are asked to sign an agreement.
Furlong's publicist insists interviewers agree they will not question the lad about his family.
It's weird. Here's this apparently nice, talented teenager in a Brentwood veggie restaurant sitting across from his publicist and beside a young woman with whom he holds hands.
The woman is 29-year-old Jackie Domac. Domac is petite, dresses younger than her age, wears little makeup and speaks hardly at all.
To the casual observer, Furlong and Domac would seem to be stuck on each other romantically. It might be a case of puppy love, but then one of them really isn't a puppy.
Nor can it be assumed Domac and Furlong are family. Best not to ask lest the signed agreement be violated.
Furlong's star quality is hard to ignore. He has intelligent, wounded eyes and a diffidence reminiscent of James Dean.
The young man has impressed moviemakers and fans alike with his performances in 'Pet Sematary II,' 'American Heart' with Jeff Bridges, 'A Home of Our Own' with Kathy Bates, and, of course, 'Terminator 2' with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It was politic not to probe too deeply into Furlong's private life. Suffice it to say Domac was once Eddie's stand-in and later his tutor and, apparently, his current mentor and full-time companion.
His parents, stepparents and other relatives, it has been reported, are at odds about custody and responsibility for this juvenile star.
Whatever the off-screen hubbub, Furlong seems to be handling it emotionally, at least it appears that way.
The other day at lunch he was quiet, thoughtful, articulate and well- mannered. Not bad for a 16-year-old movie star. There is a touch of adult about him.
'I've done six films in 3 1/2 years,' he said. 'Acting is pretty fun.'
Modestly, Furlong admitted not all of his movies have been hits.
He has high hopes for a new horror picture scheduled for release this month, 'Brainscan,' in which he plays a video games freak who becomes involved in serial killing.
'The hardest role I've ever done is in 'Little Odessa,' which I just finished,' said Furlong, sharing a bowl of chili with Domac and picking at a plate of pasta.
'It's about life in Brighton Beach. I worked with Maximilian Schell, Vanessa Redgrave and Tim Roth. That was the fun of it.'NEWLN: more
Asked whether he attributes his popularity to young moviegoers, Furlong said he wasn't sure.
'Maybe some kids relate to me as Eddie Furlong,' he said. 'But some others relate to the characters I play.
'My life isn't anything like my roles. But I could relate to Michael in 'Brainscan' because I'm really into video games. They are a real escape.
'Michael is obsessed with death and wonders what it would be like to kill someone. Like when you're driving along the freeway and would like to shoot the guy who cuts you off.'
Because he has been surrounded by adults for the past 3 1/2 years, on and off movie sets, Furlong has lost touch with his peers. He shrugs that off.
He appears to be at ease with himself. There is no little boy shyness about him, but neither is there the swagger or bravado one often finds in child stars.
He appears to be a regular kid of his generation. Hip but mannerly, cool but not a smart aleck. He expresses himself well.
'I can't say I miss having a normal life as a working actor,' he said. With a laugh, he added, 'I don't know if I had a normal life as a young kid.
'A lot of people think Hollywood is all glamour and it isn't. It's a lot of hard work and there's a lot of slime involved too. There are some really hard parts about Hollywood.
'Hollywood is based on money. Every business is. The great thing about (show business) for me is the acting itself and learning things all the time.'
Eddie puts great faith in his agents who have chosen his scripts well.
He has no solid plans for his future, saying he would like to continue acting. He doesn't like school -- he's tutored -- and isn't thinking about the possibility of college.
'School sucks,' he said.
'I'll just go along and see what happens. I'm looking at some other scripts, but I can't talk about them until the papers are signed.
'I don't feel like an actor. I feel like a 16-year-old kid who acts. That's basically what I am. No question it's made me grow up faster. You work long hours and you're always around adults.
'I hate it when people treat me like a kid and talk down to me. I'm lucky because I never even thought about being an actor. Even if I never act again, the experience is worth it.'NEWLN: (