Striking parallels manifested themselves between actor Mark Webber's early life and his intense, emotionally demanding choice of onscreen roles. The child of a broken family, Webber grew up under the guardianship of his mom, and the two battled economic hardship thanks to difficult circumstances. Matters took a serious turn when Webber's mom became involved with an altruistic group called Up and Out of Poverty Now and accepted grant money from that organization that enabled her to earn a teaching certificate. Because she failed to report the grant monies, federal marshals turned up and arrested her under allegations of welfare fraud, ultimately revoking the certificate and rendering mother and child homeless for two years despite the ultimate exoneration of the mother. Acting, as Webber later recalled, came out of this naturally, for he almost instinctively began disguising his own impoverished status among schoolmates; he also fell in love with film at an early age -- as a series of magical escapes into other worlds -- and thus strongly wanted to be a part of this.
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Webber began acting professionally in 1997 and placed a strong emphasis, throughout his career, on small, offbeat indie productions, again, honing in almost exclusively on intense characterizations that presented great multileveled challenges. Key projects included the efforts The Laramie Project (2001) (as one of gay adolescent Matthew Shepard's killers), Ethan Hawke's directorial outing Chelsea Walls (2001) (as a lovestruck drifter in the legendary Hotel Chelsea), the Woody Allen comedy Hollywood Ending (2002) (as Allen's son), and, on an impressive but overlooked note, Pete Winters, the academically struggling younger son of a widower father in Josh Sternfeld's stunning debut drama Winter Solstice (2004). He was also memorable, in a crucial but extremely brief appearance, as a young boy misread by a loner (Bill Murray) as the man's son in Jim Jarmusch's super-low key, critically acclaimed drama Broken Flowers (2005). In 2007, Webber starred opposite Marianna Palka and Jason Ritter in the acerbic sex comedy Good Dick. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi