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Who Is Jude Law?

Twenty-six year old Jude Law is known in London for his years of stage work and offbeat film roles, but the CBS News Early Show's Mark McEwen reports his role in The Talented Mr.Ripley is making him a star on this side of the Atlantic.

The cast for The Talented Mr. Ripley is stellar and Law says the anticipation of working with talented actors such as Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow was great.

"There was this great feel on the set, that we had everything in place for us to make a great film, and all we had to do was concentrate," he adds.

In the film, Law portrays Dickie Greenleaf, a man running from his privileged past, who becomes the focus of Tom Ripley's obsession.

"When we first meet Dickie, I think on the surface you're only given enough information as to understand that he's on the run, that he's running away, and that he's refusing his responsibilities," he explains, adding that there is an energy of guiltlessness in his character that is very desirable to Mr. Ripley.

" But there's also a ruthless side to him. He's not great at committing and it's funny, it's the ruthless side, and it's the slightly selfish side to him that also makes him so desirable." he says.

And Law admits with a laugh that such character traits are not just attractive to Matt Damon's character.

"There are certain English traits of mine which I wish I could shrug off and kind of embrace Dickie's sort of slightly more-irresponsible, slightly more just experience bound kind of energy, you know?" he says.

In real life Law lives a responsible life with his wife, actress Sadie Frost, and 3-year-old son Rafferty.

And as for his career, he says he thanks his parents, both teachers, who gave him a hunger for learning.

"I had the excuse on this film to learn to play the saxophone, and to sail, and to read up on the '50s scene in New York, stuff I'd never read about or experienced before," he says.

Known primarily for his stage work, in 1995 Law earned a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut in Indiscretions.

He spent his early years in London where one of his roommates and good friends was actor Ewan McGreggor, (Star Wars and Trainspotting)and as he looks back he remembers the days when they both wished to be employed and recognized as actors.

That recognition has finally come. Law earned a Golden Globe nomination and is a front runner for an Oscar.

"I try not to expect too much of anything, and...until then, I'm enjoying the release of the film. Something that I believe in, that other people are responding to," he adds.

And if he weren't busy enough, Law directed a short film in London. He'll probably direct more in the future, but for right now his focus is acting and his family.

For more information on The Talented Mr. Ripley visit the official Web site.

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