Almost Famous star Billy Crudup isn't the most stand-up guy in World Traveler (opening Friday). He plays a man who leaves his wife and child to go gallivanting in search of his own happiness. Still, Crudup insists the idea of wanting more out of life is something everyone can relate to.

"We have the lottery now," he tells TV Guide Online. "And we have these TV shows where people shove spiders up their butt because they might get some fame."

The 33-year-old actor knows plenty about fame's elusiveness. He's often taken parts in indie films like Jesus' Son and Waking the Dead instead of heading more mainstream. "I tend to think that everybody in the world is going to have the same taste that I do," he jokes. "I always think that these are going to be enormous hits and therefore have anticipated being an enormous icon.

"However," he adds, "I have learned that my tastes are not necessarily coincidental to pop culture. And rather than try to chase somebody else's tastes, I've learned to enjoy my own."

Crudup is currently enjoying himself on Broadway, where he's playing the tragic title role in The Elephant Man. What motivates the Hollywood looker to play such a severely-deformed character? "The reason that I'm playing it," he says, "is because I'm familiar with what it's like to be reduced by the way that I look."