November 10, 2003 12:00 PM

AGE: 29


LATEST GIG: Scary Movie 3

•Plot Twists: After all the drama in his life—credit card fraud as a teen, a sex scandal in his 20s—no wonder Rex is ready for a little comedy. In his biggest movie role yet, he plays a rapping farmer (a parody of Eminem) in the spoof sequel Scary Movie 3.

•Flashback: Growing up in San Francisco, “I was always getting suspended,” says Rex, the only child of Zoe, 58, an environmental consultant, and Paul, 56, a relationship coach. He landed in a juvenile facility at 17. “My buddy found a wallet at a gas station, so we went shopping,” he says. “I learned my lesson from stealing. Bad karma.”

•The Next Act: His good looks got him gigs as a runway and print model and as a VJ on MTV when he was 21. “I was living the dream,” he says. But a solo porn video he had made a few years earlier, at 18, surfaced and became a public embarrassment. “It was to pay the rent,” Rex says. “I didn’t know any better.” The uproar, says his mother, “matured him. It really made him focus on who he was and forge through it.”

•New Beginning: After his MTV stint ended in 1997, Rex appeared on Felicity and Jack & Jill and fell for Jack costar Jaime Pressly, 26. “I couldn’t keep up with a famous, beautiful actress,” says Rex, single since their romance fizzled in 2001. Now the L.A. resident spends his free time snow-boarding and executive producing Channel Surfing, a comedy pilot he created for MTV. Any indulgences? “I’m about to get a hot tub,” he says. “I’m a simple man.”

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