I'm a pencil neck, I'm not a Schwarzenegger,' says Brad Pitt, the sexy hitchhiker who manages to lure Geena Davis into a supercharged bedroom romp in Thelma & Louise.

Contrary to his protests, Pitt's washboard stomach, smoldering stare, and all-around boyish allure have the hype types predictably touting him as-wait for it-the next James Dean. The Missouri native has heard enough of the comparison. 'There's this thing about every young new guy getting compared to Jimmy Dean,' says Pitt, 25. 'I've read it a million times, even about Michael J. Fox.'

Dean-like or not, Pitt had to audition for several months before getting cast as one of the leads in Robert Redford's next project, A River Runs Through It, a coming-of-age drama set in the '20s. Pitt also has several other upcoming films under his barely notched belt, including The Favor, with Elizabeth McGovern, and Ralph Bakshi's half-animated Cool World, which Pitt describes as 'Dr. Seuss on acid.'

While he's not complaining about the work, which cuts into his passion for road-tripping, Pitt does feel the weight of celebrity. 'If people are going to be interested in what's popping out of your mouth when it moves, you oughta have something going for you,' he says. 'You've got to be responsible. Sometimes it makes me want to move up into the mountains.'