05/06/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT
GROWING UP THE YOUNGEST of seven kids in Chicago's Win-netka suburb, Chris O'Donnell was a 51", 95-lb. 10th grader who passed for 12 in TV commercials (he served Michael Jordan breakfast in a 1987 McDonald's spot). Girls? "I was limited to short ones," he has said. Flash-forward nine years and look at the 25-year-old actor today: 5'9", 155 lbs. and a physique that practically exploded out of his codpiece-enhanced, spandex Robin costume in last summer's Batman Forever. "Chris has the body of a gymnast—trim and very physically fit," says the film's makeup artist Ve Neill. "And he's absolutely adorable. He let me do all sorts of things to him—I even pierced his ear. But he let it close up after the movie. It didn't suit his style—he's pretty Brooks Brothers."
By all accounts, the Boston College, marketing major, class of '95, remains a nice, conservative guy who still dates his former roommate's sister Caroline Fentress. For last year's Circle of Friends, producer Frank Price sought an actor who could remain likable even as he broke Minnie Driver's heart. "That was a tall order," Price says, "but Chris has an innocent face and an inner integrity that comes through. He's a wonderfully romantic figure—the guy everyone notices."
They'll notice again next summer when he's back in the Batcave. "He's just a dream-boat," says makeup artist Neill. "Chris is the kind of guy you'd want your daughter to bring home."