Duval has avoided the standard publicity game, offering almost no information about his past. He was born in Detroit, MI and raised in California. In his late teens, Duval was playing music in a band when he decided to quit and move to Hollywood to try to make it as an actor. With no money or a clue about how to break in, he hung out at a local cafe where writer-director-editor Araki happened to do his writing. The filmmaker liked his looks and offered him a script that turned out to be "Totally F***ed Up." Duval's character, Andy, was sweet but fragile and "totally bummed." Having enjoyed his screen debut, Duval resurfaced the next year, playing a biker named Smack in another oddball teenpic "Mod Fuck Explosion" (1994). He landed a job as a waiter to pay the rent as he played the naive suburbanite virgin who learns some bizarre life lessons on the road with his teen-aged girlfriend (Rose McGowan) and a mysterious drifter (Johnathon Schaech) in Araki's apocalyptic road comedy "The Doom Generation." Duval won some positive notices but he did not give up his day job. Fate stepped in when transplanted German genre filmmaker Roland Emmerich dropped by the restaurant where Duval waited tables. Having seen and enjoyed "Totally F***ed Up," Emmerich offered the waiter a most generous tip--a role in his sci-fi epic "Independence Day" as Miguel, the responsible son of a drunken cropduster pilot Dad (Randy Quaid). The success of this feature allowed Duval to concentrate on acting full-time. Rather than going Hollywood, he reteamed with Araki for "Nowhere" and played a supporting role in the AIDS-related drama "River Made to Drown In" (1997).