"Well, you know, when people say stuff about you, it's always really flattering.
But does it mean anything to me? It's not really real to me; there's no reality
to it." "Am I really cool? You're telling me I'm cool? Well, that's good to
hear." Paul Giamatti.
First gained wide attention for his role as the eager NBC executive Kenny “Pig
Vomit” Rushton in Howard Stern’s hit comedy Private Parts (1997), Paul Giamatti
subsequently received critical acclaim for starring in American Splendor (2003)
and Sideways (2004; he earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actor).
The balding, likeable, nervous-looking character actor received his first
Academy Award-nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2005 for his role in
Cinderella Man, which also nominated him for a Golden Globe and won the Screen
Actors Guild award for Best Supporting Actor.
The 5' 8½ tall, Italian-American actor recently starred in The Illusionist, Lady
in the Water, and The Ant Bully (voice). He will star in the upcoming films The
Haunted World of El Superbeasto (voice), Shoot 'Em Up, The Nanny Diaries, Tender
Interface, Fred Claus, and Bubba Nosferatu. He is also in talks to star as the
late sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, who wrote such famous short stories as Blade
Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly, in a yet untitled
"Acting can be a really silly thing. It's like playing dress-up." "Am I really
cool? You're telling me I'm cool? Well, that's good to hear." Paul Giamatti.
Childhood and Family:
"I've got to be the geekiest guy in the world in a lot of ways. I'm like a zeta
male." Paul Giamatti.
The bookish son of a late Yale University professor who later became president
of the university and commissioner of Major League Baseball, A. Bartlett
Giamatti (died on September 1, 1989), and actress Toni Smith (was a teacher at
Hopkins School), Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti was born on June 6, 1967 in New
Haven, Connecticut. His paternal grandfather was the child of Italian immigrants
while his other grandparents were American. The youngest of three children,
Giamatti has two older siblings: actor/musician brother Marcus Giamatti (born
October 3, 1961; of Judging Amy fame), and a jewelry designer sister, Elena
Young Giamatti attended Humberside Collegiate Institute and the prestigious
boarding school Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut. He graduated
with a bachelor's degree in English from Yale University and received his
master's in drama from Yale University School of Drama.
Giamatti married Elizabeth Cohen on October 13, 1997. In 2001, They welcomed
their first child, a son named Samuel.
"Am I really cool? You're telling me I'm cool? Well, that's good to hear." Paul
"I'm not a guy who has a lot of, 'I want to work with so-and-so.' I'll take
whatever work I can get." Paul Giamatti.
Graduating from Yale School of Drama, Paul Giamatti performed in numerous
theatrical productions, from regional productions (Seattle, San Diego and
Williamstown, Massachusetts) to Broadway. In the early 1990s, he began appearing
with small roles on television and film. He debuted on the small screen playing
2nd Heckler in ABC movie I'll Take Romance before making his first appearance on
the big screen with a tiny part as Kissing Man in the 1992 film Singles.
More bit parts came in, as Larry Canipe in USA Network movie Past Midnight
(1992) and as a man in a sleeping bag on a 1994 episode of ABC's "NYPD Blue." He
also performed on stage, opposite brother Marcus in the two-character
Off-Broadway play "The Blues Are Running" (1996; written by Michael Cristopher,
and played the spineless brother of Amy Irving, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Lili
Taylor in Broadway production of "The Three Sisters" (1997; directed by Scott
Elliot). Back on the big screen, Giamatti could be seen as an FBI Technician in
1997’s Donnie Brasco.
Kenny “Pig Vomit” Rushton, the radio executive who attempted to repress the
dynamic shock-jock Stern, was Giamatti’s first breakthrough screen role. He
played the hilarious turn in Private Parts (1997), the auto-biographical story
of radio-rebel, TV-personality, author and movie star Howard Stern. After his
breakout role, Giamatti found himself became one of Hollywood's most in-demand
character players. He acted opposite Sam Rockwell and Steve Zahn in the crime
comedy, Sundance-screened Safe Men (1998), and was cast as Bob Zmuda, Kaufman's
sidekick, co-writer and friend, in the biopic based on the unusual life and
career of comedian Andy Kaufman, Man on the Moon (1999; starring Jim Carrey). He
also returned to stage, portraying Jimmy Tomorrow in revival of Eugene O'Neill's
"The Iceman Cometh" on Broadway, for which he received a Drama Desk Award
nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His other Broadway credits include
"Arcadia" directed by Trevor Nunn.
In 2001, Giamatti was nominated for Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy at
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for his role in the surprise hit comedy
starring Martin Lawrence, Big Momma's House. He later provided comic relief as
Limbo, the ape who trades in human slaves, in the director Tim Burton
critically-panned sci-fi movie Planet of the Apes (alongside Mark Wahlberg and
Tim Roth), adapted from the novel La planète des singes by Pierre Boulle and the
earlier film adaptation. He also starred as a wicked Hollywood producer, who
steals a youngster’s class paper and is turning it into the blockbuster movie,
in Shawn Levy's 2002 comedy Big Fat Liar. The film, which received mixed
reviews, also featuring teen stars Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes.
Giamatti portrayed Ben Affleck’s sidekick in John Woo's sci-fi Paycheck (2003;
also starring Uma Thurman and Aaron Eckhart), adapted from the short story with
the same name. That same year, he received an Independent Spirit Award
nomination for Best Male Lead, thanks to the role of underground comic book
writer Harvey Pekar he played in the film version of the comic book series, the
award-winning independent feature American Splendor (alongside Hope Davis).
"You are absolutely free to describe me as a turtle or something. Seriously.
When you profile someone, there has to be a narrative, and my narrative just
happens to be 'Who is he?', 'Oh, he's that guy' and 'He looks like a squid!'
Sideways (2004) doesn't change that. Honestly, I never wanted to be more than a
good supporting actor. Really, I enjoy it." Paul Giamatti.
2004 saw Giamatti starred as Miles, a recently divorced, failed writer who lives
in San Diego as eighth-grade English teacher named, in the Academy Award-
winning and Golden Globe Award-winning comedy/drama film, Sideways. Giamatti’s
brilliant turn was awarded Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actor. The
film, co-written and directed by Alexander Payne, was based on the 2004 novel of
the same name by Rex Pickett. It also stars Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen
and Sandra Oh.
"I've always managed to find stuff to do that I enjoyed. But the offers have
definitely gotten more interesting since Sideways (2004)." Paul Giamatti.
Following his Sideways’ success, Giamatti was offered a more distinctive role in
the Academy Award-nominated biopic Cinderella Man (2005; also starring Renée
Zellweger). In the Ron Howard-directed film, Giamatti portrayed manager/trainer
Joe Gould for boxing legend James J. Braddock (a.k.a. the Cinderella Man; played
by Russell Crowe). The role brought Giamatti Academy Award and Golden Globe
nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Meanwhile, Giamatti lent his voice in the
animated movie Robots (2005), and starred as an auto upholsterer, who attempts
to transcend his mundane life by training a wild, red-tailed hawk, in the
southern-themed The Hawk Is Dying (2005; with Sarah Polley and Michael Pitt).
More recently, he costarred opposite Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Rufus
Sewell in the period drama directed by Neil Burger, The Illusionist (premiered
at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival) and provided his voice in the animated movie
The Ant Bully. He was also cast a love-hearted building manager who was rescued
by Bryce Dallas Howard's mysterious character in M. Night Shyamalan's fantasy
film Lady in the Water.
As for his upcoming projects, Giamatti will play Mr. X opposite Scarlett
Johansson in an adaptation of Nicola Kraus’ book, The Nanny Diaries, The Haunted
World of El Superbeasto (voice), writer-director Michael Davis' crime action
Shoot 'Em Up (with Monica Bellucci and Clive Owen), Hungarian writer-director
Ildikó Enyedi's sci-fi Tender Interface, David Dobkin's comedy Fred Claus (with
Judi Dench (rumored) and Kevin Spacey), and Don Coscarelli's horror comedy Bubba
Nosferatu (alongside Bruce Campbell). He is also in negotiations to star as
sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, who passed away in 1982 after writing more than
four dozen books and short stories including the well known Blade Runner, Total
Recall, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly, in a yet untitled film project
which is being written by Tony Grisoni.
“It'd be disingenuous to say I don't like attention - I'm an actor for God's
sake - and it's flattering and all, but attention was never my big goal. I just
like to work and have a good time. This whole business feels kind of intense,
like a bad fit. Round peg, square hole. But whatever, I'll take it.” Paul
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a
Supporting Role, Cinderella Man, 2006
Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actor, Cinderella
Man, 2006 Boston Society of Film Critics: Best
Supporting Actor, Cinderella Man, 2005
Southeastern Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actor, Cinderella
Toronto Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Performance - Male,
Cinderella Man, 2005
Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Acting Ensemble, Sideways, 2005
Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association: Best Actor, Sideways, 2005
Independent Spirit: Best Male Lead, Sideways, 2005
Online Film Critics Society: Best Actor, Sideways, 2005
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion
Picture, Sideways, 2005
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a
Leading Role, Sideways, 2005
U.S. Comedy Arts Festival: Best Actor, Sideways, 2005
Toronto Film Critics Association: Best Performance - Male, Sideways,
Phoenix Film Critics Society: Best Ensemble Acting, Sideways, 2004
San Francisco Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, Sideways, 2004
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, Sideways, 2004
Chicago Film Critics Association: Best Actor, Sideways, 2004
Boston Society of Film Critics: Best Ensemble Cast, Sideways, 2004
National Board of Review: Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor,
American Splendor, 2003