"You can think about your career or you can think about your job. I like to think about my job." Liev Schreiber
First noticed while playing British bouncer Nigel in the indie hit ''Party Girl'' (1995), Liev Schreiber would gain wider attention as accused killer Cotton Weary in Wes Craven's "Scream" trilogy of horror films (1996; 1997 and 2000). The energized actor has played meaty roles in such films as "Ransom" (1996), "Dean Koontz's Phantoms" (1998), "Sphere" (1998), "Jakob the Liar" (1999), "The Hurricane" (1999), "RKO 281" (1999; TV; earned him both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations), "Hamlet" (2000), "Kate & Leopold" (2001), "The Sum of All Fears" (2002), "The Manchurian Candidate" (2004), "The Omen" (2006) and "Love in the Time of Cholera" (2007).
He will next be seen in the upcoming films "Defiance," alongside Daniel Craig and Jamie Bell, and "Repossession Mambo," with Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. He is also rumored to be portraying a young William Stryker in a planned 2009 film, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," to be directed by Gavin Hood and starring Hugh Jackman as the title character.
On the other side of the camera, Schreiber made his screen-writing and directing debut with the award-winning "Everything Is Illuminated" (2005), an adventure/comedy/drama film starring Elijah Wood and Eugene Hütz that was adapted from the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. As for his TV work, he most recently could be seen in the popular, Emmy-winning CBS cop drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," in a recurring four-episode run playing a seasoned CSI veteran named Michael Keppler (2007).
A RADA and Yale Drama School graduate, as well as a veteran of numerous New York stage productions, Schreiber is also a highly respected stage actor. He won a 2005 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his turn as the foul-mouthed Richard 'Ricky' Roma in Joe Mantello's high-octane revival of David Mamet's play, "Glengarry Glen Ross." He also earned a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his performance in Eric Bogosian's "Talk Radio" (March 2007-June 24, 2007).
"It's good to overexpose yourself with work, but don't expose yourself too much with the press." Liev Schreiber
More personally, the 6' 3'' actor, who prefers to keep his dating life private, has been romantically linked to actress Kristin Davis and to film producer Kate Driver (Minnie Driver's sister; dated in 1999). He is currently in a relationship with actress Naomi Watts (born on September 28, 1968; began dating in May 2005; rumored to be engaged as of April 2006), with whom he has one son born in July 2007.
Childhood and Family:
Born in San Francisco, California, on October 4, 1967, Isaac Liev Schreiber relocated to Canada when he was one and a half years old. His parents separated a few years later and Schreiber moved with his mother and siblings to New York City on the Lower East Side, where his mother drove a cab and created paper-mâché puppets while the family lived as squatters in abandoned buildings. He has four half brothers, including actor Pablo Schreiber (born on April 26, 1976) and one half sister. His parents, Tell Schreiber (a theatrical actor with a small role in ''The Keeper'' and a stage director) and Heather Milgram (artist/painter), divorced when he was five. Both of them are of German heritage.
Liev, who claims to have very little in the way of detailed childhood memories, was raised and practices Judaism. His mother says she named him after her favorite author, Leo Tolstoy, while his father says he was named after a doctor in San Francisco who saved his mother's life. Liev, whose last name means ''writer'' in German, received the nickname ''Huggy'' from his mother.
"It's not easy being 6' 3" and being called 'Huggy'.'' Liev Schreiber
Liev attended Friends Seminary High School in Manhattan. In 1988, he graduated with a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He then went to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where he starred in Charles Evered's ''The Size of the World,'' directed by Walton Jones, and graduated with a M.F.A. in drama in 1992. He later honed in on his craft at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England, and made his professional acting debut at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.
Liev is a good friend of Dustin Hoffman. He has a Jack Russell terrier named Chicken. In the past, he enjoyed playing basketball, football, fencing and cycling.
On July 25, 2007, Liev welcomed his first child with fiancée Naomi Watts, a son named Alexander Pete Schreiber (Alexander is for his grandfather and Peter is for her father).
Everything Is Illuminated
Not being allowed to watch color movies while growing up, Liev Schreiber developed an affinity for silent films, especially those of Charlie Chaplin. He originally wanted to be a playwright, but his teacher encouraged him to become an actor. After sharpening his skills at the prestigious RADA and Yale's Drama school, he made his professional acting debut at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, where he performed for a year.
In 1993, the novice actor made his Broadway debut in the play ''In the Summer House,'' co-starring Dianne Wiest. In 1994, he was cast as a drag queen in Nora Ephron's remake of the French film, "Mixed Nuts," alongside Parker Posey, and reunited with Posey in 1995 in the indie hit "Party Girl," playing British bouncer Nigel. He also appeared on television in the CBS movie "A Silent Betrayal" (1994) and acted in the CBS TV miniseries "Buffalo Girls" (1995).
After co-starring in the indie film "Denise Calls Up" (1995), Schreiber portrayed the role of accused killer Cotton Weary in Wes Craven's "Scream," played Anne Heche's ex-beau in "Walking and Talking," and portrayed one of the kidnappers in Ron Howard's "Ransom" (all three in 1996). He also made a third film with Posey, playing her garrulous writer-boyfriend in "The Daytrippers" (1996).
During the next few years, Schreiber portrayed an astrophysicist in Barry Levinson's "Sphere" (1997), reprised Cotton Weary in Craven's "Scream 2" (1997) and appeared as Reese Witherspoon's boyfriend in Robert Benton's "Twilight" (1998). He also delivered a comic turn as the wigged-out deputy in "Phantoms" (1998), which was adapted by Dean Koontz’s novel.
On stage, Schreiber played Banquo in William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" (March 1998) at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, in New York City and portrayed the villain Jachimo and the god Jupiter in the Off-Broadway production of William Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" (August 1998) in New York City's Central Park, for which he received a 1999 Obie Award. He also starred in the Andrei Serban directed "Hamlet" at New York's Public Theatre in December 1999.
"When I'm doing classical theater, I feel engaged and all pistons running and like I'm on new territory, because the size of it is so much bigger and the scope so much broader." Liev Schreiber
Returning to the wide screen, Schreiber co-starred in Tom Gilroy's directorial debut "Spring Forward" (1999), in which he also served as associate producer. He made his directorial debut filming a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the film. That same year, he played a husband whose wife engages in an affair in the 1960s-set "A Walk on the Moon," and gained 25 pounds to portray Oscar-winning director, writer, actor and producer Orson Welles in the HBO biopic "RKO 281," about the making of "Citizen Kane." For his work in the film, Schreiber earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV.
Entering the new millennium, Schreiber had a featured role in "Pay It Forward," starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, and reprised Cotton Weary for "Scream 3." He also returned to Broadway and co-starred with Juliette Binoche and John Slattery in a revival of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" (November 2000-February 2001), which was produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company.
Schreiber subsequently co-starred opposite Jeanne Tripplehorn in "Dial 9 for Love" (2001) and starred opposite Ben Affleck in the film adaptation of Tom Clancy novel about CIA analyst Jack Ryan, "The Sum of All Fears" (2002). Meanwhile, he played Iago to Keith David's ''Othello'' (2001) in a New York Shakespeare Festival production Off-Broadway, and played Ben in Neil LaBute's "The Mercy Seat" (December 2002) at the Acorn Theater in New York City. He also provided his voice for TV commercials for Infiniti.
The next years saw Schreiber play the lead in the TV movie "Hitler: The Rise of Evil" (2003) and star as a U.S. soldier who was kidnapped and brainwashed by the enemy during the Gulf War, in Jonathan Demme's "The Manchurian Candidate" (2004).
"If you are going to remake a film, you may as well remake a classic. I do think great stories have a way of retelling themselves. The medium is so young that so much is not content driven; it's about stars and the studio. But when we have gotten through that phase of film, which I figure we probably will in about 15 or 20 years, films will be able to stand on the legs of their stories." Liev Schreiber
In 2005, Schreiber made his screen writing and directing debut with "Everything Is Illuminated," an adventure/comedy/drama film starring Elijah Wood and Eugene Hütz. The film, an adaptation of the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, follows a young Jewish American man's journey to Ukraine to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II. It garnered general positive reviews, winning Schreiber several awards, including an Audience Award from the Bratislava International Film Festival, an International Jury Award for Best Screenplay from the São Paulo International Film Festival, and a Biografilm Award from the Venice Film Festival.
Almost at the same time, Schreiber performed on stage in Joe Mantello's high-octane revival of David Mamet's play, "Glengarry Glen Ross." For his outstanding performance as the foul-mouthed Richard 'Ricky' Roma, Schreiber won a 2005 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.
Afterward, Schreiber starred in the HBO original movie based on Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s autobiographical one man show, "Lackawanna Blues" (2005), and co-starred in John Curran's film version of the Somerset Maugham novel, "The Painted Veil" (2006). He teamed up with Julia Stiles in the remake of "The Omen" (2006), taking over the role originally played by Gregory Peck, and supported Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Benjamin Bratt and Javier Bardem in Mike Newell's take on Gabriel Garcia Márquez's novel, "Love in the Time of Cholera" (2007). He also joined the cast of the popular Emmy-winning CBS cop drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," in a recurring four-episode role.
Theater-goers recently caught Liev in the Broadway production of Eric Bogosian's "Talk Radio" (March 2007-June 24, 2007), for which he earned a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.
"Style, no matter how outrageous it is, is still an expression of someone's personality and my personality is somewhere stuck in the classics." Liev Schreiber
Schreiber is currently filming the upcoming films "Defiance," a war drama to be directed by Edward Zwick in which he will portray a Jewish brother, alongside Daniel Craig and Jamie Bell, and "Repossession Mambo," a sci-fi movie based on the novel by Eric Garcia in which he will co-star with Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. He is also rumored to be portraying a young William Stryker in a planned 2009 film titled "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," to be directed by Gavin Hood and starring Hugh Jackman as the title character.
Bratislava International Film Festival: Audience Award, "Everything Is Illuminated," 2005
São Paulo International Film Festival: International Jury Award--Best Screenplay, "Everything Is Illuminated," 2005
Venice Film Festival: Biografilm Award, "Everything Is Illuminated," 2005