"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 film project.
"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 Giamatti.
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 Giamatti.
"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 Giamatti.