Born: June 28, 1966
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States
John Paul Cusack (/ˈkjuːsæk/, born June 28, 1966) is an American actor, producer and screenwriter. He appeared in several teen films in the mid-1980s, most notably Better Off Dead (1985), before he starred in Cameron Crowe's romantic comedy-drama Say Anything... in 1989, for which he gained teen idol status. He later starred in High Fidelity (2000), for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. Cusack is also known for his performances in the films Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), Being John Malkovich (1999), 1408 (2007), 2012 (2009), Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) and The Raven (2012).
Cusack was born to a Catholic Irish-American family in Evanston, Illinois. He is the fourth of five children. His mother, Ann Paula "Nancy" (née Carolan), is a former mathematics teacher and political activist. His father, Richard Cusack (1925-2003), was an actor, as are Cusack's siblings Ann, Joan, Bill and Susie. They were from Manhattan, New York and moved to Illinois before his birth. Richard was also a documentary filmmaker who owned a film production company and was a friend of activist Philip Berrigan. Cusack graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1984, where he met Jeremy Piven, and spent a year at New York University before dropping out, saying that he had "too much fire in his belly".
Cusack gained fame in the mid-1980s after appearing in teen films, such as Class, Sixteen Candles, Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, One Crazy Summer and Stand By Me. He made a cameo in the 1988 music video for "Trip To The Brain" by Suicidal Tendencies. In 1989, he played Lloyd Dobler in Cameron Crowe's Say Anything.... His roles broadened in the late 1980s and early 1990s with more serious-minded fare such as the politically themed True Colors and the film noir thriller The Grifters. After establishing New Crime Productions, Cusack experienced box office success with his roles in the dark comedy Grosse Pointe Blank and the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster Con Air. In the years since, he has appeared in roles such as an air traffic controller in Pushing Tin, an obsessive puppeteer in Being John Malkovich, a lovesick record store owner in High Fidelity and a Jewish art dealer mentoring a young Adolf Hitler in Max.
Cusack starred in the horror film 1408, based on Stephen King's short story of the same name. He played a widowed father in the Iraq War-themed drama Grace Is Gone and as assassin Hauser in the dark political satire, War, Inc.. His sister Joan Cusack and close friend Jeremy Piven appeared in many of his films, such as Say Anything... and Grosse Pointe Blank. The siblings appeared as two geeks in Sixteen Candles, John as one of Farmer Ted's posse and Joan as the geek with the scoliosis brace. They also co-starred in High Fidelity, Cradle Will Rock, Martian Child and War, Inc.. Piven and Cusack starred in One Crazy Summer and Serendipity. Cusack made a brief cameo, seen from behind but speaking a line of dialogue, in Broadcast News, along with Joan. In 2009, Cusack played Jackson Curtis, a struggling novelist and limo driver in Roland Emmerich's disaster film 2012. He played Adam Yates in Hot Tub Time Machine in 2010, Edgar Allan Poe in the 2012 thriller film The Raven, Richard Nixon in Lee Daniels' 2013 historical film The Butler and Stafford Weiss in David Cronenberg's 2014 satirical film Maps to the Stars, a dark comic look at Hollywood excess. Cusack played older Beach Boys founding member Brian Wilson in the biopic, Love and Mercy.
Cusack is a fan of both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, for which he says he is "in trouble" in Chicago. He led the crowd in a performance of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at Wrigley Field. He was in attendance, along with fellow Cubs fans Bill Murray, Eddie Vedder and Bonnie Hunt during the Cubs' historic Game Seven victory during the 2016 World Series. He has also been spotted at multiple Chicago Bears games and attended many Stanley Cup Finals games in support of the Chicago Blackhawks.
According to Lisa Hampton from NBC Nightly News, Cusack has a vigorous daily wake-up routine. He told her: "I'm not lazy. I just enjoy gradually waking up in the morning. If that means sleeping in and walking around the house in my crocs and a bathrobe till three in the afternoon, I welcome that appealing lifestyle - all day."
Cusack trained in kickboxing under former world kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez for over 20 years. He began training under Urquidez in preparation for his role in Say Anything... and currently holds the rank of a level six black belt in Urquidez's Ukidokan Kickboxing system.
Between 2005 and 2009, Cusack wrote blogs for The Huffington Post, which included an interview with Naomi Klein. He blogged on his opposition to the war in Iraq and his disdain for the Bush administration, calling its worldview "depressing, corrupt, unlawful, and tragically absurd". He also appeared in a June 2008 MoveOn.org advertisement, where he made the claim that George W. Bush and John McCain have the same governing priorities.
Cusack criticized President Barack Obama's administration for its drone policy in the Middle East and its support of the National Defense Authorization Act and became one of the initial supporters of the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2012. In June 2015, he stated in an interview with The Daily Beast that "when you talk about drones, the American Empire, the NSA, civil liberties, attacks on journalism and whistle blowers, as bad or worse than Bush". However, he later scolded the publication for misquoting him in order to make an interesting headline.
In March 2008, police arrested Emily Leatherman outside Cusack's Malibu, California, home for stalking him. On October 10, 2008, Leatherman pleaded no contest and received five years' probation and mandatory psychiatric counseling, and was ordered to stay away from Cusack, his home and business for the next ten years.
Cusack is a follower of the Transcendental Meditation movement, introduced in the mid 1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He stated that he is able to more thoroughly explore the depths of his characters through the use of TM.
|1984||Grandview, U.S.A.||Johnny Maine|
|1985||The Sure Thing||Walter "Gib" Gibson|
|1985||Better Off Dead||Lane Meyer|
|1985||The Journey of Natty Gann||Harry|
|1986||One Crazy Summer||Hoops McCann|
|1986||Stand by Me||Denny Lachance|
|1987||Hot Pursuit||Dan Bartlett|
|1987||Broadcast News||Angry Messenger|
|1988||Eight Men Out||Buck Weaver|
|1989||Say Anything...||Lloyd Dobler|
|1989||Fat Man and Little Boy||Michael Merriman|
|1990||The Grifters||Roy Dillon|
|1991||True Colors||Peter Burton|
|1991||Shadows and Fog||Student Jack|
|1992||Map of the Human Heart||The Mapmaker|
|1992||Bob Roberts||Cutting Edge Live Host|
|1993||Money for Nothing||Joey Coyle|
|1994||Bullets over Broadway||David Shayne|
|1994||The Road to Wellville||Charles Ossining|
|1996||City Hall||Deputy Mayor Kevin Calhoun|
|1997||Grosse Pointe Blank||Martin Q. Blank||Also co-writer and producer|
|1997||Con Air||U.S. Marshal Vince Larkin|
|1997||Chicago Cab||Scary Man|
|1997||Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil||John Kelso|
|1998||This Is My Father||Eddie Sharp|
|1998||The Thin Red Line||Captain Gaff|
|1999||Pushing Tin||Nick Falzone|
|1999||Cradle Will Rock||Nelson Rockefeller|
|1999||Being John Malkovich||Craig Schwartz|
|2000||High Fidelity||Rob Gordon||Also co-writer and producer|
|2001||America's Sweethearts||Eddie Thomas|
|2002||Max||Max Rothman||Also associate producer|
|2003||Runaway Jury||Nicholas Easter|
|2005||Must Love Dogs||Jake Anderson|
|2005||The Ice Harvest||Charlie Arglist|
|2006||The Contract||Ray Keene|
|2007||Grace Is Gone||Stanley Philipps||Also producer|
|2007||Martian Child||David Gordon|
|2008||War, Inc.||Brand Hauser||Also co-writer and producer|
|2010||Hot Tub Time Machine||Adam Yates||Also producer|
|2012||The Raven||Edgar Allan Poe|
|2012||The Paperboy||Hillary Van Wetter|
|2012||The Factory||Mike Fletcher||Direct-to-VOD|
|2013||The Numbers Station||Emerson Kent||Direct-to-VOD|
|2013||Adult World||Rat Billings|
|2013||The Frozen Ground||Robert Hansen||Direct-to-VOD|
|2013||The Butler||Richard Nixon|
|2014||The Bag Man||Jack|
|2014||Maps to the Stars||Dr. Stafford Weiss|
|2014||Drive Hard||Simon Keller||Direct-to-VOD|
|2014||Love and Mercy||Brian Wilson in the 1980s|
|2015||Hot Tub Time Machine 2||Adam Yates||Cameo (uncredited); unrated extended cut only|
|2015||Chi-Raq||Fr. Mike Corridan|
|1996||Frasier||Greg (voice)||Episode: "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven"|
|1999||The Jack Bull||Myrl Redding||Television film; executive producer|
|2014||Doll & Em||John||Episode 1.3|
|1989||Chicago Film Critics Association||Most Promising Actor||Say Anything...||Won|
|1998||Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Supporting Actor - Action/Adventure||Con Air||Won|
|1998||Satellite Awards||Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble||The Thin Red Line||Won|
|1999||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Male Lead||Being John Malkovich||Nominated|
|1999||Online Film Critics Society||Best Ensemble||Being John Malkovich||Nominated|
|1999||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Being John Malkovich||Nominated|
|2000||American Comedy Awards||Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)||Being John Malkovich||Nominated|
|2000||BAFTA||Best Adapted Screenplay||High Fidelity||Nominated|
|2000||Empire Awards||Best Actor||High Fidelity||Nominated|
|2000||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor||High Fidelity||Nominated|
|2000||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Hissy Fit||High Fidelity||Nominated|
|2000||University of Southern California||Scripter Award||High Fidelity||Nominated|
|2000||Writers Guild of America||Best Adapted Screenplay||High Fidelity||Nominated|
|2000||British Academy Film Awards||Best Screenplay - Adapted||High Fidelity||Nominated|
|2000||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||High Fidelity||Nominated|
|2001||American Comedy Awards||Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)||High Fidelity||Nominated|
|2007||Saturn Awards||Best Actor||1408||Nominated|
|2009||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actor - Sci-Fi||2012||Nominated|
|2013||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||The Butler||Nominated|
|2014||Canadian Screen Awards||Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role||Maps to the Stars||Won|