Bryan Greenberg

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Bryan Greenberg
Bryan Greenberg by David Shankbone.jpg
Greenberg at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival
Born Bryan E. Greenberg
(1978-05-24) May 24, 1978 (age 36)
Omaha, Nebraska
United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1997–present
Home town St. Louis, Missouri
Religion Jewish[1]

Bryan Greenberg (born May 24, 1978) is an American actor and musician, known for his starring role as Ben Epstein in the HBO original series How to Make It in America as well as a recurring role as Jake Jagielski in the The WB series One Tree Hill and as Nick Garrett on the short-lived ABC drama October Road. His film work includes Friends with Benefits, The Good Guy, Bride Wars, Nobel Son, A Short History of Decay, and The Perfect Score.

Early life[edit]

Greenberg was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Denise "Denny" and Carl Greenberg. Both of his parents are psychologists.[1][2]

Greenberg was born to Jewish parents; he was raised in Conservative Judaism[2] and attended Beth El Synagogue in Omaha.[3]

At 7 years old, when Greenberg's younger sister Becca was in dance class, "her instructor informed Carl and his wife that the Omaha Ballet needed children to perform in the Nutcracker. The teacher encouraged Becca to audition. But they also needed boys and suggested that Bryan audition as well. As chance would have it, Bryan earned the lead and ended up traveling with the Omaha Ballet for almost two months. From there he started acting with a children’s theater company in Omaha."[1]

At age 12, Greenberg and his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Shortly after, he got his first national role as the kid in the Cookie Crisp cereal commercial. As time went on, he was offered more acting opportunities. Greenberg's father said that they “believed in letting him grow up as a kid instead of a child actor.”[1] Greenberg had a bar mitzvah, belonged to Jewish youth groups, went to Jewish summer camps, and traveled to Israel.[3]

He graduated from Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Missouri in 1996. Greenberg moved to New York City after high school. He attended and worked at a Jewish summer camp located in Webster, Wisconsin, called Herzl Camp.[2] He starred as Joseph in a camp-wide production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1992.

Greenberg received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre at New York University.



While at NYU, Greenberg auditioned and worked as a waiter, bartender, caterer and assistant to a mortgage broker.[2] He was cast as Romeo in NYU's performance of Romeo and Juliet and performed with the Experimental Theater Workshop, the Atlantic Theater Company and the Amsterdam Experimental Workshop.[4]

In 1997, he got a small role on the television series Law & Order. Soon after this appearance, Greenberg got an agent and one year later made his big screen debut in A Civil Action.

After landing small roles on the TV series (Boston Public, The Sopranos, and Third Watch among others), Greenberg was cast as Matty Matthews, a high school student trying to pass the S.A.T, in the film The Perfect Score. After graduating from NYU, Bryan moved to California.[1]

While he was still appearing in One Tree Hill, he began shooting another television show produced by George Clooney for HBO called Unscripted.[5] Greenberg played character in the show, named Bryan Greenberg, "constantly humiliates himself, as when he brags about beating out an actual developmentally disabled person for the role of ... a developmentally disabled person."[2] Greenberg said that Clooney was very supportive, flying Greenberg back and forth from the sets of One Tree Hill and Unscripted in his private jet so that he could work on both projects simultaneously. Greenberg said Clooney could also be blunt, such as the time he called the younger actor into his office after he hammed up one scene. “He said, ‘I don’t ever want to see you act. The second I catch you acting, it’s over for me.’ It’s still the best acting advice I’ve ever received,” Greenberg said.[2]

Greenberg's first starring role was in the Ben Younger film Prime (2005). He played David Bloomberg, a young artist who falls in love with one of his mother Meryl Streep's therapy patients, played by Uma Thurman.[6][7]

Greenberg then starred in October Road on ABC and appeared with Alan Rickman in the film Nobel Son in 2008.[8]

In 2009, Greenberg appeared in the film Bride Wars with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway and starred opposite Alexis Bledel and Scott Porter in the indie film The Good Guy, which was released in February 2010.[9]

His series How to Make It in America premiered on HBO on February 14, 2010.[10] The Washington Post called it "The New Yorkiest thing you could find on television, which is saying something," and praised its "portrayal of a dirty, scrappy, multi-ethnic New York culture."[11] And while the New York Times criticized the show starting with the lede, "Entourage written backward doesn’t quite spell garmento," it gave praise: the "series has great music (the theme song is Aloe Blacc’s 'I Need a Dollar') and there are some snarky asides about hipster New York."[12] Season 2 premiered on October 2, 2011.[13] On December 20, 2011, HBO announced the cancellation of the show.

In 2012, Greenberg co-starred with Laura Prepon in the independent comedy film The Kitchen.

Greenberg starred in the dark comedy film 2012's The Normals, a film about a young man who enters a two-week clinical trial of an anti-psychotic treatment at a drug-testing center in Queens.[14]

Greenberg began shooting the untitled Lance Armstrong biopic alongside Ben Foster who will play Armstrong in 2013.[15]


Year Title Role Notes
1998 A Civil Action Firecracker kid Uncredited
2004 Perfect Score Matty Matthews
2005 Prime David Bloomberg
2006 Escape Bryan Short film
2006 Love & Debate Chris
2008 Nobel Son Barkley Michaelson
2009 Bride Wars Nathan "Nate" Lerner
2009 The Good Guy Daniel Seaver
2011 Friends with Benefits Parker
2012 The Kitchen Paul
2012 The Normals Billy Schine
2013 A Short History of Decay Nathan Fisher
2014 Flock of Dudes Barrett Post-production
2015 Vice Evan
2015 A Year and Change Owen Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1997 Law & Order Matt Wheeler Episode: "Thrill"
2000 The Sopranos Peter McClure Episode: "Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office..."
2000 Third Watch Francis DeSilva Episode: "Journey to the Himalayas"
2000, 2003 Boston Public Mr. Freeman 2 episodes
2001 Three Sisters Roy Episode: "A Date with Destiny"
2002 Strong Medicine Kent Episode: "Rape Kit"
2002 The Chronicle Damon Furberg Episode: "The Stepford Cheerleaders"
2002 Providence Neal Episode: "Great Expectations"
2003–06 One Tree Hill Jake Jagielski 25 episodes
2004 Life with Bonnie Timmy Episode: "Nip, Tuck and Role"
2005–06 Unscripted Himself Main cast
2007–08 October Road Nicholson "Nick" Garrett Main cast
2010–11 How to Make It in America Ben Epstein Main cast


In 2007, Greenberg released his debut album, Waiting for Now. Over the past few years, he has toured with Gavin DeGraw, Michael Tolcher, Ari Hest, and Graham Colton. At his New York City Show at the High Line Ballroom, Greenberg was joined by How to Make it in America co-star Kid Cudi. Greenberg's songs have been featured in many of his film and television work, including One Tree Hill, October Road, and Nobel Son.

In 2011, Greenberg released his second album, We Don't Have Forever, produced by Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Devendra Banhart, Gary Louris), which included the single "Walk Away". The album also included "You Can Run", a collaboration with How to Make It in America co-star and rapper Kid Cudi.[16][17] Greenberg said he wrote the record over a period of two years when he was going through a lot of changes (friends, personal life, career) and decided to title the record We Don't Have Forever to reflect that.[18]



Other activities[edit]

Personal life[edit]

While on vacation on Turks and Caicos Islands during the December 2013 holiday, it was reported that Greenberg got engaged to his girlfriend of 18 months, actress Jamie Chung.[20][21]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kaufman, Carly (October 28, 2005). "Get Ready for 'Prime'…It’s Timely!". Jewish in St. Louis. The Jewish Federation of St. Louis. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Pfefferman, Naomi (March 23, 2010). "His Hustling Pays Off in Fashionista Role". Jewish Journal (Los Angeles). Tribe Media Corp. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Schleier, Curt (May 15, 2008). "The freshman: With a clever new show on HBO, Bryan Greenberg is joining the illustrious ranks of Tony Soprano and Larry David. Meet the next big breakout star of 2005". Jews Week. Blue Star Media. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Bryan Greenberg - Actor Bio". HBO. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Arthur, Kate (February 13, 2005). "The Character: Playing Himself at His Own Expense". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Scheib, Ronnie (October 12, 2005). "Review: ‘Prime’". Variety. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Scott, A. O. (October 28, 2005). "Movie Review - 'Prime': Guess Who's the Older Woman?". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Dargis, Manohla (December 4, 2008). "Movie Review - 'Nobel Son': Kidnapping, Suicide and Other Family Matters". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Holden, Stephen (February 18, 2010). "Movie Review - 'The Good Guy': Sex and Money and High Rollers (Memories Were Made of This)". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Heyman, Stephen (March 3, 2010). "Culture: More Like, ‘How to Fake It’". New York Times (T-Magazine). Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Stuever, Hank (February 14, 2010). "TV Preview: Hank Stuever on HBO's 'How to Make It in America'". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (February 11, 2010). "Television Review 'How to Make it in America': The Dream, Without the Drive". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Williams, Alex (September 28, 2011). "Costumes for a Kid-Cool World". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Gold, Daniel M. (November 15, 2012). "Movie Review: Being a Guinea Pig for Pay May Not Be Worth It: ‘The Normals,’ Starring Bryan Greenberg". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Fall Season 2013: Episode 5". In The Mix. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Fernandes, Matt (December 17, 2010). "Bryan Greenberg returns home to play Rock House benefit". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  17. ^ Johnson, Kevin C. (December 17, 2010). "Chesterfield native Bryan Greenberg is making it in America". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "'How to Make It in America' Star Bryan Greenberg Talks Music, Kid Cudi". Hollywood Reporter. February 7, 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  19. ^ d'Estries, Michael (July 20, 2010). "HBO star Bryan Greenberg urges support for clean energy reform: Actor records PSA for Natural Resources Defense Council.". MNN (Mother Nature Network). MNN Holdings, LLC. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  20. ^ Johnson, Zach (January 2, 2014). "Jamie Chung Engaged to Bryan Greenberg!". Eonline. E! Entertainment Television, LLC. A Division of NBCUniversal. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  21. ^ Ehrich Dowd, Kathy (January 3, 2014). "Jamie Chung Engaged to Bryan Greenberg". People magazine. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 

External links[edit]