Chris Messina

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This article is about the actor. For the open source advocate, see Chris Messina (open source advocate).
Chris Messina
Born (1974-08-11) August 11, 1974 (age 39)
Northport, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1995–present

Chris Messina (born August 11, 1974) is an American film, television and stage actor. He has appeared in such films as Vicky Christina Barcelona, Argo, Julie & Julia, Ruby Sparks, Celeste and Jesse Forever, and You've Got Mail. On television, he is best known for his roles as Chris Sanchez in Damages and as Danny Castellano in The Mindy Project.

Life and career[edit]

Messina was born in Northport, New York. He started his career as an off-Broadway actor. He has appeared in episodes of the television series Law & Order, Third Watch, and Medium. He had a recurring role in the fifth and final season of the HBO drama Six Feet Under as Ted Fairwell. His film credits include Rounders, The Siege, You've Got Mail and Towelhead.

He starred in an HBO pilot Anatomy of Hope, directed by J. J. Abrams. Simon Callow also starred, but the pilot was not picked up to series. In October 2007, Daily Variety named him as one of 10 actors to watch.[1] He starred in Devil, under the direction of John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, for producer M. Night Shyamalan and Universal Pictures.[2] In April 2010, Monogamy, starring Messina and Rashida Jones, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film, directed by Dana Adam Shapiro, won the jury prize for best New York narrative.[citation needed]

Messina joined the cast of Damages for its fourth and fifth seasons.[3] He plays a recurring character on HBO's The Newsroom.[4] Messina is a series regular on the Fox comedy The Mindy Project, playing Dr. Danny Castellano.

Personal life[edit]

Messina and producer Jennifer Todd have children.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 When Dating Turns Dangerous Zach Educational film on dating violence by Sunburst Visual Media. Messina plays the abusive boyfriend.
1998 Rounders Higgins
The Siege Corporal
You've Got Mail Fox salesperson
2000 Turn It Up Baz
2001 Ordinary Sinner Silvio [6]
2005 Road Larry [7]
The Crooked Corner Nephew [8]
Bittersweet Place Seymour [9]
2006 Ira and Abby Ira Black Best Actor (Chris Messina), Vallarta Film Festival (2006).[10]
2007 Security Zelly Short film[11]
Towelhead Barry Supporting role. Film also known as Nothing is Private.
2008 Humboldt County Max
Made of Honor Dennis
Vicky Cristina Barcelona Doug
2009 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Subject #19
Julie & Julia Eric Powell
Away We Go Tom Garnett
2010 An Invisible Sign Ben Smith
Monogamy Theo
Devil Detective Bowden Lead role
Greenberg Philip Greenberg
2011 Like Crazy Mike Appletree
The Trouble with Bliss NJ Supporting role
2012 The Giant Mechanical Man Tim
Denise Brad Short Film
Ruby Sparks Harry Weir-Fields Supporting role
Celeste and Jesse Forever Paul
28 Hotel Rooms Also executive producer.
Argo Malinov Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (2012).
Nominated – Critics Choice Awards for Best Acting Ensemble (2013) [12]
Nominated – Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble (2012).[13]
Nominated – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Performance (2012).
Nominated – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble (2012) [14]
Fairhaven Dave Also writer and executive producer.
2013 Showing Up Himself Documentary composed of interviews with actors discussing the audition process.
Palo Alto
2014 The Oven Narrator Film short
Alex of Venice[15] George Also Messina's directorial debut. [16]
2015 Cake Jason Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Law & Order Tommy Bell 1 episode "Rebels". Apparent first screen role. His character, a college student, is murdered at a biker bar within the first few minutes. The remainder of the show focuses on finding his killer.
1996 Law & Order Kevin Turner 1 episode "Homesick"
2000 Third Watch Charlie 1 episode "History"
2001 Big Apple Ricky 1 Episode "A Ministering Angel"
2003 Law & Order Don Cushman 1 episode "Suicide Box"
2005 Six Feet Under Ted Fairwell 6 episodes
2007 Medium Casey Edward Frank 1 episode "The Whole Truth"
2009 Anatomy of Hope Dr. Gary Kaplan Lead role in a TV Pilot. Was not picked up to series.
2011–2012 Damages Chris Sanchez 16 episodes, Season 4 regular; season 5 guest
2012–present The Newsroom Reese Lansing Recurring character
2012–present The Mindy Project Dr. Danny Castellano Series regular


Year Title Role Run Theater and Production Notes
1997 The American Clock Sidney Margolies/
Charley/ Ralph/
October 19, 1997-
Signature Theatre Company at
The Peter Norton Space
1999 The Group Director August 9, 1999-
August 20, 1999
All Seasons Theatre Group at
The Ensemble Studio Theatre
Refuge Nat November 18, 1999-
December 12, 1999
Playwright's Horizon Studio Theater [22]
2000 The Hologram Theory Joe Buck March 27, 2000-
April 9, 2000
McGinn/Cazale Theater [23][24][25]
The Light Outside Frankie November 5, 2000-
Dec, 16, 2000
The Flea Theater [26][27]
2001 Tamicanfly C.J. January 17, 2001-
February 4, 2001
McGinn/Cazale Theater [28]
Blur Joey D'Amico May 17, 2001-
June 24, 2001
Manhattan Theater Club at
New York City Center Stage II
Good Thing Bobby December 16, 2001-
January 6, 2002
The New Group at
The Theater at St. Clements Church
2002 This Thing of Darkness Abbey/ Reef May 30, 2002-
June 16, 2002
Atlantic Theater Company at
Linda Gross Theater
Faster Skram September 8, 2002-
October 13, 2002
Rattlestick Theater [35][36]
Far Away Todd November 11, 2002-
January 18, 2003
New York Theater Workshop [37]
2003 Salome by Oscar Wilde:
The Reading
The Young Syrian
(Captain of the
April 30, 2003-
June 12, 2003
Ethel Barrymore Theater Broadway debut for Messina [38][39]
St. Scarlet Director June 13, 2003-
July 12, 2003
Ontological Theater at
St. Mark's Church
2004 Motel Blues: Management Mike March 25, 2004-
April 11, 2004
Apartment 929 at
Greenwich Street Theatre
The Seagull Treplev May 24, 2004-
May 29, 2004
White Heron Theater company at
Second Stage Theatre
The Cherry Orchard Trofimov August 11, 2004-
August 22, 2004
Williamstown Theatre Festival at
Adams Memorial Theater
Late Night, Early Morning October 21, 2004-
October 31, 2004
2004 Tribeca Theatre Festival [48]


  1. ^ Champagne, Christine (October 19, 2007). "10 Actors To Watch : Chris Messina : 'Six Feet Under' Actor Emerges With Full Slate". Variety. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Messina goes to the DEVIL for Shyamalan and the Dowdles
  3. ^ "Chris Messina Joins Damages". Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Chris Messina on Starring in What Seems Like Everything". Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ Christopher Rosen (August 3, 2012). "Chris Messina, 'Celeste And Jesse Forever' Star, On His Crazy Year". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Internet Movie Database listing for "Ordinary Sinner"". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Internet Movie Database listing for "Road"". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Internet Movie Database listing for "Crooked Corner"". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Internet Movie Database listing for "Bittersweet Place"". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "List of Awards for Ira & Abby". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Internet Movie Database listing for "Security'"". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Critics Choice Awards for best Acting Ensemble (2013)". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble (2012)". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards list (2012)". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Tribeca 2014 Review". The Arts Guild. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Tribeca Film Festival (2014)". Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Lortel Archives: Internet Off-Broadway Database listing for "The American Clock"". 
  18. ^ "The American Clock". The Commonwealth Foundation. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  19. ^ Sommer, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review: The American Clock". Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  20. ^ Daniels, Robert L. (October 25, 1997). "Legit Reviews: The American Clock". Variety. 
  21. ^ McGrath, Sean. "All Seasons Group at NYC's E.S.T., Aug. 9-20". The Group. Playbill. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  22. ^ Goldberg, Jessica. Refuge. Dramatists Play Service Inc. p. 3. 
  23. ^ Weber, Bruce. "Theater Review: Those Credible Aliens, Not Quite Adult and Well Beyond Reason". The Hologram Theory. New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  24. ^ "PHOTO CALL: Colors Come Out At Hologram Theory Opening March 27". Hologram Theory. Playbill. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  25. ^ Finkle, David. "Review: The Hologram Theory". 
  26. ^ Bacalzo, Dan. "Review: The Light Outside". 
  27. ^ "The Light Outside: Ticket information". 
  28. ^ VanGelder, Lawrence (January 20, 2001). "THEATER REVIEW; Got the Horse Right Here, Its Name Is Tamicanfly". New York Times. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  29. ^ "Lortel Archives: Internet off-Broadway Database listing for "Blur"". 
  30. ^ Weber, Bruce. "Theater Review: Through the Eyes of the Beholder". Blur. New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Lortel Archives: Internet Off-Broadway Database listing for "Good Thing"". 
  32. ^ Weber, Bruce. "Theater Review: A Competition in Squalor From Adjoining Kitchens". Good Thing. New york Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  33. ^ Finkle, David. "Review: Good Thing". 
  34. ^ "Lortel Archives: Internet Off-Broadway Database listing for "This Thing of Darkness"". 
  35. ^ "Lortel Archives: Internet Off-Broadway Database listing for "Faster"". 
  36. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Legit Reviews: Faster". Variety. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Lortel Archives: Internet Off Broadway Database listing for "Far Away"". 
  38. ^ "IBDB listing for "Salome"". 
  39. ^ "Who's Who in the Cast: Salome". Playbill. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  40. ^ "OffOffOff Theater Review of "St. Scarlet"". 
  41. ^ Weber, Bruce. "Theater Review: Siblings at Odds, A Stranger Uninvited". St. Scarlet. New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Motel Blues: Show information". 
  43. ^ "CurtainUp Review of "Motel Blues"". 
  44. ^ Isaac, Dan. "Review: The Seagull". 
  45. ^ Brantley, Ben. "THEATER REVIEW; Conflicting Impulses Of Chekhov's Last Play". The Cherry Orchard. New York Times. 
  46. ^ Rizzo, Frank. "Legit Reviews: The Cherry Orchard". Variety. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Williamstown Theatre Festival webpage". 
  48. ^ Willis, John; Ben Hodges. Theatre World, Vol 61, 2004-2005. p. 231. 

External links[edit]