John Cusack

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For the politician, see John Cusack (Australian politician).
John Cusack
John Cusack Cannes 2014.jpg
Born (1966-06-28) June 28, 1966 (age 48)
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor, producer, screenwriter
Years active 1983–present
Relatives Joan Cusack (sister)
Ann Cusack (sister)

John Paul Cusack (born June 28, 1966) is an American actor, producer and screenwriter. He has starred in films from a range of genres, including the romantic comedy-drama Say Anything... (1989), the comedy crime film Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), the action film Con Air (1997), the Terrence Malick-directed war film The Thin Red Line (1998), the fantasy comedy film Being John Malkovich (1999), the comedy-drama High Fidelity (2000), the psychological horror film 1408 (2007), the science fiction disaster adventure film 2012 (2009), the mystery thriller The Raven (2012) and the historical drama The Butler (2013).

Early life[edit]

Cusack was born to a Catholic Irish-American family in Evanston, Illinois.[1][2] His mother, Ann Paula "Nancy" (born Carolan), is a former mathematics teacher and political activist.[3][4] His father, Richard Cusack (1925–2003), was an actor, as are John's siblings, Ann, Joan, Bill and Susie.[5] Richard was also a documentary filmmaker[6] who owned a film production company[7] and was a friend of activist Philip Berrigan.[8] Cusack graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1984, where he met Jeremy Piven,[9] and spent a year at New York University before dropping out, saying that he had "too much fire in his belly".[citation needed]


Cusack in The Raven, 2012

Cusack gained fame in the mid-1980s after appearing in teen films such as Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, One Crazy Summer and Sixteen Candles. He made a cameo in the 1988 music video for "Trip at the Brain" by Suicidal Tendencies. In 1989, he starred as 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. 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, his range of films has diversified, appearing in roles such as an air traffic controller in Pushing Tin, an obsessive puppeteer in Being John Malkovich, a lovelorn record store owner in High Fidelity and a Jewish art dealer mentoring a young Adolf Hitler in Max.

Cusack in 2006

Cusack starred in the horror film 1408, based on Stephen King's short story of the same name. He next appeared as 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 have 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 have 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 also had a brief cameo, seen from behind but speaking a line of dialogue, in Broadcast News, in which Joan also appeared. Piven also had roles in The Grifters and Runaway Jury.[10] In Roland Emmerich's final disaster film 2012, he played Jackson Curtis, a struggling novelist and limo driver. In 2010, he starred in Hot Tub Time Machine. He portrayed 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.[11]

Cusack is set to play Beach Boys founding member Brian Wilson in the upcoming biopic Love and Mercy. He is the founder and owner of New Crime Productions.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Cusack on the set of Grosse Pointe Blank

Cusack is a fan of both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, for which he says he is "in trouble there".[13] He has led the crowd in a performance of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at Wrigley Field.[13] He has also been spotted at multiple Chicago Bears games, and attended many of the Stanley Cup Finals games in support of the Chicago Blackhawks.[14]

Cusack has trained in kickboxing for over 20 years, under former world kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez. He began training under Urquidez in preparation for his role in Say Anything... and currently holds the rank of a level 6 black belt in Urquidez's Ukidokan Kickboxing system.[15]

Between 2005 and 2009, Cusack blogged at The Huffington Post, including an interview with Naomi Klein. He has 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".[16] He also appeared in a June 2008 advertisement, where he made the claim that George W. Bush and John McCain have the same governing priorities.[17] Cusack has also 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 March 2008, police arrested Emily Leatherman outside Cusack's Malibu 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 10 years.[18]



Year Title Role Notes
1983 Class Roscoe Maibaum
1984 Sixteen Candles Bryce
1984 Grandview, U.S.A. Johnny Maine
1985 The Sure Thing Walter "Gib" Gibson
1985 The Journey of Natty Gann Harry
1985 Better Off Dead Lane Meyer
1986 Stand by Me Denny Lachance
1986 One Crazy Summer Hoops McCann
1987 Hot Pursuit Dan Bartlett
1987 Broadcast News Angry Messenger
1988 Eight Men Out Buck Weaver
1988 Tapeheads Ivan Alexeev
1989 Say Anything... Lloyd Dobler Won—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor
1989 Fat Man and Little Boy Michael Merriman
1990 The Grifters Roy Dillon
1991 True Colors Peter Burton
1992 Shadows and Fog Student Jack
1992 The Player Himself Cameo
1992 Bob Roberts Cutting Edge Live Host
1992 Roadside Prophets Caspar
1993 Map of the Human Heart The Mapmaker
1993 Money for Nothing Joey Coyle
1994 Floundering JC
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 Writer and co-producer
Nominated – Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Comedy/Musical Actor
1997 Con Air U.S. Marshal Vince Larkin Won—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Action/Adventure
1997 Chicago Cab Scary Man
1997 Anastasia Dimitri Voice
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 Won—Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble
1999 Pushing Tin Nick Falzone
1999 The Jack Bull Myrl Redding Also executive producer
Television movie
1999 Cradle Will Rock Nelson Rockefeller
1999 Being John Malkovich Craig Schwartz Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor
Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2000 High Fidelity Rob Gordon Also writer and co-producer
Nominated – American Comedy Award
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Hissy Fit
Nominated – USC Scripter Award 2000
Nominated – Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
2001 America's Sweethearts Eddie Thomas
2001 Serendipity Jonathan Trager
2002 Max Max Rothman Associate producer
2002 Adaptation Himself Uncredited
2003 Identity Ed Dakota
2003 Breakfast with Hunter Himself Documentary
2003 Runaway Jury Nicholas Easter
2005 Must Love Dogs Jake Anderson
2005 The Ice Harvest Charlie Arglist
2006 The Contract Ray Keene
2007 Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten Himself Documentary
2007 Martian Child David Gordon
2007 1408 Mike Enslin Won—Fright Meter Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor
2007 Grace Is Gone Stanley Philipps Also producer
2008 Igor Igor Voice
2008 War, Inc. Brand Hauser Also writer and producer
2009 2012 Jackson Curtis Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi
2010 Hot Tub Time Machine Adam Producer
2010 Shanghai Paul Soames
2011 The Factory Mike Fletcher
2012 The Raven Edgar Allan Poe Nominated – Fright Meter Award for Best Actor
2012 The Paperboy Hillary Van Wetter
2013 The Numbers Station Emerson Kent
2013 Adult World Rat Billings
2013 The Frozen Ground Robert Hansen
2013 The Butler Richard Nixon Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2013 Grand Piano Clem
2013 No somos animales Tony Also writer and producer
2014 Maps to the Stars Dr. Stafford Weiss
2014 The Bag Man Jack
2014 Love and Mercy Older Brian Wilson
2014 Drive Hard Simon Keller
2014 Prince, TheThe Prince Sam
2014 Reclaim Benjamin
2015 Cell Clayton Riddell
2015 Dragon Blade Lucius


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Frasier Greg Voice
Episode: "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven"
2014 Doll & Em John Episode 1.3


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