Minghella at the opera, 25 September 2006
|Born||Max Giorgio Choa Minghella
16 September 1985
Hampstead, London, England, UK
Carolyn Jane Choa
Max Giorgio Choa Minghella (born 16 September 1985) is an English actor. The son of film director Anthony Minghella, he has appeared in several American films, making his feature debut in 2005's Bee Season, starring in 2006's Art School Confidential and in 2010's The Social Network.
Early life and education
Minghella was born in Hampstead, London, England, the son of Academy Award-winning director Anthony Minghella and dancer/choreographer Carolyn Jane Choa. His father was born in Ryde, Isle of Wight, England, and was of Italian descent, and his mother was born in Hong Kong. Max's maternal grandfather was of Chinese descent, and Max's maternal grandmother was of three-eighths Chinese, one quarter Parsee Indian, and the rest English, Irish, and Swedish ancestry. His maternal great-grandfather was Hong Kong legislator Robert Kotewall.
Minghella spent time on his father's film sets while growing up, of which he has "fond memories", and has said that he felt "no pressure" by his father to succeed in the entertainment industry.
Minghella was educated at two independent schools, St Anthony's Preparatory School and University College School in Hampstead. He then attended Columbia University, which he considered his "first priority", as part of the class of 2009. He typically worked on films only during his summer break. Minghella said that he felt like "an English boy at an American school", kept to himself, and that most students at Columbia had "no idea" that he was an actor.
Minghella was inspired to become an actor during his late teenage years, after seeing a production of the play This Is Our Youth at London's West End; he subsequently dropped out of the University College School to pursue an acting career, and attended the National Youth Theatre. Minghella did not always want to become an actor. He said "I thought it was sort of embarrassing to say you wanted to be an actor—it was, like, uncool. And growing up I was massively concerned with seeming cool. I thought up until about age 16 that I was going to be a music video director."
Minghella had a minor, uncredited appearance as an extra in his father's film, Cold Mountain. His first professional role was in Bee Season, playing the son of a dysfunctional Jewish American family. The film was released in November 2005 to mostly mixed reviews and low box office, grossing only $1 million in its limited release, although critics remarked that Minghella was "a talented young actor to watch, delivering a strong performance".
Minghella followed with the political thriller Syriana, which was also released in November 2005, playing the son of George Clooney's CIA agent character. In 2006, he starred in the Daniel Clowes adaptation Art School Confidential, a quirky comedy directed by Terry Zwigoff and co-starring Sophia Myles and John Malkovich. Minghella got the part after meeting Zwigoff when he visited the set of Bee Season.
His film Elvis and Anabelle premiered at the South by Southwest film festival on 10 March 2007. It's a dark romantic drama in which he plays an undertaker's son; the film co-stars Blake Lively and Mary Steenburgen. Minghella has described it as "a really sweet film". Minghella was to play Art Bechstein in the film version of writer Michael Chabon's novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, but eventually dropped out of the project due to his university schedule.
In March 2008, it was announced that Minghella would star opposite Rachel Weisz in Alejandro Amenábar's second English language film entitled Agora. The film is set in 4th century Egypt and revolves around Weisz' character Hypatia of Alexandria. Later in 2008, Minghella was seen in two theatrical releases; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, starring Simon Pegg, in which Minghella plays a pompous film director, and a segment of the dark comedy Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
In David Fincher's The Social Network, the 2010 film about the origins of Facebook, he plays Divya Narendra, one of the Harvard upperclassmen who sues Mark Zuckerberg for stealing the idea behind Facebook. In June 2010, Minghella was cast in the Russian science-fiction film The Darkest Hour, released in December 2011.
He appeared in the ensemble dramaedy 10 Years with Channing Tatum, Scott Porter and Rosario Dawson which was released in late 2012. The following year, he had a supporting role as Graham Hawtrey in the comedy The Internship which starred Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. In November 2013, it was announced that he would be playing Danny (Chris Messina)'s younger brother Richie Castellano in the second season of The Mindy Project.
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