Adrien Brody

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Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody Cannes 2017.jpg
Brody in 2017
Born (1973-04-14) April 14, 1973 (age 46)
EducationStony Brook University
Queens College
OccupationActor, producer
Years active1988–present
Parent(s)Sylvia Plachy (mother)

Adrien Brody (born April 14, 1973) is an American actor and producer. He received widespread recognition and acclaim after starring in Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor at age twenty-nine, making him the youngest actor to win in that category. Brody together with Christopher Lambert is the only other male American actor to receive the César Award for Best Actor.

Other successful films that Brody has starred in are The Thin Red Line (1998), The Village (2004), King Kong (2005), and Predators (2010). He is a frequent collaborator of Wes Anderson's, having starred in three of Anderson's films, The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Wrecked (2011), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).

In 2017, he appeared in the fourth series of the BBC historical drama Peaky Blinders.

Early life[edit]

Brody was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York City, New York, the son of Sylvia Plachy, a photographer, and Elliot Brody, a retired history professor and painter.[1] Brody's father is of Polish Jewish descent;[2][3][4] Brody's mother, who was raised as a Catholic, was born in Budapest, Hungary, and is the daughter of a Catholic Hungarian aristocrat father and a Czech Jewish mother.[5][6][7] Brody was raised "without a strong connection" to Judaism or Catholicism.[8]

As a child, Brody performed magic shows at children's birthday parties as "The Amazing Adrien".[9] He attended I.S. 227 Louis Armstrong Middle School and New York's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. His parents enrolled him in acting classes to distance him from the dangerous children with whom he associated.[10] He attended summer camp at Long Lake Camp for the Arts in the Adirondacks in upstate New York.[11] Brody attended Stony Brook University before transferring to Queens College for a semester.


Taking acting classes as a child, by age thirteen, he appeared in an Off-Broadway play and a PBS television film.[12] After appearing in Bullet in 1996 with Tupac Shakur and Mickey Rourke, Brody hovered on the brink of stardom, receiving an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his role in the 1998 film Restaurant, and later praise for his roles in Spike Lee's Summer of Sam and Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line.[13] He received widespread recognition when he was cast as the lead in Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002). To prepare for the role, Brody withdrew for months, gave up his apartment and his car, broke up with his then-girlfriend,[12] learned how to play Chopin on the piano, he is 6'1" (1.85m) and lost thirty pounds (13.6kg) dropping him to 130lbs (59 kg). The role won him an Academy Award for Best Actor, making him, at age twenty nine, the youngest actor ever to win the award, and to date the only winner under the age of thirty. He also won a César Award for his performance.

Brody appeared on Saturday Night Live on May 10, 2003, his first TV work, during which, he controversially gives an improvised introduction, while wearing faux dreadlocks and a jamaican accent for Jamaican reggae musical guest Sean Paul (without Lorne Michaels permission), causing him to be banned. Other TV appearances include NBC's The Today Show, and on MTV's Punk'd after being tricked by Ashton Kutcher.

After The Pianist, Brody appeared in four very different films. In Dummy (released in 2003, but originally shot in 2000, just prior to his work in The Pianist), he portrayed Steven Schoichet, a socially awkward aspiring ventriloquist in pursuit of a love interest (his employment counsellor). He learned ventriloquism and puppetry for the role (under the tutelage of actor/ventriloquist Alan Semok) convincingly enough to perform all of the voice stunts and puppet manipulation live on set in real time, with no subsequent post dubbing. He played Noah Percy, a mentally disabled young man, in the film The Village, by M. Night Shyamalan, shell-shocked war veteran Jack Starks in The Jacket, writer Jack Driscoll in the 2005 King Kong remake, and father-to-be Peter Whitman in The Darjeeling Limited by Wes Anderson. King Kong was both a critical and box office success - it grossed $550 million worldwide, and is Brody's most successful film to date in monetary terms. He also voiced Jack Driscoll in the video game adaptation. Additionally, Brody played a detective in Hollywoodland. He has also appeared in Diet Coke and Schweppes commercials, as well as Tori Amos' music video for "A Sorta Fairytale".[14]

On January 5, 2006, Brody confirmed speculation that he was interested in playing the role of The Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight. However, Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. decided instead to cast Heath Ledger in the role.[15] He was also in talks with Paramount to play Spock in J. J. Abrams Star Trek XI, but it ultimately went to Zachary Quinto.[16][17] In 2009, he starred in Splice, a science fiction film written and directed by Vincenzo Natali. Originally a Sundance film, Splice was adopted by Dark Castle Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. In 2010, he played the star role of Royce in Predators (a sequel to the original Predator), directed by Nimród Antal and produced by Robert Rodriguez.[18]

In 2011, Brody starred in a Stella Artois beer ad called "Crying Jean" that premiered right after half-time of the Super Bowl XLV as part of Stella's "She Is a Thing of Beauty" campaign. He appeared in Woody Allen's 2011 Academy Award-winning comedy Midnight in Paris as Salvador Dalí.[19] On January 16, 2012, Brody made his debut as a runway model for Prada Men Fall/Winter 2012 show.[20]

In 2014, Brody collaborated again with Wes Anderson in the Academy Award-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel, where he played Dmitri. He received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or in a Movie for portraying the titular character in Houdini, a History channel miniseries. The following year, he starred as Tiberius in the Chinese film Dragon Blade, which grossed $54.8 million in its opening week in China.

In 2017, it was announced he would join the cast of the fourth season of the BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders.[21]

On August 4, 2017, he received the Leopard Club Award at the Locarno Festival.[citation needed] The Leopard Club Award pays homage to a major film personality whose work has made a lasting impact on the collective imagination.

Personal life[edit]

In 1992, Brody was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident in which he flew over a car and crashed head-first into a crosswalk.[22] He spent months recuperating. He has broken his nose three times doing stunts; the most recent was during the filming of Summer of Sam.[23]

He dated Michelle Dupont, a music industry personal assistant, from 2003 to 2006. She was his date to the 2003 Oscars.

Brody began dating Spanish actress Elsa Pataky in 2006. For Pataky's 31st birthday in July 2007, Brody purchased her a 19th-century farm in Central New York state that was remodeled to look like a castle. Brody and Pataky were featured at their New York home in a 35-page spread for HELLO! magazine in October 2008.[24] The pair broke up in 2009.[25]

In 2010, Brody sued the Giallo filmmakers, alleging that they failed to pay his full salary.[26]



Year Title Role Notes
1989 New York Stories Mel
1991 The Boy Who Cried Bitch Eddie
1993 King of the Hill Lester Silverstone
1994 Angels in the Outfield Danny Hemmerling
1996 Ten Benny Ray Diglovanni
1996 Bullet Ruby Stein
1996 Solo Dr. Bill Stewart
1997 The Last Time I Committed Suicide Ben
1997 The Undertaker's Wedding Mario Bellini
1997 Six Ways to Sunday Arnie Finklestein
1998 Restaurant Chris Calloway Nominated - Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
1998 The Thin Red Line Cpl. Geoffrey Fife
1999 Summer of Sam Richie Tringale
1999 Oxygen Harry Houdini
1999 Liberty Heights Van Kurtzman
2000 Bread and Roses Sam Shapiro
2001 Harrison's Flowers Kyle Morris
2001 Love the Hard Way Jack Grace
2001 The Affair of the Necklace Count Nicolas De La Motte
2002 Dummy Steven Schoichet
2002 The Pianist Władysław Szpilman Academy Award for Best Actor
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
César Award for Best Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated - Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated - European Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Polish Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Russian Guild of Film Critics Award for Best Foreign Actor
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated - Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
2003 The Singing Detective First Hood
2004 The Village Noah Percy
2005 The Jacket Jack Starks
2005 King Kong Jack Driscoll
2006 Hollywoodland Louis Simo Also additional cinematographer
2007 The Tehuacan Project Narrator Documentary
2007 The Darjeeling Limited Peter Whitman
2008 Manolete Manuel "Manolete" Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez
2008 The Brothers Bloom Bloom
2008 Cadillac Records Leonard Chess Black Reel Award for Outstanding Ensemble
2009 Giallo Inspector Enzo Lavia Also producer
2009 Splice Clive Nicoli
2009 Fantastic Mr. Fox Rickity Voice
2010 High School Edward "Psycho Ed" Highbaugh
2010 Predators Royce
2010 The Experiment Travis Cacksmackberg
2011 Wrecked Man Also executive producer
2011 Detachment Henry Barthes Also executive producer
2011 Midnight in Paris Salvador Dalí Nominated - Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated - Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Acting
Nominated - San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2012 Back to 1942 Theodore White
2013 Inappropriate Comedy Flirty Harry Also wrote additional dialogue
2013 Third Person Scott Lowry
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel Dmitri Desgoffe und Taxis Nominated - Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2014 American Heist Frankie Kelly Also executive producer
2015 Dragon Blade Tiberius
2015 Stone Barn Castle N/A Documentary; director, producer and composer
2015 Backtrack Peter Bower
2015 Septembers of Shiraz Isaac Amin Also executive producer
2016 Manhattan Night Porter Wren Also producer
2017 Bullet Head Stacy
2018 Air Strike Steve
TBA Emperor Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Post-production
TBA El Tonto Post-production
TBA The French Dispatch Post-production
TBA Blonde Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Home at Last Billy Television film
1988 Annie McGuire Lenny McGuire Episode: "Annie and the Brooklyn Bridge"
1994 Rebel Highway Skinny Episode: "Jailbreakers"
1996 Bullet Hearts Chuckie Bragg Pilot
1999 Split Screen Harry Episode: "Waiting for Star Wars"
2003 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Adrien Brody/Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder"
2014 Houdini Harry Houdini 2 episodes
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2015 Breakthrough Narrator Episode: "Decoding the Brain"[27][28]
2016 Dice Himself Episode: "Ego"
2017 Peaky Blinders Luca Changretta 6 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie Jack Driscoll (voice) Spike Video Game Award for Best Cast

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role
2006 Fade to Red Tori's lover


  1. ^ "Adrien Brody Biography (1973–)". Retrieved October 24, 2008.
  2. ^ "Interview: Adrien Brody, actor". The Scotsman. July 4, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  3. ^ Goodman, Lanie (November 3, 2002). "Adrien Brody takes on Chopin, Polanski and the burden of history". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  4. ^ Sugarman, Daniel (March 27, 2017). "Adrien Brody set to play a blinder in BBC series". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Leslie Camhi (18 March 2005). "An Autobiography in Pictures". The Jewish Daily Forward. New York City: Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  6. ^ Meyers, William (27 January 2005). "Rescuing Beauty From History's Dark Corners". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  7. ^ Fox, Chloe (12 November 2006). "The prime of Adrien Brody". The Guardian. Manchester: Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  8. ^ Waxman, Sharon (2 January 2003). "A Hunger Artist; Adrien Brody Gained Gravitas by Losing Weight To Play a Holocaust Survivor in 'The Pianist'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  9. ^ Sylvia Plachy (31 December 2002). "My Son the Oscar Contender". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  10. ^ "About Adrien Brody". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  11. ^ "Long Lake Theater Camp". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  12. ^ a b Dotson Rader (25 July 2004). "Adrien Brody: 'I Want To Succeed For The Right Reasons'". Parade. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  13. ^ "Adrien Brody biography". Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  14. ^ "Adrien Brody: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  15. ^ Jett (7 January 2006). "BOF News Archives 45: Update on Sequel Rumors". Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
  16. ^ Pascale, Anthony (February 26, 2007). "Casting Rumor: Damon, Brody & Sinise for Kirk, Spock & McCoy". Retrieved October 24, 2008.
  17. ^ RutheStein (17 May 2009). "Adrien Brody tries comedy in 'Brothers Bloom'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  18. ^ Borys Kit and Jay A. Fernandez (7 October 2009). "Adrien Brody to star in new take on "Predators"". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  19. ^ Goldberg, Matt. "MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Review". Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  20. ^ "Adrien Brody: Prada runway model". The Daily Telegraph. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  21. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (23 March 2017). "Adrien Brody Joins 'Peaky Blinders' Season 4; First Story Elements Revealed".
  22. ^ Carpenter, Susan (7 November 2007). "Adrien Brody's other passion". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  23. ^ "Adrien Brody". South African TV Authority. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  24. ^ Hello (2008-10-07). "Adrien and Spanish love Elsa share their 'dream castle' with HELLO!". Hello magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  25. ^ Marcy (2009-05-16). "Adrien Brody's Girlfriend leaves him for Olivier Martinez". Zimbio. Archived from the original on 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  26. ^ Anthony McCartney (September 24, 2010). "Adrien Brody: Suing 'Giallo' Filmmakers Was My Only Option". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  27. ^ "National Geographic Channel Greenlights Second Season of Critically Acclaimed Series BREAKTHROUGH". Business Wire. July 25, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  28. ^ "Jason Bateman, Adrien Brody Narrate Nat Geo's 'Breakthrough' With Brett Ratner, Akiva Goldsman". TheWrap. September 23, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2017.

External links[edit]