Joshua Leonard

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Joshua Leonard
Joshua Leonard (cropped).jpg
Leonard at the 2016 TCA Winter Press Tour
Born Joshua Granville Leonard
(1975-06-17) June 17, 1975 (age 41)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
  • Actor
  • writer
  • director
Years active 1999–present
Spouse(s) Alison Pill (m. 2015)

Joshua Granville Leonard (born June 17, 1975) is an American actor, writer and director, known primarily for his role in The Blair Witch Project (1999). He has since starred in films such as Madhouse (2004), The Shaggy Dog (2006), Higher Ground (2011), The Motel Life (2012), Snake and Mongoose (2013), If I Stay (2014), The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014), and 6 Years (2015).

Early life[edit]

Leonard was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Joann, an author, and Robert Leonard, a theater professor at Pennsylvania State University.[1] He was raised in State College, Pennsylvania.[2] Leonard obtained his GED two years early, and at age 16 travelled to Chiapas, Mexico, where he taught at an elementary school and volunteered at an anthropological institute.[2] Leonard then spent time in Seattle and London, where he developed an interest in photography, before settling in New York City at age 19.[2]


In 1997, Leonard auditioned for and landed one of the three principal roles in the found footage horror film The Blair Witch Project.[3] Although he reportedly only earned an initial salary of $500, the experience proved rewarding in other ways as the film combined acting and photography. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Leonard has since appeared in numerous films and television shows as an actor, including HBO's television film Live from Baghdad, the drama film Things Behind the Sun directed by Allison Anders, the comedy film The Shaggy Dog with Tim Allen, the drama film Men of Honor with Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr., and the psychological thriller film Bitter Feast with Larry Fessenden.[3]

In 2009, he starred in the Independent Spirit Award-winning film Humpday, for which he won Best Actor at the Gijón International Film Festival. Leonard has also appeared on the acclaimed HBO series Hung and the Showtime series United States of Tara. Leonard directed the short film The Youth in Us, which was shown at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Art documentary Beautiful Losers followed, winning the Grand Jury Prize at CineVegas in 2008. He has also directed music videos for many popular acts, such as Morcheeba, Harper Simon, and Fitz and the Tantrums, as well as teaching directing and acting at The New York Film Academy, UC Irvine, and Academia Internacional De Cinema in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2011, Leonard starred in Vera Farmiga's directorial debut drama film Higher Ground, playing a religious man at odds with his wife (Farmiga).[4] He also co-wrote, directed and starred in The Lie, a devilish morality tale adapted from the story by acclaimed author T. C. Boyle. The project co-starred Mark Webber, Jess Weixler, and Jane Adams, and was well received by audiences and critics.

Leonard next appeared alongside Dakota Fanning in The Motel Life (2012).[5] The following year, he starred alongside Carol Kane and Natasha Lyonne in the dark comedy film Clutter,[6] and co-starred in the sports film Snake and Mongoose. In 2014, Leonard co-starred in the drama film If I Stay, directed by R. J. Cutler and based on the novel of the same name by Gayle Forman.[7] Leonard was then cast in the third season of A&E's drama-thriller series Bates Motel as James Finnigan, a psychology professor and a love interest for Norma Louise Bates.[8] In 2015, he had a co-starring role in the romantic drama film 6 Years, directed by Hannah Fidell, which premiered at South by Southwest.[9] In December 2015, it was reported that Marissa Tomei and Timothy Olyphant would star in the Leonard-directed drama film Behold My Heart.[10]

Personal life[edit]

In January 2015, Leonard announced his engagement to actress Alison Pill, after proposing at Joshua Tree National Park over the New Year.[11] They were married on May 24, 2015 with an intimate ceremony in Los Angeles.[12] In July 2016, Leonard and Pill announced they were expecting their first child, a girl.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 The Blair Witch Project Josh Leonard
1999 The Blur of Insanity Staley
2000 In the Weeds Adam
2000 Men of Honor Timothy Douglas Isert
2001 Things Behind the Sun Todd
2001 Cubbyhouse Danny Graham
2002 Deuces Wild Punchy
2003 Down with the Joneses Pete Jones
2003 Two Days Bill Buehl
2003 Scorched Rick Becker
2004 Madhouse Clark Stevens
2004 Larceny Nick Peters
2005 Shooting Livien Robby Love
2005 A Year and a Day Malcolm
2006 The Death and Life of Bobby Z Partygoer #1
2006 Hatchet Ainsley Dunston
2006 The Shaggy Dog Justin Forrester
2007 Country Remedy Darryl
2008 Quid Pro Quo Isaac's Dad
2008 Prom Night Bellhop
2008 20 Years After Michael
2009 Humpday Andrew
2008 Expecting Love Ian Everson
2010 Bitter Feast JT Franks
2010 The Freebie Dinner Party Guest
2011 Higher Ground Ethan Miller
2011 Shark Night Robert "Red" Allyjah
2011 The Lie Lonnie Also writer and director
2012 The Motel Life Tommy Locowane
2013 Clutter Charlie Bradford
2013 Snake and Mongoose Thomas Greer
2014 Among Ravens Ellis Conifer
2014 If I Stay Denny Hall
2014 The Town That Dreaded Sundown Deputy Foster
2014 WildLike Ted
2015 6 Years Mark
2016 Teenage Cocktail Tom Fenton


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Sacrifice Jason Television film
2000 The Outer Limits Andy Larouche Episode: "Gettysburg"
2002 Live from Baghdad Mark Biello Television film
2004 NYPD Blue Todd Garvin Episode: "Divorce, Detective Style"
2004 CSI: NY Matt Paulson Episode: "A Man a Mile"
2005 CSI: Miami Jim Markham 3 episodes
2006 Numbers Roy Mitchell Episode: "Guns and Roses"
2006 Bones Nate Gibbons Episode: "The Headless Witch in the Woods"
2009 Hung Pierce 3 episodes
2010 United States of Tara Ricky Episode: "The Truth Hurts"
2011 Criminal Minds Lyle Donaldson Episode: "Today I Do"
2012 The Finder Derek Towers Episode: "The Great Escape"
2012 The Producer Mike Cabot Unsold pilot
2012 Touch King Roadie Episode: "Kite Strings"
2012–2013 The Mob Doctor Scott Parker 2 episodes
2014 True Detective Mitch Episode: "Who Goes There"
  • 2014;
  • 2016
Scorpion Mark Collins 3 episodes
2015 Down Dog Young Jimmy Wood Television film
2015–16 Togetherness Dudley 6 episodes
2015 Bates Motel James Finnigan 6 episodes
2016 Heartbeat Max Elliot 7 episodes


External links[edit]