Joshua Granville Leonard
June 17, 1975
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Joshua Granville Leonard (born June 17, 1975) is an American actor, writer, and director, known 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), 6 Years (2015), and Unsane (2018).
Leonard was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Joann, an author, and Robert Leonard, a theater professor at Pennsylvania State University. He was raised in State College, Pennsylvania. Leonard obtained his GED and at age 16 travelled to Chiapas, Mexico, where he taught at an elementary school and volunteered at an anthropological institute. Leonard then spent time in Seattle and London, where he developed an interest in photography, before settling in New York City at age 19. He is Jewish on his mother's side.
In 1997, Leonard auditioned for and landed one of the three principal roles in the found footage horror film The Blair Witch Project. 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.
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). 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). The following year, he starred alongside Carol Kane and Natasha Lyonne in the dark comedy film Clutter, 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. 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. 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. In December 2015, it was reported that Marisa Tomei and Timothy Olyphant would star in the Leonard-directed drama film Behold My Heart.
In January 2015, Leonard announced his engagement to actress Alison Pill. They were married on May 24, 2015, in Los Angeles. In July 2016, Leonard and Pill announced they were expecting their first child, a girl. Their daughter, Wilder Grace Leonard, was born on November 19, 2016.
|1999||The Blair Witch Project||Josh Leonard|
|The Blur of Insanity||Staley|
|2000||In the Weeds||Adam|
|Men of Honor||Timothy Douglas Isert|
|2001||Things Behind the Sun||Todd|
|2003||Down with the Joneses||Pete Jones|
|Two Days||Bill Buehl|
|2005||Shooting Livien||Robby Love|
|A Year and a Day||Malcolm|
|2006||The Death and Life of Bobby Z||Partygoer #1|
|The Shaggy Dog||Justin Forrester|
|2008||Quid Pro Quo||Mr. Knott|
|20 Years After||Michael|
|Expecting Love||Ian Everson|
|2010||Bitter Feast||JT Franks|
|The Freebie||Dinner Party Guest|
|2011||Higher Ground||Ethan Miller|
|Shark Night||Robert "Red" Allyjah|
|The Lie||Lonnie||Also writer and director|
|2012||The Motel Life||Tommy Locowane|
|Snake and Mongoose||Thomas Greer|
|2014||Among Ravens||Ellis Conifer|
|If I Stay||Denny Hall|
|The Town That Dreaded Sundown||Deputy Foster|
|The Ever After||Christian|
|2016||Teenage Cocktail||Tom Fenton|
|Dark Was the Night||Director and writer|
|2020||Four Good Days||Sean|
|Fully Realized Humans||Elliot||Also director, writer, producer and editor|
|The Outer Limits||Andy Larouche||Episode: "Gettysburg"|
|2002||Live from Baghdad||Mark Biello||Television film|
|2004||NYPD Blue||Todd Garvin||Episode: "Divorce, Detective Style"|
|CSI: NY||Matt Paulson||Episode: "A Man a Mile"|
|2005||CSI: Miami||Jim Markham||3 episodes|
|2006||Numbers||Roy Mitchell||Episode: "Guns and Roses"|
|Bones||Nate Gibbons||Episode: "The Headless Witch in the Woods"|
|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"|
|The Producer||Mike Cabot||Unsold pilot|
|Touch||King Roadie||Episode: "Kite Strings"|
|2012–13||The Mob Doctor||Scott Parker||2 episodes|
|2014||True Detective||Mitch||Episode: "Who Goes There"|
|2014, 2016–17||Scorpion||Mark Collins||6 episodes|
|2015||Down Dog||Young Jimmy Wood||Television film|
|2015||Bates Motel||James Finnigan||6 episodes|
|2016||Heartbeat||Max Elliot||7 episodes|
|2020||MacGyver||Martin Bishop||Episode: "Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix"|
|TBA||Tattered Hearts||Television film|
Awards and nominations
|2000||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Supporting Actor||The Blair Witch Project||Nominated|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Actor - Newcomer||Nominated|
|2005||Independent Film Festival of Boston||Short Film: Narrative||The Youth in Us||Won|
|Palm Springs International ShortFest||Best Live Action Under 15 Minutes||Won|
|2009||Gijón International Film Festival||Best Actor||Humpday||Won|
|2010||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Bitter Feast||Nominated|
|2011||Asheville Cinema Festival||Best Narrative Feature Film||The Lie (2011 film)||Won|
|Sundance Film Festival||Best of Next!||Nominated|
|2012||VC FilmFest - Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival||Best Ensemble Acting - Narrative Feature||Sunset Stories||Won|
|2018||Transatlantyk Festival: Lodz||Section "New Cinema"||Behold My Heart||Nominated|
|Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Unsane||Nominated|
|2020||Tribeca Film Festival||Best Narrative Feature||Fully Realized Humans||Nominated|
|Florida Film Festival||Best Narrative Feature||Nominated|
- "Joshua Leonard Biography (1975-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Donnelly, Joe (July 7, 2009). "Joshua Leonard: The Man Behind (Ahem) Humpday". LA Weekly.
- "Jews in the News: Josh Gadd, Amanda Peet and David Benioff | Tampa JCCS and Federation".
- "AFM: First Image from Bitter Feast". Dread Central. November 7, 2009.
- Cox, Gordon (June 3, 2010). "Leonard, Irwin, Murphy, Butz get 'Higher'". Variety.
- Jagernauth, Kevin (February 28, 2011). "Joshua Leonard Joins 'Motel Life' With Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch & Stephen Dorff". Indiewire. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Brooks, Brian (March 20, 2012). "Joshua Leonard, Carol Kane, Natasha Lyonne To Star In Indie 'Clutter'". Deadline Hollywood.
- Yamato, Jen (October 23, 2013). "Joshua Leonard Joins 'If I Stay'; 'Project X's Thomas Mann Lands 'Barely Lethal'". Deadline Hollywood.
- "Joshua Leonard Checks Into 'Bates Motel'; Gbenga Akinnagbe Books 'The Following'". Deadline Hollywood. December 2, 2014.
- Kilday, Gregg (June 12, 2014). "Taissa Farmiga, Ben Rosenfield Starring in Hannah Fidell's New Feature". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Hipes, Patrick (December 8, 2015). "Marisa Tomei & Timothy Olyphant Topline Joshua Leonard-Helmed Indie 'Behold My Heart'". Deadline Hollywood.
- Leon, Anya (January 4, 2015). "Alison Pill Engaged to Joshua Leonard". People.
- Kimble, Lindsay (May 25, 2015). "Alison Pill Marries Joshua Leonard – See the Bride's Sweet Yellow Wedding Gown". People.
- Pill, Alison (July 18, 2016). "This is happening... Baby lady 2016. @thejoshualeonard". Instagram. Archived from the original on 2021-12-24. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
- Juneau, Jen (November 25, 2016). "Joshua Leonard and Alison Pill Welcome Daughter Wilder Grace". People. Retrieved November 30, 2016.