Merritt Wever

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Merritt Wever
Wever in 2010
Born
Merritt Carmen Wever

(1980-08-11) August 11, 1980 (age 43)
New York City, U.S.
Alma materSarah Lawrence College
OccupationActress
Years active1995–present

Merritt Carmen Wever[1] (born August 11, 1980)[2][3] is an American actress. She is known for starring as perennially upbeat young nurse Zoey in Nurse Jackie (2009–2015), an intrepid widow in the Netflix period miniseries Godless (2017), and a detective investigating a serial rapist in the Netflix crime miniseries Unbelievable (2019). For Nurse Jackie she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2013, for Godless she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie in 2018, and for Unbelievable she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film in 2020.[4]

Wever has also had supporting roles in other television series, including Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006–2007), New Girl (2013), and The Walking Dead (2015–2016). She has also played supporting roles in such films as Michael Clayton (2007), Birdman (2014), and Marriage Story (2019).

Early life[edit]

Wever was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York. She was conceived via a sperm donor and raised by her mother, Georgia.[5][6] Her mother is from Texas, and is a feminist and political activist.[7][8]

Wever graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and Sarah Lawrence College,[9] and she trained in acting in New York.

Career[edit]

Wever in 2010

Wever began her career starring in low budget, independent short and feature films. She has performed in theater productions, including a performance in Brooke Berman's play Smashing, and in Cavedweller with Deidre O'Connell, both off-Broadway.[6] Since she began her career, Wever has performed in numerous feature films, including: Into the Wild, Neal Cassady, Michael Clayton, Series 7: The Contenders, Signs, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, Bringing Rain, Tiny Furniture and All I Wanna Do, among others.[10]

She has guest-starred on a number of television series, including New Girl, The Good Wife, Conviction, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Wire. She also starred in Ed Zwick's ill-fated pilot Quarterlife, with Rachel Blanchard, Austin Nichols and Shiri Appleby. She also had a recurring role on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip as Suzanne.[10]

Wever is perhaps best known for her role as Zoey Barkow in the television series Nurse Jackie, which premiered on Showtime in June 2009.[11] Zoey is described on the official Nurse Jackie website as "an irrepressibly bubbly trauma nurse, who serves as a comic foil to Edie Falco's hard-bitten (and prescription drug-addicted) titular character".[12] Wever received widespread critical acclaim for her role on the show.[13]

Wever was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2012 and 2013 for her role in Nurse Jackie, winning the award in 2013 and delivering a memorable speech that consisted only of her stunned reaction: "Thanks so much. Thank you so much. I gotta go. Bye."[14]

In 2016, Wever had a recurring role on AMC's The Walking Dead as Denise Cloyd. Her character's death toward the end of the sixth season of the series was controversial and sparked outrage on social media with many fans, most notably members of the LGBT community.[15][16][17]

Wever played a lead role in the miniseries Godless (2017) as Mary Agnes McNue, a tough leader of a female-dominated town. She said in interviews that she had been intimidated by the role: "I spent so much of this shoot thinking I would come off as a fool, that nobody would buy me as this and it wouldn't be believable."[18] Many critics nonetheless noted her character as a highlight of the show. Entertainment Weekly titled its review of Godless "Merritt Wever rides tall in Netflix's Godless" and wrote that "no one is more electric than the always extraordinary Merritt Wever".[19] In 2018, she won an Emmy for the role.

In 2019, Wever starred in another Netflix miniseries Unbelievable, opposite Toni Collette and Kaitlyn Dever released on September 13, 2019.[20] The series received critical acclaim, with Wever receiving her first Golden Globe Awards nomination for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.[21][22]

In 2020, Wever began starring in the HBO black comedy thriller series Run opposite Domhnall Gleeson.[23] It was cancelled after one season.[24]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Alaska April Short film
1998 All I Wanna Do Maureen 'Momo' Haines
1998 Arresting Gena Tammy
1999 The Adventures of Sebastian Cole Susan
2001 Series 7: The Contenders Lindsay Berns
2002 Signs Tracey Abernathy
2003 Season of Youth Anna
2003 Bringing Rain Monica Greenfield
2004 A Hole in One Betty
2005 12 and Holding Debbie Poole
2007 Michael Clayton Anna Kaiserson
2007 Into the Wild Lori
2007 Neal Cassady Mountain Girl
2008 Righteous Kill Rape Victim
2009 Mr. Softie Gail
2009 The Missing Person Mabel Page
2009 The Messenger Lara
2010 Greenberg Gina
2010 Tiny Furniture Frankie
2011 The Strange Ones Hotel Girl Short film
2014 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Annie
2015 Meadowland Kelly
2016 The Last Face Marlee
2018 Irreplaceable You Mindy
2018 Charlie Says Karlene Faith
2018 Welcome to Marwen Roberta
2019 Marriage Story Cassie
2022 Midday Black Midnight Blue Beth [25]
2023 Memory Olivia

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Blue River Lottie Howland Television film
1997 Law & Order Myra Episode: "Mad Dog"
2002 Law & Order Jennifer Taylor Episode: "American Jihad"
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Hannah Price Episode: "Tomorrow"
2003 The Wire Prissy 2 episodes: "Storm Warnings" and "Bad Dreams"
2004 Something the Lord Made Mrs. Francis Saxon Television film
2005 Quarterlife Bailey Television film
2005 Law & Order Sunshine Porter Episode: "Sects"
2005 NCIS Wendy Smith Episode: "Switch"
2006 Conviction Bridget Kellner Episode: "Pilot"
2006–2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Suzanne 12 episodes
2009–2015 Nurse Jackie Zoey Barkow Main role
2012 The Good Wife Aubrey Gardner Episode: "After the Fall"
2013 New Girl Elizabeth 7 episodes
2013 Remember Sunday Lucy Gillenwater Television film
2015–2016 The Walking Dead Dr. Denise Cloyd 9 episodes
2017 Godless Mary Agnes McNue Main role
2019 Unbelievable Detective Karen Duvall Main role
2020 Run Ruby Richardson Main role
2021 Robot Chicken Mandy, Susan the Tauntaun (voice) Episode: "May Cause the Exact Thing You're Taking This to Avoid"
2022 Roar Elisa Episode: "The Woman Who Was Fed by a Duck"
2023 Tiny Beautiful Things Frances "Frankie" Pierce 7 episodes
TBA Severance Season 2

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2010 Gotham Independent Film Awards Best Ensemble Performance Tiny Furniture Nominated [26]
2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nurse Jackie Nominated [27]
2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated [28]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won [27]
2014 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated [29]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Ensemble Birdman Won [30]
2018 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Godless Won [27]
2020 Independent Spirit Awards Robert Altman Award Marriage Story Won [31]
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Unbelievable Nominated [32]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries Nominated [33]
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Nominated [34]
2023 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Tiny Beautiful Things Nominated [35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: 'Nurse Jackie' and The Illusion Star Merritt Wever". Playbill. June 21, 2011. Archived from the original on February 24, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  2. ^ "Merritt Wever". Golden Globe Awards. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Archived from the original on November 4, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  3. ^ "Merritt Wever: Movies, TV, and Bio". Prime Video. Amazon. Archived from the original on November 4, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  4. ^ "Unbelievable". www.peabodyawards.com. Archived from the original on May 8, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  5. ^ Maerz, Melissa (March 29, 2011). "Merritt Wever brings undoctored flair to 'Nurse Jackie'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Merritt Wever: Biography". TV Guide. CBS Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  7. ^ Hart, Hugh (June 21, 2018). "Merritt Wever Transitions From Loopy Nurse to Frontier Toughie in Godless | The Credits". Archived from the original on December 8, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  8. ^ "Merritt Wever knows showbiz can be 'poison' for women. But complaining now feels wrong". Los Angeles Times. April 9, 2020. Archived from the original on April 10, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  9. ^ "Merritt Wever". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2014. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Merritt Wever". IMDB. Archived from the original on November 27, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Maerz, Melissa (March 29, 2011). "Merritt Wever brings undoctored flair to 'Nurse Jackie'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 5, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  12. ^ "Nurse Jackie: Official Site". Sho.com. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  13. ^ "'Nurse Jackie' sidekick Merritt Wever stays grounded". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  14. ^ Chan, Robert (September 22, 2013). "Best. Emmys. Speech. EVER: An Underdog Takes Home an Emmy". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  15. ^ "The Walking Dead Actor Responds to Controversial Death on Last Night's Episode". www.themarysue.com. March 21, 2016. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  16. ^ "'The Walking Dead' Fans Outraged That Another Minority Character Has Died". The Inquisitr News. Archived from the original on April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  17. ^ Robinson, Joanna (March 21, 2016). "The Walking Dead's Latest Gruesome Death Is Part of a Troubling TV Trend". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  18. ^ McHenry, Jackson (November 30, 2017). "How Merritt Wever Found Vulnerability in Godless's Toughest Character". Vulture. Archived from the original on May 14, 2021. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  19. ^ Shaw, Jessica (November 16, 2017). "Merritt Wever rides tall in Netflix's Godless". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  20. ^ Petski, Denise (September 16, 2019). "'Unbelievable': Toni Collette, Merritt Wever & Kaitlyn Dever To Star In Netflix Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  21. ^ "Unbelieveable". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on March 22, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  22. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 9, 2019). "Golden Globes Nominations: 'Marriage Story', Netflix, 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' Lead Way In Film—Full List Of Nominations". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 11, 2019. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Fleming Jr, Mike (March 6, 2019). "'Run': HBO Gives Series Order To Comedic Thriller Starring Domhnall Gleeson & Merritt Wever From 'Fleabag' Duo & eOne". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 30, 2019. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 10, 2020). "'Run' Canceled By HBO After One Season". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 18, 2023. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  25. ^ Grobar, Matt (October 31, 2022). "Double Dutch International To Launch World Sales For Merritt Wever Drama 'Midday Black Midnight Blue' At AFM". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 24, 2022. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  26. ^ "2010 Gotham Awards nominees". IndependentFilm. October 19, 2010. Archived from the original on October 27, 2022. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  27. ^ a b c "Merritt Wever". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  28. ^ McNary, Dave (December 12, 2012). "'Lincoln,' 'Silver Linings' top SAG film noms". Variety. Archived from the original on July 30, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  29. ^ Bacle, Ariana (May 28, 2014). "Critics' Choice TV Awards 2014: And the nominees are..." Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  30. ^ Patches, Matt (December 8, 2014). "Washington DC Area Film Critics Association names 'Boyhood' its Best Film of 2014". Uproxx. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  31. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; Blyth, Antonia (February 8, 2020). "Independent Spirit Awards Redresses Female Balance With Wins For Lulu Wang, Olivia Wilde & Julia Reichert – Complete Winners List". Deadline. Archived from the original on February 9, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  32. ^ "Golden Globes 2020: Full list of winners and nominees". BBC News. January 6, 2020. Archived from the original on August 25, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  33. ^ Hammond, Pete (December 8, 2019). "'The Irishman', 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' Lead Critics' Choice Nominations; Netflix Dominates With 61 Noms In Movies And TV". Deadline. Archived from the original on December 8, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  34. ^ Turchiano, Danielle (July 9, 2020). "'Watchmen,' 'Unbelievable' Lead List of 2020 TCA Awards Nominees". Variety. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  35. ^ Sherman, Rachel (July 12, 2023). "Emmy Nominees 2023: The Complete List". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 12, 2023. Retrieved July 18, 2023.

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