Michael Pitt

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Michael Pitt
Pitt looking to the camera
Pitt in 2003
Born (1981-04-10) April 10, 1981 (age 40)
  • Actor
  • model
  • musician
Years active1997–present
Partner(s)Asia Argento (2003–2004)
Jamie Bochert (2004–2014)

Michael Carmen Pitt (born April 10, 1981) is an American actor, model and musician. Pitt is known in film for his roles in Murder by Numbers (2002), Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers (2003), Gus Van Sant's Last Days (2005), and Michael Haneke's Funny Games (2007), and in television for his roles as Henry Parker in the teen drama Dawson's Creek (1999–2000), Jimmy Darmody in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (2010–2011), and Mason Verger in the second season of the NBC series Hannibal (2014). He has also appeared in the films Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), Bully (2001), Silk (2007), Seven Psychopaths (2012), I Origins (2014), and Ghost in the Shell (2017).

Early life[edit]

Michael Carmen Pitt was born on April 10, 1981 in West Orange, New Jersey[1] to Donald B. Pitt, an auto mechanic, and Eleanor Carol (née DeMaio) Pitt, a waitress.[2] He has two older sisters and one older brother. Pitt is of Italian and Irish heritage on his mother's side, and of English descent on his father's.[3] By age 16, Pitt had been to three or four different high schools, among them Morris Catholic High School,[4] and was in "special classes" before ultimately dropping out. He also did a brief stint at the Essex County Youth House, a detention center.[5]



In 2001, Pitt earned a breakout role as Tommy Gnosis, the lover of a trans rock star named Hedwig, in the film Hedwig and the Angry Inch, an adaptation of John Cameron Mitchell's 1998 stage musical. Although not his first film role, Pitt's performance as Gnosis led to a series of supporting roles in many acclaimed and often controversial films, including Larry Clark's Bully (2001), Murder by Numbers (2002), and Funny Games, a 2007 remake of Michael Haneke's 1997 film of the same title. One of Pitt's more notable roles was as the lead in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers (2003).

Pitt attributes his success in films to a combination of hard work and the presence of "a few angels in my life."[6] He has also stressed that he chooses roles not with the hope that they will garner commercial success or to gain notoriety but to create art, challenge the audience, and ultimately contribute to a project that he is proud of:

To be honest, I make very controversial films. The films that I've made have been very, very bold choices. As the years go by, I think my work is going to come more and more in context. The truth is that you can't take what people say too seriously. If I cared what people think about my career, I would have not done—just look at my work. Don't look at me, look at what I've done. Every movie that I've picked, from my first film on, has been considered by everyone to be "career suicide." And I have an amazing life. I have an amazing career. I work with artists. But I'm not making Spider-Man.[7]

In 2004, Pitt has also appeared in Asia Argento's Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things and M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and in 2005 starred in Gus Van Sant's Last Days as a rock musician "inspired" by Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain.[8] He performed all of the songs, which closely resembled Cobain's guitar and singing styles.

On the set of Last Days, he met Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, who had been hired by Van Sant to serve as the film's music consultant. The pair formed a close bond, with Moore writing, "[Gus] wanted me to hang out with Michael and talk about his character, and let him be in character. We ended up spending a lot of time together. My daughter Coco still relates to Michael as Blake from Last Days".

In 2006, he starred in the unconventional romantic comedy Delirious as a young homeless man who befriends a celebrity photographer and falls in love with a pop singer. The movie appeared at the Sundance Film Festival. The following year, he played opposite Keira Knightley in Silk, adapted from the novel by Alessandro Baricco, as Hervé Joncour, a French silkworm smuggler, who falls in love with a baron's concubine while in Japan.

In 2014, Pitt juggled two starring roles, as Tommy Uva in the comedic American crime drama Rob the Mob and as a molecular biologist in search of the truth about the origins of the eye in the science fiction romantic drama I Origins.

In 2017, Pitt starred in the film Ghost in the Shell as the villainous hacker Kuze.[9]


Pitt made his Off-Broadway debut in 1999 in the play The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek at the New York Theatre Workshop.[5]


During his theater debut, a casting agent whom Pitt had mistaken for a police officer attempting to arrest him noticed him and recommended him for a role on the television series Dawson's Creek. He played Henry Parker on a recurring basis in the third season (1999–2000).

In 2010, Pitt was cast as Jimmy Darmody in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (about the rise of Atlantic City during the Prohibition era), as the protégé of corrupt politician Nucky Thompson. He appeared in the show's first two seasons and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Critics's Choice Award for his performance. Pitt said of Boardwalk Empire, "I'm proud of the work we did on that show. My grandfather was an Italian-American and he met my grandmother in Atlantic City. So Jimmy Darmody spoke to me; he felt very close to home."

In 2014, he was cast in the recurring role of Mason Verger in the NBC series Hannibal[10] playing the role in the show's second season. He subsequently left and was replaced by Joe Anderson.[11]


Pitt sang and played guitar in his band, Pagoda, whose self-titled debut album was released by Universal/Fontana/Ecstatic Peace in 2007.[12]

Under the title Jimi Pitt and the Twins of Evil, Pitt performed "Hey Joe" with the Twins of Evil for The Dreamers soundtrack.[13]


In January 2015, Pitt made his official directorial debut with a campaign film for fashion label Rag & Bone's Spring 2015 collection. The video features Pitt and prior co-stars actress Astrid Bergès-Frisbey—the new face of Rag & Bone womenswear—and British actor Stephen Graham, from I Origins and Boardwalk Empire, respectively. Says Rag & Bone co-head, Marcus Wainwright, "[Pitt]'s a really talented actor and musician, and he came to us with this concept of doing a film-based campaign. We thought it was awesome and well worth trying."[14] Pitt has also directed a number of music videos for Pagoda.

In 2020, he revealed he had recently directed a film in Italy called Nocturnal, although there is no release date set yet.[15]


Pitt has modeled for numerous designer campaigns. In 2012, he was named the face of Italian fashion house Prada and modeled their menswear line. He was also featured in two separate Rag & Bone campaigns prior to the release of his self-directed campaign—once for Fall/Winter 2013, with French actress Léa Seydoux,[16] and once for Fall/Winter 2014, with actress Winona Ryder.[17]

Personal life[edit]

In 2005, Pitt revealed that he had been "engaged for a long time now" to model Jamie Bochert and said of her: "She's my other half."[5] The two ended their relationship in 2014.[18][19] Pitt had previously been engaged to Asia Argento from 2003 to 2004.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Hi-Life Boy Teen
1998 54 Dance Student Uncredited
1999 Even Housewives in Minnesota Have Those Daydreams Petey
2000 Finding Forrester John Coleridge
2001 Bully Donny Semenec
2001 The Yellow Bird Stuff
2001 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Tommy Gnosis
2002 Murder by Numbers Justin Pendleton
2003 Rhinoceros Eyes Chep
2003 The Dreamers Matthew
2004 The Village Finton Coin
2004 The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things Buddy
2004 Jailbait Randy
2005 Last Days Blake
2006 Delirious Toby Grace
2006 The Hawk Is Dying Fred
2007 Funny Games Paul Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor
2007 Silk Hervé Joncour
2011 Hugo Projectionist Uncredited
2012 Seven Psychopaths Larry
2014 Rob the Mob Tommy Uva
2014 The Smell of Us Street Musician Uncredited cameo
2014 I Origins Ian Gray Also executive producer
2015 Macadam Stories John McKenzie
2015 The Driver Carmen Short film; also director and co-writer
2015 Criminal Activities Zach
2016 Criminal Jan Strook
2017 Ghost in the Shell Kuze
2018 Detective Chinatown 2 James Springfield
2019 Run with the Hunted Oscar
2020 The Last Days of American Crime Kevin Cash
TBA You Can't Win Jack Black Also producer and co-writer; post-production
TBA Nocturnal[15] Director
TBA Reptile Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Dellaventura Babyface Episode "Above Reproach"
1998 Law & Order Andy Episode "Carrier"
1999–2000 Dawson's Creek Henry Parker Recurring role (season 3)
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Harry Baker Episode: "Prodigy"
2008 T Takes The Guest in Room 113 Episode: "Room 113"
2010–2011 Boardwalk Empire Jimmy Darmody Main role (seasons 1–2)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2011–2012)
Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series (2012)
Nominated–Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2011)
Nominated–Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
Nominated–Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Supporting Actor In A Drama Series (2012)
2014 Hannibal Mason Verger 3 episodes
Nominated–EWwy Award for Best Guest Actor, Drama (2014)
Nominated–Saturn Award for Best Guest Starring Role on Television (2015)
2017 Animals. Johnny (voice) 2 episodes
2021 Lisey's Story Andrew Landon Recurring; miniseries

Music video[edit]

Year Title Artist Role
2002 "What a Wonderful World" Joey Ramone Punk Guy


  1. ^ via Associated Press. "HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire:' A Dramatic Getaway – New Series Brings Prohibition-Era Atlantic City, N.J., to Life with Historical Accuracy, Lavish Detail" Archived 2010-09-18 at the Wayback Machine, CBS News, September 19, 2010. Accessed October 25, 2015. "Inevitably noted for his baby face, arresting blue eyes and pouty, pillowy lips, the 29-year-old West Orange, N.J., native seized on acting because, 'I liked the attention. And it kind of evolved into a craft, a skill, which was a positive thing in my life. Then I came to New York. I never really left.'"
  2. ^ Longsdorf, Amy. "Michael Pitt's 'I Origins' examines science, religion". The News Journal. Archived from the original on 2020-12-04. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ a b c "Meet Mr. Pitt and the Missus!". June 2, 2009. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  6. ^ "Michael Pitt on choosing projects off the beaten path and 'I, Origins'". torontosun. Archived from the original on 2020-10-20. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  7. ^ Harman, Justine (July 10, 2014). "Hot Guy/Cold Drink: Cocktails and Cross-Dressing With Michael Pitt". ELLE. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  8. ^ Ann Hornaday (5 August 2005). "'Last Days': Kurt Cobain in Thin Disguise". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Ghost in the Shell Movie Adds Michael Pitt as the Villain". Collider. February 5, 2016. Archived from the original on February 22, 2020. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  10. ^ Pitt profile in Hannibal Archived 2015-01-12 at the Wayback Machine, insidetv.ew.com, January 31, 2014; accessed April 11, 2014.
  11. ^ "Michael Pitt exits 'Hannibal,' Joe Anderson to replace him". EW.com. Archived from the original on 2015-01-12. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  12. ^ Pagoda (album)
  13. ^ Grooveshark (2012). "The Dreamers Soundtrack". Grooveshark. Grooveshark. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  14. ^ Johnson, Noah. "Style.com". Style.com. Archived from the original on 2015-03-20. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  15. ^ a b "Run With the Hunted: Michael Pitt On Character & Career + An Exclusive Clip". CBR. June 29, 2020. Archived from the original on July 12, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  16. ^ Levinson, Lauren (July 15, 2013). "French Beauty Léa Seydoux and Boardwalk Empire's Michael Pitt Front Rag & Bone's Fall 2013 Ads". ELLE. Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  17. ^ Holmes, Sally (August 13, 2014). "Winona Ryder Is Stunning in the New Rag & Bone Campaign". ELLE. Archived from the original on January 4, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  18. ^ Eriksson, Felicia (May 22, 2015). "BOCHERT BY MALAMUTE". ODALISQUE DIGITAL. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  19. ^ Staff, Tish Weinstock,i-D. (February 14, 2017). "the fittest boys and girls in i-D to dream about if you're single". Archived from the original on May 1, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  20. ^ Limited, Alamy. "Stock Photo - ARGENTO WEDS XXX star ASIA ARGENTO has wed in Tuscany, Italy. The actress married director Michele Civetta on". Alamy. Archived from the original on 2021-05-01. Retrieved 2021-03-17.

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