Sam Rockwell


Sam Rockwell

Infobox actor


imagesize = 150px
birthdate = birth date and age|1968|11|5
birthname =
birthplace = Daly City, California
academyawards =
spouse =

Sam Rockwell (born November 5, 1968) is an American actor.

Biography

Early life

Rockwell was born in Daly City, California, the son of actors who divorced when he was five years old.cite web | url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E01EFDA133EF930A2575AC0A96E958260 |date = 1998-09-13 | title = Sam Rockwell; One-Man Gallery of Rogues, Crooks and Oddballs | publisher = by Laura Winters, "The New York Times". | accessdate = 2008-03-25] He was raised by his father, Pete Rockwell, in San Francisco while his mother, Penny Hess, stayed behind in New York (he spent his summer vacations with her). Rockwell had what "The New York Times" described in 1998 as a "footloose upbringing" and, at age 10, made his brief stage debut playing Humphrey Bogart in an East Village improv comedy sketch starring his mother.“Sam Rockwell,” by Miranda Spencer. "Biography", January 2003.]

He attended School of the Arts High School (San Francisco) with Margaret Cho and dropped out before graduation. He later received his high school diploma after his parents enrolled him in an Outward Bound-style alternative high school called "Urban Pioneers" because, as Rockwell explained, "I just wanted to get stoned, flirt with girls, go to parties."cite web | url = http://archives.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/12/23/showbuzz/index.html |date = 2002-12-23 | title = Today's Buzz Stories: Rockwell turned around | publisher = CNN.com Showbuzz. | accessdate = 2007-02-10] The school, the actor said, "had a reputation as a place stoners went because it was easy to graduate", but the program ended up helping him regain an interest in performing. After appearing in an independent film during his senior year, he graduated and moved to New York to pursue an acting career.cite web | url = http://movies2.nytimes.com/mem/movies/review.html?res=940CE7D8163BF930A15752C0A96E958260 |date = 1998-01-23 | title = AT THE MOVIES; A Career Picks Up | publisher = by Bernard Weinraub, "The New York Times". | accessdate = 2007-02-10]

Early films

After his first film role in the 1989 horror film "Clownhouse" (produced by Francis Ford Coppola's production company) which he filmed when based in San Francisco, he moved to New York and trained at the William Esper Studios. His career slowly gathered momentum in the early 1990s, when he alternated between small-screen guest spots in TV shows like "The Equalizer", "NYPD Blue" and "Law & Order" and small roles in films such as "Last Exit to Brooklyn" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". He also appeared as the title character in "The Search for One-Eyed Jimmy". During this time Rockwell worked in restaurants as a busboy and delivered burritos by bicycle.“Sam Rockwell,” by M.B. "Rolling Stone", 10/3/02.] At one point, Rockwell even worked as a private detective's assistant. "I tailed a chick who was having an affair and took pictures of her at this motel", he told "Rolling Stone" in 2002. "It was pretty sleazy." A well-paying Miller commercial in 1994 finally allowed him to pursue acting full-time.

The turning point in Rockwell's career was Tom DiCillo's 1996 film "Box of Moon Light", in which he played an eccentric man-child who dresses like Davy Crockett and lives in an isolated mobile home. The ensuing acclaim put him front and center with casting agents and new-found fans alike, with Rockwell himself acknowledging that "That film was definitely a turning point....I was sort of put on some independent film map after 10 years in New York."

He also won strong reviews for the 1997 film "Lawn Dogs", where he played a working-class lawn mower who befriends a wealthy 10-year-old girl (Mischa Barton) in an upper-class gated community in Kentucky; Rockwell's performance won him Best Actor honors at both the Montreal World Film Festival and the Catalonian International Film Festival. In 1999, Rockwell played child murderer William "Wild Bill" Wharton in the Stephen King prison drama "The Green Mile". At the time of the film's shooting, Rockwell explained why he was attracted to playing such unlikable characters. He said, "I like that dark stuff. I think heroes should be flawed. There's a bit of self-loathing in there, and a bit of anger....But after this, I've really got to play some lawyers, or a British aristocrat, or they'll put a label on me."

Hollywood recognition

After appearances as a bumbling actor in 1999's sci-fi satire "Galaxy Quest" and as gregarious villain Eric Knox in "Charlie's Angels" (2000), Rockwell won the biggest leading role of his career to date: "The Gong Show" host Chuck Barris in George Clooney's 2002 directorial debut, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind". Rockwell's performance was well received, and the film received generally positive reviews.

Rockwell has also received positive notices for his role opposite Nicolas Cage in Ridley Scott's "Matchstick Men" (2003), with "Entertainment Weekly" calling him "destined by a kind of excessive interestingness to forever be a colorful sidekick." [cite web | url = http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,483992,00.html |date = 2003-09-10 | title = Movie Review: "Matchstick Men" | publisher = by Lisa Schwarzbaum, "Entertainment Weekly". | accessdate = 2007-02-10] He received somewhat more mixed reviews as Zaphod Beeblebrox in the 2005 film version of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". He then had a notable supporting role as Charley Ford, brother of Casey Affleck's character Robert Ford, in the well-received 2007 drama "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford", in which Brad Pitt played the lead role of Jesse James.

In addition to big-budget feature films, Rockwell also keeps his feet firmly planted in the indie film world with projects such as "The F Word" and he recently played a very randy, Halloween-costume-clad Batman in a short, "Robin's Big Date", opposite Justin Long as Robin. He also starred in the 2008 film version of "Snow Angels" opposite Kate Beckinsale and directed by David Gordon Green.

Rockwell played Victor Mancini in the film "Choke", based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. Critic Roger Ebert said of his performance that he "seems to have become the latter-day version of Christopher Walken -- not all the time, but when you need him, he's your go-to guy for weirdness." [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080925/REVIEWS/809250302] He is currently working on a science fiction film called "Moon", directed by David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones.

Theatre

Since 1992, Rockwell has been a member of the LAByrinth Theater Company, where Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz are Co-Artistic Directors. In 2005, Hoffman directed him in Stephen Adly Guirgis' hit play, "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot". This past August, Rockwell work-shopped an upcoming LAByrinth production, "North of Mason-Dixon", scheduled to debut in London in 2007 and then premiere in New York City later the same year. Other plays in which Rockwell performed are: "Dumb Waiter" (2001), "Zoo Story" (2001), "Hot L Baltimore" (2000), "Goosepimples" (1998), "Love and Human Remains", "Face Divided", "Orphans, Dessert at Waffle House", and "The Largest Elizabeth".

Personal life

Rockwell has never been married, and stated in a 2007 interview, "I definitely don't want to become a parent. It's not my bag." [ [http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,,2209696,00.html Interview - guardian.co.uk] ]

Filmography

References

External links

*imdb name|id=0005377|name=Sam Rockwell
* [http://rockwell.e-fan.org/ A fan site for Sam Rockwell]
*LAByrinth Theater Company http://www.labtheater.org/
* [http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_12358.html Sam Rockwell Interview] (Rescue Dawn)


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