Adrien Brody

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Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody Cannes 2014.jpg
Born(1973-04-14) April 14, 1973 (age 41)
Woodhaven, Queens, New York, U.S.
EducationFiorello H. LaGuardia High School
Alma materQueens College
OccupationActor, producer
Years active1988–present
ParentsSylvia Plachy (mother)
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Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody Cannes 2014.jpg
Born(1973-04-14) April 14, 1973 (age 41)
Woodhaven, Queens, New York, U.S.
EducationFiorello H. LaGuardia High School
Alma materQueens College
OccupationActor, producer
Years active1988–present
ParentsSylvia Plachy (mother)

Adrien Brody (born April 14, 1973) is an American actor. He received widespread recognition and acclaim after starring in Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor at age 29, the only actor under 30 to do so. Brody is also the only American actor to receive the French César Award.

Early life[edit]

Brody was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the son of Sylvia Plachy, a photojournalist, and Elliot Brody, a retired history professor and painter.[1] Brody's father is of Polish Jewish descent; Brody's mother – who was raised as a Catholic – was born in Budapest, Hungary, the daughter of a Catholic Hungarian aristocrat father and a Czech Jewish mother.[2][3][4]

Brody was raised "without a strong connection" to Judaism or Catholicism.[5] As a child, he performed magic shows at children's birthday parties as "The Amazing Adrien".[6] He attended the I.S. 145 Joseph Pulitzer middle school and New York's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. His parents enrolled him in acting classes to distance him from the dangerous children with whom he associated.[7] He attended summer camp at Long Lake Camp for the Arts in the Adirondacks in upstate New York.[8] Brody attended the Stony Brook University before transferring to Queens College for a semester.


Taking acting classes as a child, by age thirteen he appeared in an Off-Broadway play and a PBS television film.[9] Brody hovered on the brink of stardom, receiving an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his role in the 1998 film Restaurant and later praise for his roles in Spike Lee's Summer of Sam and Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line.[10] He received widespread recognition when he was cast as the lead in Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002). To prepare for the role, Brody withdrew for months, gave up his apartment and his car, was left by his then-girlfriend,[9] learned how to play Chopin on the piano, and lost 29 lbs (13 kg). The role won him an Academy Award for Best Actor, making him, at 29, the youngest actor ever to win the award, and to date the only winner under the age of 30. He also won a César Award for his performance.

Brody appeared on Saturday Night Live on May 10, 2003, his first TV work, but he was banned from the show after giving an improvised introduction while wearing faux dreadlocks for Jamaican reggae musical guest Sean Paul (the show's producer, Lorne Michaels, is notorious for hating unscripted performances). However, the unscripted intro remains in reruns of the episode. Other TV appearances include NBC's The Today Show and on MTV's Punk'd after being tricked by Ashton Kutcher.

After The Pianist Brody appeared in four very different films. In Dummy (released in 2003 but originally shot in 2000, just prior to his work in The Pianist) he portrayed Steven Schoichet, a socially awkward aspiring ventriloquist in pursuit of a love interest (his employment counsellor). He learned ventriloquism and puppetry for the role (under the tutelage of actor/ventriloquist Alan Semok) convincingly enough to perform all of the voice stunts and puppet manipulation live on set in real time, with no subsequent post dubbing. He played Noah Percy, a mentally disabled young man, in the film The Village, by M. Night Shyamalan, shell-shocked war veteran Jack Starks in The Jacket, writer Jack Driscoll in the 2005 King Kong remake, and father-to-be Peter Whitman in The Darjeeling Limited by Wes Anderson. King Kong was both a critical and box office success; it grossed $550 million worldwide and is Brody's most successful film to date in monetary terms. Additionally, Brody played a detective in Hollywoodland. He has also appeared in Diet Coke and Schweppes commercials as well as Tori Amos' music video for "A Sorta Fairytale".[11] He was also in "Bullet" with Tupac Shakur and Mickey Rourke. This film was released in 1996.

On January 5, 2006, Brody confirmed speculation that he was interested in playing the role of The Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight. However, Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. decided instead to cast Heath Ledger in the role.[12] He was also in talks with Paramount to play Spock in J. J. Abrams Star Trek XI, but it ultimately went to Zachary Quinto.[13][14] In 2010, he starred in Splice, a science fiction film written and directed by Vincenzo Natali. Originally a Sundance film, Splice was adopted by Dark Castle Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. Most recently, he played the star role of Royce in Predators (a sequel to the original Predator), directed by Nimród Antal and produced by Robert Rodriguez.[15]

In 2011, Brody starred in a Stella Artois beer ad called "Crying Jean" that premiered right after half-time of the Super Bowl XLV as part of Stella's "She Is a Thing of Beauty” campaign. He appeared in Woody Allen's 2011 Academy Award-winning comedy Midnight in Paris as Salvador Dalí.[16] On January 16, 2012, Brody made his runway debut as a model for Prada Men Fall/Winter 2012 show.[17]

Personal life[edit]

In 1992, Brody was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident in which he flew over a car and crashed head-first into a crosswalk.[18] He spent months recuperating. He has broken his nose three times doing stunts; the most recent was during the filming of Summer of Sam.[19]

Brody began dating Spanish actress Elsa Pataky in 2006.[20] For Pataky's 31st birthday in July 2007, Brody purchased her a 19th-century farm that was remodeled to look like a castle in Central New York state. Brody and Pataky were featured at their New York home in a 35-page spread for HELLO! magazine in October 2008.[21] The pair broke up in 2009.[22]

In 2010, Brody sued the Giallo filmmakers, alleging that they failed to pay his full salary.[23]



1989New York StoriesMel
1991The Boy Who Cried BitchEddie
1993King of the HillLester Silverstone
1994Angels in the OutfieldDanny Hemmerling
1994Natural Born KillersOne of Gale's cameramen
1996Nothing to LoseRay Diglovanniaka Ten Benny
1996SoloDr. Bill Stewart, Solo's Designer
1997The Last Time I Committed SuicideBen
1997Six Ways to SundayArnie Finklestein
1998The Thin Red LineCpl. Fife
1998The Undertaker's WeddingMario Bellini
1998RestaurantChris CallowayNominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male
1999Liberty HeightsVan Kurtzman
1999Summer of SamRichie Tringale
2000Bread and RosesSam Shapiro
2000Harrison's FlowersKyle Morris
2001The Affair of the NecklaceCount Nicolas De La Motte
2001Love the Hard WayJack Grace
2002The PianistWładysław SzpilmanAcademy Award for Best Actor
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
César Award for Best Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated - Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated - European Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Polish Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Russian Guild of Film Critics Award for Best Foreign Actor
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated - Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
2003The Singing DetectiveFirst Hood
2004The VillageNoah Percy
2005The JacketJack Starks
2005King KongJack Driscoll
2006HollywoodlandLouis Simo
2007The Tehuacan ProjectNarrator
2007Manolete (The Passion Within) (A Matador's Mistress)Manuel Rodríguez Sánchez "Manolete"
2007The Darjeeling LimitedPeter Whitman
2008The Brothers BloomBloom
2008Cadillac RecordsLeonard ChessBlack Reel Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2009SpliceClive Nicoli
2009GialloInspector Enzo LaviaAlso producer
2009Fantastic Mr. FoxRickityVoice
2010High SchoolPsycho Ed
2010The ExperimentTravis
2011WreckedManAlso executive producer
2011Midnight in ParisSalvador DalíNominated - Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated - Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Acting
Nominated - San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2011DetachmentHenry BarthesAlso executive producer
2012Back to 1942Theodore White
2013InAPPropriate ComedyFlirty HarryAlso co-writer; uncredited
2013Third PersonScott
2014The Grand Budapest HotelDmitri
2014American HeistFrankiePost-production
2015Dragon BladeTiberiusIn production
2015Septembers of ShirazIsaacIn production


1988Home at LastBillyTV movie
1988Annie McGuireLenny McGuireEpisode: "Annie and the Brooklyn Bridge"
1994Rebel HighwaySkinnyEpisode: "Jailbreakers"
1996Bullet HeartsChuckie BraggTV movie
2003Saturday Night LiveHostEpisode: "Adrien Brody/Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder"
2014Houdini (miniseries)Harry HoudiniTV Miniseries

Video games[edit]

2005Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the MovieJack Driscoll


  1. ^ "Adrien Brody Biography (1973–)". Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  2. ^ Leslie Camhi (18 March 2005). "An Autobiography in Pictures". The Jewish Daily Forward (New York City: Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  3. ^ Meyers, William (27 January 2005). "Rescuing Beauty From History's Dark Corners". The New York Sun ( Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  4. ^ Fox, Chloe (12 November 2006). "The prime of Adrien Brody". The Guardian (Manchester: Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  5. ^ Waxman, Sharon (2 January 2003). "A Hunger Artist; Adrien Brody Gained Gravitas by Losing Weight To Play a Holocaust Survivor in 'The Pianist'". The Washington Post ( Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  6. ^ Sylvia Plachy (31 December 2002). "My Son the Oscar Contender". The Village Voice ( Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  7. ^ "About Adrien Brody". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Long Lake Theater Camp". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  9. ^ a b Dotson Rader (25 July 2004). "Adrien Brody: 'I Want To Succeed For The Right Reasons'". Parade. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  10. ^ "Adrien Brody biography". Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Adrien Brody: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ Jett (7 January 2006). "BOF News Archives 45: Update on Sequel Rumors". Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  13. ^ Pascale, Anthony (February 26, 2007). "Casting Rumor: Damon, Brody & Sinise for Kirk, Spock & McCoy". Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  14. ^ RutheStein (17 May 2009). "Adrien Brody tries comedy in 'Brothers Bloom'". San Francisco Chronicle ( Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  15. ^ Borys Kit and Jay A. Fernandez (7 October 2009). "Adrien Brody to star in new take on "Predators"". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  16. ^ Goldberg, Matt. "MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Review". Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Adrien Brody: Prada runway model". The Daily Telegraph ( 13 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  18. ^ Carpenter, Susan (7 November 2007). "Adrien Brody's other passion". Los Angeles Times ( Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  19. ^ "Adrien Brody". South African TV Authority. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  20. ^ Daily Mail Reporter (2008-10-07). "The 19th century New York castle romantic film star Adrien Brody bought his fairytale princess". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  21. ^ Hello (2008-10-07). "Adrien and Spanish love Elsa share their 'dream castle' with HELLO!". Hello magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  22. ^ Marcy (2009-05-16). "Adrien Brody’s Girlfriend leaves him for Olivier Martinez". Zimbio. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  23. ^ Anthony McCartney (September 24, 2010). "Adrien Brody: Suing 'Giallo' Filmmakers Was My Only Option". Retrieved 2012-12-18. 

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