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Peter Sarsgaard

Peter Sarsgaard

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Also Known As: John Peter Sarsgaard Died:
Born: March 7, 1971 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, playwright

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

complications. In 2006, Gyllenhaal gave birth to the couple's first child, Ramona.After a supporting turn as an asexual animal rights activist in "Year of the Dog" (2007), Sarsgaard reunited with "Jarhead" co-star Jake Gyllenhaal for "Rendition" (2007), a political thriller that focused on the questionable CIA practice of transporting international terrorists to third world countries to be tortured and interrogated. He next co-starred in "Elegy" (2008), a psychological drama about a respected college professor who indulges himself in a relationship with a beautiful graduate student (Penélope Cruz). Sticking with independent cinema, Sarsgaard was finally seen in "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" (2009), an indie drama in which he played a young man returning home for the first time after having been away at college. The film was shot three years prior to its release and was previously shown at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. In 2009, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard married in Italy. The same year, he appeared as the male lead in the successful "An Education" (2009). Playing a mysterious older man who bewitches an intelligent British teenager (Carey Mulligan) on the cusp of womanhood, Sarsgaard received...

complications. In 2006, Gyllenhaal gave birth to the couple's first child, Ramona.

After a supporting turn as an asexual animal rights activist in "Year of the Dog" (2007), Sarsgaard reunited with "Jarhead" co-star Jake Gyllenhaal for "Rendition" (2007), a political thriller that focused on the questionable CIA practice of transporting international terrorists to third world countries to be tortured and interrogated. He next co-starred in "Elegy" (2008), a psychological drama about a respected college professor who indulges himself in a relationship with a beautiful graduate student (Penélope Cruz). Sticking with independent cinema, Sarsgaard was finally seen in "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" (2009), an indie drama in which he played a young man returning home for the first time after having been away at college. The film was shot three years prior to its release and was previously shown at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. In 2009, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard married in Italy. The same year, he appeared as the male lead in the successful "An Education" (2009). Playing a mysterious older man who bewitches an intelligent British teenager (Carey Mulligan) on the cusp of womanhood, Sarsgaard received good reviews and the film itself was showered with critical praise, strong box office and awards. His next film, the horror film "Orphan" (2009), was successful as well, but most certainly not equally beloved by critics. In the movie, Vera Farmiga and Sarsgaard adopt the mysterious Esther, who is hiding a shocking secret. The actor followed this up with the big-budget "Knight & Day" (2010), as a federal agent opposite stars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

In 2011, Sarsgaard continued his Hollywood stint as Dr. Hector Hammond, a misguided scientist who clashes with Ryan Reynolds' title superhero in "Green Lantern," a comic-book adaptation that was heavily dismissed. Revisiting far subtler small-scale fare, he voiced an endearing automaton in the dramedy "Robot & Frank" (2012), starring Frank Langella. In a notable about-face, Sarsgaard then portrayed manipulative pornographer Chuck Traynor in the biopic "Lovelace" (2013), featuring Amanda Seyfried in the titular role. Continuing a busy year, he also appeared in Woody Allen's acclaimed dramedy "Blue Jasmine" and turned up in episodes of "The Killing" (AMC, 2011- ) as imprisoned murderer Ray Seward.e murder victims of death row inmate Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn) in director Tim Robbins' gripping prison drama, "Dead Man Walking" (1995). After moving to Los Angeles with Marder, only to break up with her and head back to New York, Sarsgaard appeared off-Broadway in "Kingdom of Earth" (1996) and was featured in a segment of the anthology series "Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground" (HBO, 1997). Following episodes of "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990- ), he had a small, but pivotal role in "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998), playing the doomed Raoul, son of Athos (John Malkovich) and suitor of Christine (Judith Godreche) whose death on the frontlines of war waged by King Louis XIV (Leonardo DiCaprio) leads to a mutiny led by three of the four Musketeers. Sarsgaard landed more small roles in gritty independents like "Another Day in Paradise" (1998) and "Desert Blue" (1998), with the charismatic actor turning in strong performances with little screen time.

With previous film work including turns as innocent victim and noble hero, Sarsgaard switched gears and essayed a disturbing supporting turn in Kimberly Peirce's powerful "Boys Don't Cry" (1999). This acclaimed and moving feature was based on the 1993 murder of Teena Brandon (Hilary Swank), a young woman living as a man in Falls City, NE. Sarsgaard's talents were showcased in the film by his appropriately intense and unnerving portrayal of John Lotter, the unstable friend convicted of raping and murdering Brandon after her identity as a biological female is exposed. He impressed both critics and audiences in the harrowing role, conveying both Lotter's winning charm as well as the underlying violence, which were evidenced by the character's erratic outbursts and the alarming brutality of his attack on Brandon. Taking a career step up, at least in terms of visibility, Sarsgaard co-starred opposite Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn in the thriller "The Cell" (1999), and alongside Rupert Everett and Kathy Bates in "Unconditional Love" (1999), directed by P.J. Hogan.

Though he was making strides in his career, Sarsgaard was careful to avoid taking on roles that were less-than-challenging. Instead, he developed early on in his career a taste for starring in films most other actors would dismiss or seriously amend. He landed the leading role in Wayne Wang's erotic drama "The Center of the World" (2001), playing a successful dotcom entrepreneur whose technological immersion has left him devoid of human connection. But when he meets a stripper and rock drummer (Molly Parker), he embarks on a three-day trek to Las Vegas where the two explore the limits of their sensuality, despite her hard and fast rules of avoiding emotional involvement. He also had a noticeable turn as a meth addict in the kinetic indie crime drama "The Salton Sea" (2002), while supporting Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson as a cowardly nuclear reactor technician in the Soviet submarine thriller "K-19: The Widowmaker" (2002). Meanwhile, he co-starred in the urban crime drama "Empire" (2002), playing a slick stock market investor who draws drug dealer (John Leguizamo) into a world of trouble.

Sarsgaard had a major breakthrough with his performance in writer-director Billy Ray's compelling, but understated taken-from-the-headlines drama "Shattered Glass" (2003). In a well-measured story of journalistic ethics woven around the true case of wunderkind reporter Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen), who fabricated several articles for major publications, Sarsgaard's nuanced performance as New Republic editor Chuck Lane served as the story's moral compass. The actor's realistic, uncompromising portrayal earned him considerable praise, as well as several critics' awards and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. Meanwhile, he deftly played the eccentric high school buddy of an emotionally numbed young man (writer-director-star Zach Braff) who returns home upon learning his mother has just passed away in the charming, off-kilter indie dramedy "Garden State" (2004). Sarsgaard had a memorable supporting role in "Kinsey" (2004), playing the bisexual assistant of the famed sexologist, Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson). He attracted considerable media attention not only for his performance, but also because of several scenes where he and Neeson kissed. When asked if his scenes were difficult, he said that he would rather do something awkward than physically exhausting.

Atypically, the usually restrained Sarsgaard was borderline over-the-top in his next film, playing a Southern lawyer in the gothic thriller "The Skeleton Key" (2005), starring Kate Hudson. In an effort to attempt something different, he provided a welcome presence as a U.S. air marshal who attempts to alternately calm and humor a frantic mother (Jodie Foster) who believes she's lost her daughter on an airline in "Flightplan" (2005). In "Jarhead" (2005), director Sam Mendes' insightful adaptation of former U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford's best-selling memoir of his service during the 1990 Gulf War in Iraq, Sarsgaard was pitch-perfect as Troy, scout to sniper Swoff (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a die-hard member of the Marine Corps who hopes to prove himself in combat. Offscreen, Sarsgaard became strong friends with Gyllenhaal prior to "Jarhead," thanks to his romantic relationship with the actor's sister, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. Meanwhile, he earned critical kudos for "The Dying Gaul" (2005), in which he was a novice screenwriter who writes a love story about his partner dying of AIDS-related

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Jackie (2016)
3.
 Black Mass (2015)
4.
 Bone Tomahawk (2015)
6.
 Night Moves (2014)
7.
 Lovelace (2013)
8.
 Very Good Girls (2013)
9.
 Blue Jasmine (2013)
10.
 Robot & Frank (2012)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
First professional stage role in the off-Broadway Horton Foote play, "Laura Dennis"
1995:
Made TV debut in an episode of NBC's "Law & Order"
1995:
Feature film debut in Tim Robbins' film "Dead Man Walking" playing one of the young murder victims
1996:
Appeared in the Drama Department's off-Broadway production of "Kingdom of Earth"
1997:
Featured in the "Underground" segment of HBO's anthology special "Subway Stories"
1998:
Portrayed John Malkovich's son and Leonardo DiCaprio's rival in "The Man in the Iron Mask"
1998:
Cast in Larry Clark's "Another Day in Paradise"
1999:
Played an institutionalized quadriplegic in the Showtime drama "Freak City"
1999:
Earned critical recognition for his breakthrough role as real-life killer John Lotter in "Boys Don't Cry"
2001:
Played the lead in Wayne Wang's erotic thriller, "Center of the World"
2002:
Cast as a meth addict in "The Salton Sea"
2002:
Co-starred with Elisabeth Shue in an off-Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson's "Burn This"
2003:
Offered a critically acclaimed performance as Hayden Christensen's editor in "Shattered Glass"; earned an Independent Spirit Award and Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor
2004:
Played the sarcastic best friend to Zach Braff's character in Braff's directorial debut "Garden State"
2004:
Cast as researcher Clyde Martin in "Kinsey" opposite Liam Neeson as Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research; received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Male
2005:
Portrayed a bisexual screenwriter in "The Dying Gaul"
2005:
Played the local attorney, opposite Kate Hudson in the thriller "Skeleton Key"
2005:
Portrayed a marine in Sam Mendes' "Jarhead" based on former Marine Anthony Swofford's best-selling novel
2007:
Played an asexual activist opposite Molly Shannon in "Year of the Dog"
2007:
Co-starred with Reese Witherspoon in "Rendition"
2008:
Made Broadway debut in an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull" alongside Kristin Scott Thomas at the Royal Court Theatre
2009:
Co-starred with fiance Maggie Gyllenhaal in the Off-Broadway revival of Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya"
2009:
Appeared in the film version of Michael Chabon's novel, "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh"
2009:
Starred as David in Lone Scherfig's coming of age film "An Education"
2010:
Played a supporting role opposite Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in the action/comedy "Knight and Day"
2011:
Cast as villain Hector Hammond in the superhero film, "Green Lantern"
2012:
Lent his voice to "Robot & Frank"
2013:
Featured in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine"
2013:
Guest-starred on "The Killing"
2015:
Starred in the TV mini-series "The Slap"
2015:
Played the controversial psychologist Stanley Milgram in the biographical drama "Experimenter"
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Education

Fairfield College Preparatory School: Fairfield , Connecticut -
Bard College: Annandale-on-Hudson , New York -
T. Schreiber Studio: New York , New York -
Washington University: St. Louis , Missouri - 1991 - 1994

Notes

On researching the role of John Lotter for "Boys Don't Cry" and the dauting prospect of playing a real life person: "I watched him on videotapes. There's the documentary, some footage on 'Montel', but even in the documentary, that person is putting on a face the minute the camera goes on. So ultimately, I didn't feel like I was playing John Lotter. I read a lot about him, and Kim [Peirce, screenwriter and director of 'Boys Don't Cry'] had a kind of history of his life that she'd written down, going to reform school and all that kind of thing. But when you're supposed to play someone who's real, unless it's like Nixon or something, where we have a lot of information, even then, it's impossible to be that person. You just have to rely on your own personal experience."---quoted in Entertainment Drive's coverage of the 1999 Toronto Film Festival

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Shalom Harlow. Actor, model. Dating as of summer 2000.
companion:
Maggie Gyllenhaal. Actor. Reportedly engaged, December 2002.

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