Family & Companions
Missi Pyle has appeared in roles both large and small in some of Hollywood's more popular movies. Born Aschley Kay Pyle, her parents dubbed her 'Little Missi', a nickname that stuck throughout her life and career. She grew up in Houston, Texas, but moved to Germantown, Tennessee at the age of 12 with her mom and new stepfather. Around this time, Pyle became interested in acting and attended Germantown High School, one of the top three performing arts high schools in the country. Thus a career was born.
Aside from acting talent, Pyle displayed her vocal chops in high school, which led to being cast in several musicals. Upon graduation, Pyle was accepted to the Actor Training Program at the North Carolina School of the Arts where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Pyle appeared in several Shakespeare productions, including the role of Cressida in "Troilus and Cressida," as well as others. Her summers were spent performing: one year she was in "Ruthless" at the Galvest Island Outdoor Musicals series; another was spent playing 'Becky' in a production of "Big River"; a third she spent studying at the Oxford School of Drama.
After college, Pyle was approached for representation by Paradigm in New York and began working in productions and doing voiceovers. In Chicago while working with John Malkovich in "The Libertine" at the Steppenwolf Theater, Pyle met solo performer and author Antonio Sacre, later to become her husband. Meanwhile, Pyle made her feature film debut in the independent "Cottonwood" (1996), a comedy about struggle off-Broadway actors who hit the lottery and use the winnings to make their own movie. In "As Good As It Gets" (1997), Pyle appeared briefly as a café waitress. She moved on to a small part on the small screen in the popular "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-1999). Numerous other television roles found their way on Pyle's resume, including "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004), "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-2004), "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004) and "Ally McBeal" (FOX, 1997-2002).
Pyle continued acting in films, gaining more prominent roles as her career progressed. She played the alien Laliari in the surprisingly funny spoof "Galaxy Quest" (1999), starring Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver. In "Josie and the Pussycats" (2001), Pyle played the insubstantial role of Alexandra Cabot in the insipid adaptation of the once-popular 70's kiddie cartoon. In "Bringing Down the House" (2003), the financially successful yet critically panned comedy with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah, Pyle played Ashley, a gold-digger interested in rich old men. A return to the small screen found Pyle contributing her voice talent in an episode of the short-lived animated series, "The Tick" (FOX, 2001-02).
A series of small, but noticeable film roles soon came Pyle's way. She appeared in the farcical tale "Big Fish" (2003), directed by the enigmatic Tim Burton. Pyle thankfully went unnoticed in the dreadful urban "comedy," "Soul Plane" (2004), starring top-billed Tom Arnold and the ubiquitous Snoop Dogg. She then played Roxanne in the harmless romantic comedy "Along Came Polly" (2004), starring Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller. Pyle appeared in another Stiller comedy vehicle, the sleeper hit "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" (2004), playing a powerhouse foreign dodgeball champ for first-time director Rawson Marshall Thurber. Finally, Pyle took on the role of the indulgent Mrs. Beauregarde in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005), a remake of the Gene Wilder classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971).
Cast (Feature Film)
Made her professional acting debut in the indie film "The Cottonwood"
Landed a small role as a waitress in the James L. Brooks comedy "As Good As It Gets," which starred Jack Nicholson
Cast in guest starring roles on the NBC sitcoms "Mad about You" and "Friends"
First starring role, as the female Thermian Laliari in the sci-fi comedy "Galaxy Quest"
Appeared in M. George Stevenson's film "But Enough About Me..."
Starred as Alexandra Cabot in the comedy "Josie and the Pussycats"
Cast as one of the regular performers on "The Wayne Brady Show" (ABC)
Starred as Mildred in Tim Burton's "Big Fish"
Cast as the Tae-Bo-fighting society gal Ashley in "Bringing Down the House"
Starred as Fran opposite Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller in the comedy "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story"
Had an uncredited role as a drunk tourist in the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy "50 First Dates"
Appeared with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston in the comedy "Along Came Polly"
Made a recurring appearance on CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men"
Cast as Violet Beauregarde's mother in Tim Burton's adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic tale "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
Co-starred with Lindsay Lohan in Donald Petrie's "Just My Luck"
Cast in "Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker" based on Anthony Horowitz' <i>Stormbreaker</i>, the first novel in the Alex Rider series
Joined the cast of "Boeing-Boeing" at the Longacre Theatre
Played the title role in the family feature "Soccer Mom"
Joined Amy Poehler, Parker Posey, and Rachel Dratch in "Spring Breakdown"
Cast in the critically acclaimed black-and-white, nearly silent film "The Artist"