Christopher Messina (born August 11, 1974) is an American actor and film director. He has appeared in supporting roles in films such as Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Argo, Julie & Julia, Ruby Sparks, Celeste and Jesse Forever, and You've Got Mail. He starred in the film The Giant Mechanical Man. On television, he appeared in roles as Chris Sanchez in Damages, Reese Lansing in The Newsroom and as Danny Castellano in The Mindy Project, the latter of which earned him two nominations for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2018, he portrayed a detective in the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects.
Messina in 2014
August 11, 1974
Northport, New York, U.S.
Life and careerEdit
Messina was born in Northport, New York. He is of Italian descent. He studied theater in high school, and attended Marymount Manhattan College, but dropped out after one semester. He studied acting privately with teachers around Manhattan, and started his career as an off-Broadway actor. He has appeared in episodes of the television series Law & Order, Third Watch, and Medium. He had a recurring role in the fifth and final season of the HBO drama series Six Feet Under as Ted Fairwell. His film credits include Rounders, The Siege, You've Got Mail, and Towelhead.
He starred in an HBO pilot Anatomy of Hope, directed by J. J. Abrams. Simon Callow also starred, but the pilot was not picked up to series. In October 2007, Daily Variety named him as one of ten actors to watch. He starred in Devil, under the direction of John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, for producer M. Night Shyamalan and Universal Pictures. In April 2010, Monogamy, directed by Dana Adam Shapiro and starring Messina and Rashida Jones, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where the film won the jury prize for Best New York Narrative.
Messina joined the cast of Damages for its fourth and fifth seasons. He played a recurring character on HBO's The Newsroom. Messina was a series regular on the Fox/Hulu sitcom The Mindy Project, playing Dr. Danny Castellano, until his character was eventually phased out in seasons 4 & 5. He makes his return in three episodes, including the season and series finale, in season 6.
In 2014, Messina played the role of a cheating spouse in the music video for Sam Smith's "I'm Not the Only One". That same year, he directed the independent drama, Alex of Venice, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Don Johnson and Matthew Del Negro. He co-starred in Ben Affleck's crime drama Live by Night, which was released in December 2016. In 2018, Messina starred in a leading role alongside Amy Adams in the HBO series Sharp Objects.
In 2020, Chris Messina starred as mob killer Victor Zsasz in Birds of Prey. When asked how he felt about playing a twisted character, Messina replied, "I've played too many nice guys in my career. So it was like just really a lot of fun to let loose."
|1995||When Dating Turns Dangerous||Zach||Educational film|
|1998||You've Got Mail||Fox salesperson|
|2000||Turn It Up||Baz|
|2005||The Crooked Corner||Nephew|
|2006||Ira & Abby||Ira Black|
|2008||Made of Honor||Dennis|
|2008||Vicky Cristina Barcelona||Doug|
|2009||Brief Interviews with Hideous Men||Subject #19|
|2009||Away We Go||Tom Garnett|
|2009||Julie & Julia||Eric Powell|
|2010||An Invisible Sign||Ben Smith|
|2011||Like Crazy||Mike Appletree|
|2011||The Trouble with Bliss||NJ|
|2012||Celeste and Jesse Forever||Paul|
|2012||28 Hotel Rooms||Man||Also executive producer|
|2012||The Giant Mechanical Man||Tim|
|2012||Fairhaven||Dave||Also writer and executive producer|
|2012||Ruby Sparks||Harry Weir-Fields|
|2012||Argo||Malinov||Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
Nominated – Critics' Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Nominated – Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
|2014||The Oven||Narrator||Short film|
|2014||Alex of Venice||George||Also director|
|2015||Digging for Fire||Billy T|
|2016||Live by Night||Dion Bartolo|
|2016||The Sweet Life||Kenny|
|2019||The True Adventures of Wolfboy||Denny|
|2020||Birds of Prey||Victor Zsasz|
|2020||Love Is Love Is Love||Jack||In post-production|
|2020||She Dies Tomorrow||Jason||In post-production|
|2020||The Secrets We Keep||Lewis||In post-production|
|2020||I Care A Lot||In post-production|
|1995||Law & Order||Tommy Bell||Episode: "Rebels"|
|1996||Law & Order||Kevin Turner||Episode: "Homesick"|
|2000||Third Watch||Charlie||Episode: "History"|
|2001||Big Apple||Ricky||Episode: "A Ministering Angel"|
|2003||Law & Order||Don Cushman||Episode: "Suicide Box"|
|2005||Six Feet Under||Ted Fairwell||6 episodes|
|2007||Medium||Casey Edward Frank||Episode: "The Whole Truth"|
|2011–12||Damages||Chris Sanchez||16 episodes|
|2012–14||The Newsroom||Reese Lansing||12 episodes|
|2012–17||The Mindy Project||Dr. Daniel Castellano||Main cast (season 1–4)|
Recurring (season 5–6): 89 episodes
|2018||Sharp Objects||Detective Richard Willis||Main role: 8 episodes|
|2019||Robot Chicken||Officer Big Mac, Honda Man, Mr. Peterson (voice)||Episode: "Boogie Bardstown in: No Need, I Have Coupons"|
|2020||The Sinner||Nick Haas||Main role (Season 3): 5 episodes|
|Year||Title||Role||Run||Theater and production||Notes|
|1997||The American Clock||Sidney Margolies/
|October 19, 1997 –
|Signature Theatre Company at
The Peter Norton Space
|1999||The Group||Director||August 9–20, 1999||All Seasons Theatre Group at
The Ensemble Studio Theatre
|1999||Refuge||Nat||November 18 – December 12, 1999||Playwright's Horizon Studio Theater|||
|2000||The Hologram Theory||Joe Buck||March 27 – April 9, 2000||McGinn/Cazale Theater|||
|2000||The Light Outside||Frankie||November 5 – December 16, 2000||The Flea Theater|||
|2001||Tamicanfly||C.J.||January 17 – February 4, 2001||McGinn/Cazale Theater|||
|2001||Blur||Joey D'Amico||May 17 – June 24, 2001||Manhattan Theater Club at
New York City Center Stage II
|2001–02||Good Thing||Bobby||December 16, 2001 – January 6, 2002||The New Group at
The Theater at St. Clements Church
|2002||This Thing of Darkness||Abbey/ Reef||May 30 – June 16, 2002||Atlantic Theater Company at
Linda Gross Theater
|2002||Faster||Skram||September 8 – October 13, 2002||Rattlestick Theater|||
|2002–03||Far Away||Todd||November 11, 2002 –
January 18, 2003
|New York Theater Workshop|||
|2003||Salome by Oscar Wilde:
|The Young Syrian
(Captain of the
|April 30 – June 12, 2003||Ethel Barrymore Theater||Broadway debut|
|2003||St. Scarlet||Director||June 13 – July 12, 2003||Ontological Theater at
St. Mark's Church
|2004||Motel Blues: Management||Mike||March 25 – April 11, 2004||Apartment 929 at
Greenwich Street Theatre
|2004||The Seagull||Treplev||May 24–29, 2004||White Heron Theater company at
Second Stage Theatre
|2004||The Cherry Orchard||Trofimov||August 11–22, 2004||Williamstown Theatre Festival at
Adams Memorial Theater
|2004||Late Night, Early Morning||October 21–31, 2004||2004 Tribeca Theatre Festival|||
Awards and nominationsEdit
- "Chris Messina". AllMovie. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
- Chang, Kee (January 23, 2012). "Sundance '12: Q&A with Chris Messina". Anthem. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- Champagne, Christine (October 19, 2007). "10 Actors To Watch: Chris Messina : 'Six Feet Under' Actor Emerges With Full Slate". Variety. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- Messina goes to the DEVIL for Shyamalan and the Dowdles Archived October 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Duboff, Josh (April 29, 2010). "When We Leave Scores Top Honors At Tribeca Film Festival". Vulture. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
- "Chris Messina Joins Damages". TVGuide.com. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
- "Chris Messina on Starring in What Seems Like Everything". Vulture. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- "Chris Messina and his wife, who have two children together, expecting another baby?". Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Christopher Rosen (August 3, 2012). "Chris Messina, 'Celeste And Jesse Forever' Star, On His Crazy Year". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
- Caitlyn Callegari (September 9, 2014). "Who Is Jennifer Todd? 'Mindy Project' Star Chris Messina Has a Highly Successful Partner". bustle.com. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
- "Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards list (2012)". Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- "Lortel Archives: Internet Off-Broadway Database listing for "The American Clock"". Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "The American Clock". The Commonwealth Foundation. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Sommer, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review: The American Clock". CurtainUp.com. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Daniels, Robert L. (October 25, 1997). "Legit Reviews: The American Clock". Variety.
- McGrath, Sean. "All Seasons Group at NYC's E.S.T., Aug. 9-20". The Group. Playbill. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Goldberg, Jessica. Refuge. Dramatists Play Service Inc. p. 3.
- Weber, Bruce. "Theater Review: Those Credible Aliens, Not Quite Adult and Well Beyond Reason". The Hologram Theory. New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "PHOTO CALL: Colors Come Out At Hologram Theory Opening March 27". Hologram Theory. Playbill. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Finkle, David. "Review: The Hologram Theory". Theatermania.com.
- Bacalzo, Dan. "Review: The Light Outside". Theatermania.com.
- "The Light Outside: Ticket information". Theatermania.com.
- VanGelder, Lawrence (January 20, 2001). "THEATER REVIEW; Got the Horse Right Here, Its Name Is Tamicanfly". New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- "Lortel Archives: Internet off-Broadway Database listing for "Blur"". Archived from the original on April 4, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Weber, Bruce. "Theater Review: Through the Eyes of the Beholder". Blur. New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Lortel Archives: Internet Off-Broadway Database listing for "Good Thing"". Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Weber, Bruce. "Theater Review: A Competition in Squalor From Adjoining Kitchens". Good Thing. New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Finkle, David. "Review: Good Thing". Theatermania.com.
- "Lortel Archives: Internet Off-Broadway Database listing for "This Thing of Darkness"". Archived from the original on August 25, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Lortel Archives: Internet Off-Broadway Database listing for "Faster"". Archived from the original on January 19, 2005. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Isherwood, Charles. "Legit Reviews: Faster". Variety. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Lortel Archives: Internet Off Broadway Database listing for "Far Away"". Archived from the original on September 1, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "IBDB listing for "Salome"".
- "Who's Who in the Cast: Salome". Playbill. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "OffOffOff Theater Review of "St. Scarlet"". OffOffOff.com.
- Weber, Bruce. "Theater Review: Siblings at Odds, A Stranger Uninvited". St. Scarlet. New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Motel Blues: Show information". Theatermania.com.
- "CurtainUp Review of "Motel Blues"". CurtainUp.com.
- Isaac, Dan. "Review: The Seagull". Backstage.com.
- Brantley, Ben. "THEATER REVIEW; Conflicting Impulses Of Chekhov's Last Play". The Cherry Orchard. New York Times.
- Rizzo, Frank. "Legit Reviews: The Cherry Orchard". Variety. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Williamstown Theatre Festival webpage". wtfestival.org. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013.
- Willis, John; Ben Hodges. Theatre World, Vol 61, 2004-2005. p. 231.