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John Paul Cusack (/ˈkjuːsæk/; born June 28, 1966)[1] is an American actor, producer, and screenwriter. He began acting in films during the 1980s and has since starred in a number of movies, including Better Off Dead (1985), Say Anything... (1989), Bullets over Broadway (1994), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), Being John Malkovich (1999), High Fidelity (2000), 1408 (2007), Igor (2008), 2012 (2009), The Raven (2012) and Love and Mercy (2014).

John Cusack
John Cusack Cannes 2014.jpg
Born
John Paul Cusack

(1966-06-28) June 28, 1966 (age 53)
ResidenceChicago, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationActor, producer, screenwriter
Years active1983–present
Parent(s)Dick Cusack
Nancy Cusack
FamilyAnn Cusack (sister)
Joan Cusack (sister)

Early lifeEdit

Cusack was born in 1966 in Evanston, Illinois. He was born into an Irish Catholic family, the son of writer-actor-producer and documentary filmmaker Richard J. Cusack, originally from New York City[2][3][4] and Ann Paula "Nancy" (née Carolan) Cusack, originally from Massachusetts, a former mathematics teacher and political activist.[2][5] His father, Richard Cusack (1925–2003), was an actor, along with John's siblings Ann, Joan; additional siblings are Bill and Susie.[2] They had moved from Manhattan, New York, to Illinois.[6] Richard was also a documentary filmmaker[7] who owned a film production company[8] and was a friend of activist Philip Berrigan.[9] Cusack graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1984, where he met Jeremy Piven,[10] and spent a year at New York University before dropping out, saying that he had "too much fire in his belly".[11]

CareerEdit

 
Cusack in Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

Cusack began acting in films in the early 1980s. He made his breakout role in Rob Reiner's The Sure Thing (1985). He also starred in Cameron Crowe's directorial debut film, Say Anything... (1989). Cusack played a con artist in Stephen Frears' 1990 neo-noir film The Grifters. After establishing New Crime Productions, Cusack co-wrote the screenplay for and starred in George Armitage's crime film Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), in which he played an assassin who goes to his 10-year high school reunion to win back his high school sweetheart.[12]

In Spike Jonze's fantasy film Being John Malkovich (1999), Cusack played a puppeteer who finds a portal leading into the mind of the eponymous actor, John Malkovich. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Director (Jonze), Best Original Screenplay (Charlie Kaufman) and Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Keener). Cusack was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance in High Fidelity (2000), based on Nick Hornby's novel. In Roland Emmerich's disaster film 2012 (2009), he played a struggling novelist who attempts to survive the apocalypse and save mankind. Cusack played Edgar Allan Poe in James McTeigue's biopic film The Raven (2012) and starred in David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars (2014).[13]

Later, he starred in video on demand films, including The Factory, The Numbers Station, The Frozen Ground, Drive Hard (2014), The Prince (2014), Reclaim (2014), Cell (2016), Arsenal (2017), Blood Money (2017) and Singularity (2017).

In 2014, Cusack criticized Hollywood saying the mega-corporations have stepped in with 50-producer movies, franchises being king, and stars being used as leverage. He called Hollywood, "a whorehouse and people go mad."[14]

PoliticsEdit

Between 2005 and 2009, Cusack wrote blogs for The Huffington Post, which included an interview with Naomi Klein. He voiced his opposition to the war in Iraq and the Bush administration, calling the Bush administration's worldview "depressing, corrupt, unlawful, and tragically absurd".[15] He also appeared in a June 2008 MoveOn.org advertisement, where he made the claim that George W. Bush and John McCain have the same governing priorities.[16]

Cusack criticized the Obama administration for its drone policy in the Middle East and its support of the National Defense Authorization Act, and became one of the initial supporters of the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2012. In June 2015, he stated in an interview with The Daily Beast that "when you talk about drones, the American Empire, the NSA, civil liberties, attacks on journalism and whistleblowers, (Obama) is as bad or worse than Bush".[17] However, he later scolded the publication for misquoting him in order to make an interesting headline.[18][19]

In 2015, Cusack, Daniel Ellsberg and Arundhati Roy met Edward Snowden, a fugitive from the US because of his leaks of classified information, at a Moscow hotel room.[20] This meeting was converted into a book co-authored with Roy titled Things That Can and Cannot Be Said.[21] The book is mainly a transcript of the conversation between Snowden, Roy, and Cusack, with a selection of relevant photos and illustrations as well as a detailed list of references.

Cusack endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in his 2016 and 2020 presidential bids.[22][23] He is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.[24]

He is anti-war, having tweeted, “Being anti-war — is pro-troops — pro-human”.[25][26]

Israeli-Palestinian conflictEdit

During the 2014 Israel Gaza conflict, Cusack supported the Palestinians on social media.[27] He tweeted from the region a number of pro-Gaza articles.[28] One tweet read, "Bombing people who can't escape not [sic] defense - does not mean one supports Hamas means to be against murder as solution to political problem".

In 2018, after Lorde cancelled performances in Israel due to pressure from the BDS movement, Cusack was among more than a hundred writers, actors, director, and musicians who signed a letter defending Lorde's "freedom of conscience".[29][30]

Antisemitic tweet controversyEdit

In June 2019, Cusack was widely condemned[31] for an antisemitic tweet[32][33][34] featuring an image of a large fist with of a blue Star of David crushing a small crowd of people next to a quote misattributed to Voltaire: "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize". The quote is actually that of white supremacist and neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom.[35][36] In the tweet, Cusack added the words "Follow the money". He later blamed it on a "bot", then defended it, then apologized and deleted the tweet.[31][35][37][34][32]

Personal lifeEdit

 
Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe in The Raven

Cusack trained in kickboxing under former world kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez for over two decades. He began training under Urquidez in preparation for his role in Say Anything... and holds the rank of a level six black belt in Urquidez's Ukidokan Kickboxing system.[38]

In March 2008, police arrested Emily Leatherman outside Cusack's Malibu, California home for stalking him. On October 10, 2008, Leatherman pleaded no contest and received five years' probation and mandatory psychiatric counseling, and was ordered to stay away from Cusack, his home, and business for the next ten years.[39]

When asked in 2009 why he had never married, he answered, "society doesn't tell me what to do."[40]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Class Roscoe Maibaum
1984 Sixteen Candles Bryce
1984 Grandview, U.S.A. Johnny Maine
1985 The Sure Thing Walter "Gib" Gibson
1985 Better Off Dead Lane Meyer
1985 The Journey of Natty Gann Harry
1986 Stand by Me Dennis "Denny" Lachance
1986 One Crazy Summer Hoops McCann
1987 Hot Pursuit Dan Bartlett
1987 Broadcast News Angry Messenger
1988 Tapeheads Ivan Alexeev
1988 Eight Men Out Buck Weaver
1989 Say Anything... Lloyd Dobler
1989 Fat Man and Little Boy Michael Merriman
1990 The Grifters Roy Dillon
1991 True Colors Peter Burton
1991 Shadows and Fog Student Jack
1992 Roadside Prophets Caspar
1992 The Player Himself Cameo
1992 Map of the Human Heart The Mapmaker
1992 Bob Roberts Cutting Edge Host
1993 Money for Nothing Joey Coyle
1994 Floundering JC
1994 Bullets over Broadway David Shayne
1994 The Road to Wellville Charles Ossining
1996 City Hall Deputy Mayor Kevin Calhoun
1997 Grosse Pointe Blank Martin Q. Blank Also co-writer and producer
1997 Con Air U.S. Marshal Vince Larkin
1997 Chicago Cab Scary Man
1997 Anastasia Dimitri Voice
1997 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil John Kelso
1998 This Is My Father Eddie Sharp
1998 The Thin Red Line Captain Gaff
1999 Pushing Tin Nick Falzone
1999 Cradle Will Rock Nelson Rockefeller
1999 Being John Malkovich Craig Schwartz
2000 High Fidelity Rob Gordon Also co-writer and producer
2001 America's Sweethearts Eddie Thomas
2001 Serendipity Jonathan Trager
2002 Max Max Rothman Also associate producer
2002 Adaptation Himself Uncredited cameo
2003 Identity Edward "Ed" Dakota
2003 Runaway Jury Nicholas Easter
2005 Must Love Dogs Jake Anderson
2005 The Ice Harvest Charlie Arglist
2006 The Contract Ray Keene
2007 Grace Is Gone Stanley Philipps Also producer
2007 1408 Michael "Mike" Enslin
2007 Martian Child David Gordon
2008 War, Inc. Brand Hauser Also co-writer and producer
2008 Igor Igor Voice
2009 2012 Jackson Curtis
2010 Hot Tub Time Machine Adam Yates Also producer
2010 Shanghai Paul Soames
2012 The Raven Edgar Allan Poe
2012 The Paperboy Hillary Van Wetter
2012 The Factory Mike Fletcher Direct-to-VOD
2013 The Numbers Station Emerson Kent Direct-to-VOD
2013 The Frozen Ground Robert Hansen Direct-to-VOD
2013 The Butler Richard Nixon
2013 Grand Piano Clem
2013 Adult World Rat Billings
2014 The Bag Man Jack
2014 Maps to the Stars Stafford Weiss
2014 Drive Hard Simon Keller Direct-to-VOD
2014 The Prince Sam Direct-to-VOD
2014 Love & Mercy Brian Wilson
2014 Reclaim Benjamin Direct-to-VOD
2015 Dragon Blade Lucius Released in China
2015 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Adam Yates Deleted cameo
2015 Chi-Raq Fr. Mike Corridan
2016 Cell Clayton Riddell Also executive producer, direct-to-VOD
2017 Arsenal Sal Direct-to-VOD
2017 Blood Money Miller Direct-to-VOD
2017 Singularity Elias van Dorne Direct-to-VOD
2018 River Runs Red Horace
2019 Never Grow Old Dutch Albert
2019 Distorted Vernon Sarsfield

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Frasier Greg Voice; Episode: "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven"
1999 The Jack Bull Myrl Redding Television film; also executive producer
2014 Wall Street Ted Unaired pilot; also executive producer
2014 Doll & Em John Episode: "Three"
2019 Utopia Dr. Kevin Christie Upcoming; series regular

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1989 Chicago Film Critics Association Most Promising Actor Say Anything... Won
1999 Independent Spirit Awards Best Male Lead Being John Malkovich Nominated
1999 Online Film Critics Society Best Ensemble Being John Malkovich Nominated
1999 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Being John Malkovich Nominated
2000 American Comedy Awards Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) Being John Malkovich Nominated
2000 BAFTA Best Adapted Screenplay High Fidelity Nominated
2000 Empire Awards Best Actor High Fidelity Nominated
2000 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy High Fidelity Nominated
2000 Teen Choice Awards Choice Hissy Fit High Fidelity Nominated
2000 University of Southern California Scripter Award High Fidelity Nominated
2000 Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay High Fidelity Nominated
2001 American Comedy Awards Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) High Fidelity Nominated
2007 Saturn Awards Best Actor 1408 Nominated
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actor – Sci-Fi 2012 Nominated
2013 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture The Butler Nominated
2014 Canadian Screen Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Maps to the Stars Won

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Famous birthdays for June 28: Kathy Bates, John Cusack". UPI. June 28, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2019. Actor John Cusack in 1966
  2. ^ a b c "Cusack, Richard J.[obituary]". Chicago Tribune. 2003-06-03. Archived from the original on September 29, 2018. Retrieved 2010-08-27. Richard J. Cusack, writer/producer/actor, beloved husband of Nancy, nee Carolan; loving father of Ann, Joan (Richard) Burke, Bill, John and Susie
  3. ^ Alstead, Robert (December 16, 2003). "John Cusack Takes Five [interview]". UK: iofilm. Archived from the original on October 22, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2017. Born into an Irish Catholic family in the Chicago suburb of Evanston in 1966, Cusack's father, Dick, was an actor and documentary maker and his mother, Nancy, a teacher. His sisters, Joan and Susie are actors....
  4. ^ "John Cusack Interview-Max Movie". About.com Hollywood Movies. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2015. I was raised Catholic....
  5. ^ "Miss Carolan, Newton Centre, Is Bride of Richard Cusack". Daily Boston Globe. February 14, 1960.
  6. ^ "Newton Girl Plans February Wedding". Daily Boston Globe. December 6, 1959.
  7. ^ "Being John Cusack." guardian.co.uk. July 1, 2000.
  8. ^ John Cusack Biography (1966-). FilmReference.com.
  9. ^ "Actor John johan on Hitler, politics and his movie 'Max'." Beliefnet.com.
  10. ^ Johnson, Grace (May 12, 2009). "ETHS boasts celebrity graduates". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  11. ^ Duthel, C. (2012). Angelina Jolie - The Lightning Star. p. 323. ISBN 978-1-4710-8935-0.
  12. ^ "Actor John Cusack." NPR.org.
  13. ^ "Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Sarah Gadon Join Robert Pattinson and in Maps to the Stars". Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  14. ^ Barnes, Henry H. (2014-09-25). "John Cusack: 'Hollywood is a whorehouse and people go mad'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  15. ^ John Cusack - Politics on The Huffington Post.
  16. ^ "John Cusack Stars In MoveOn's New McCain Ad". Huffington Post. Associated Press. June 11, 2008.
  17. ^ Stern, Marlow. "John Cusack Talks 'Love & Mercy,' Drug Trips, and the Ways Obama Is 'Worse Than Bush'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  18. ^ "John Cusack on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  19. ^ "John Cusack on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  20. ^ Roy, Arundhati (November 28, 2015). "Edward Snowden meets Arundhati Roy and John Cusack: 'He was small and lithe, like a house cat'". The Guardian. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  21. ^ "Things That Can and Cannot Be Said". Penguin Books. October 5, 2016.
  22. ^ John Cusack [@johncusack] (August 25, 2015). "Why I Endorse Bernie Sanders" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  23. ^ Cusack, John [@johncusack] (February 19, 2019). "Join @OurRevolution Bernie wants 1 mill people in every state committed to changing America" (Tweet). Retrieved February 20, 2019 – via Twitter.
  24. ^ @johncusack (November 7, 2017). "What you mean join ;)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  25. ^ Kline, Jennifer (May 23, 2019). "John Cusack Tells Trump Fans: 'You Don't Support Troops More Than Me'".
  26. ^ Stimson, Brie (May 23, 2019). "John Cusack defends not standing 'fast enough' for Wrigley Field military salute".
  27. ^ Sullivan, Gail (August 5, 2014). "Celebrities get nasty over Gaza and Israel". The Washington Post.
  28. ^ D'Zurilla, Christie (August 1, 2014). "Madonna lobs shirtless pics in celebs' Israel-Gaza opinion campaign". Los Angeles Times.
  29. ^ Ritman, Alex (June 28, 2018). "Filmmakers Back Right to Boycott Israel Following German Festival Controversy". Hollywood Reporter.
  30. ^ "Lorde's artistic right to cancel gig in Tel Aviv". The Guardian. January 5, 2018.
  31. ^ a b Spiro, Amy (June 18, 2019). "John Cusack Slammed for Antisemitic Retweet". The Jerusalem Post.
  32. ^ a b Pulver, Andrew (June 18, 2019). "John Cusack under fire for antisemitic 'follow the money' tweet". The Guardian.
  33. ^ "John Cusack: Actor apologises for anti-Semitic tweet". BBC. June 18, 2019.
  34. ^ a b Andrews-Dyer, Helena (June 18, 2019). "John Cusack apologizes for anti-Semitic tweet — after defending why he posted it". The Washington Post.
  35. ^ a b "John Cusack Slammed After Posting 'pro-Palestinian' Meme With neo-Nazi Quote". Haaretz. June 18, 2019.
  36. ^ Hunt, Elle (November 27, 2015). "Cory Bernardi mistakenly 'quotes' Voltaire on Twitter with neo-Nazi's line". The Guardian.
  37. ^ Moniusko, Sara M (June 18, 2019). "John Cusack apologizes for re-tweeting anti-Semitic image after initially blaming 'bot'". USA Today.
  38. ^ Ukidokan Black Belts and Levels Archived 2010-03-12 at the Wayback Machine. URL accessed on March 19, 2010.
  39. ^ Accused John Cusack stalker, Emily Leatherman, accepts plea deal. New York Daily News. October 10, 2008.
  40. ^ Andrew Goldman, "Being John Cusack", Elle magazine, November 23, 2009. URL accessed on January 20, 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit