John Paul Cusack
June 28, 1966
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
|Relatives||Ann Cusack (sister)|
Joan Cusack (sister)
John Paul Cusack (//; born June 28, 1966) is an American actor, producer and screenwriter. He is a son of filmmaker Dick Cusack and the younger brother of actresses Joan and Ann Cusack.
Cusack began acting in films during the 1980s, starring in coming-of-age dramedies such as Sixteen Candles (1984), The Sure Thing (1985), Better Off Dead (1985), and Say Anything... (1989). He then started appearing in independent films such as Eight Men Out (1988), The Grifters (1990), True Colors (1991), and Bullets Over Broadway (1994). Cusack began appearing as a leading man in such film as the comedic films Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), the action thriller Con Air (1997), the animated musical Anastasia (1997), the psychological drama Being John Malkovich (1999), and the romantic comedies High Fidelity (2000), America's Sweethearts (2001), Serendipity (2001), and Must Love Dogs (2005). He also starred in Runaway Jury (2003), Grace Is Gone (2007), Martian Child (2007), Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), The Butler (2013), Maps to the Stars (2014), and Chi-Raq (2015). He portrayed Brian Wilson in the critically acclaimed musical biopic Love and Mercy (2015).
Cusack was born in Evanston, Illinois into an Irish Catholic family. His parents are writer-actor-producer and documentary filmmaker Richard J. "Dick" Cusack (1925–2003), originally from New York City, and Ann Paula "Nancy" Cusack (née Carolan; 1929–2022), originally from Massachusetts, a former mathematics teacher and political activist. John's older sisters, Ann and Joan, are also actors. Cusack has two other siblings, Bill and Susie. The family moved from Manhattan, New York, to Illinois and were friends of activist Philip Berrigan. Cusack graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1984, where he met Jeremy Piven, and spent a year at New York University before dropping out, saying that he had "too much fire in his belly".
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.
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, and also appeared in America's Sweethearts (2001), Serendipity (2001), Identity (2003), Runaway Jury (2003), Must Love Dogs (2005), The Ice Harvest (2005), The Contract (2006), Grace Is Gone (2007), 1408 (2007), Martian Child (2007), War, Inc. (2008).
Cusack starred as Jackson Curtis in Roland Emmerich's epic disaster film 2012 (2009), a struggling novelist who attempts to save his family during a global cataclysm.
Cusack also played Edgar Allan Poe in James McTeigue's biopic film The Raven (2012) and starred in David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars (2014).
Later, he starred in video on demand films, including The Factory, The Numbers Station, The Frozen Ground, Grand Piano (2013), 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 are king, and stars are used as leverage. He called Hollywood, "a whorehouse and people go mad."
He is anti-war, having tweeted, "Being anti-war — is pro-troops — pro-human". 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 Bush's administration, calling the government's worldview "depressing, corrupt, unlawful, and tragically absurd". He also appeared in a June 2008 MoveOn.org advertisement, where he said that George W. Bush and John McCain had the same governing priorities.
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". He later criticized the publication for misquoting him in order to make an interesting headline.
In 2015, Cusack, Daniel Ellsberg and Arundhati Roy met Edward Snowden, who had fled the US because of his leaks of classified information surrounding illegal population surveillance, at a Moscow hotel room. This meeting was converted into a book co-authored with Roy titled Things That Can and Cannot Be Said.
Cusack endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in his 2016 and 2020 presidential bids. He is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
During the 2014 Israel Gaza conflict, Cusack supported the Palestinians on social media. 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 after a request from the BDS movement, Cusack was among more than one hundred writers, actors, director, and musicians who signed a letter defending Lorde's freedom of conscience.
In June 2019, Cusack wrote a tweet featuring an image of a large fist with a blue Star of David crushing a small crowd of people next to a quote often misattributed to Voltaire: "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize". In the tweet, Cusack added the words "Follow the money." He said that the tweet was meant to criticize Israel’s policies against Palestinians. He later apologized saying that "antisemitism has no place in any rational political dialogue" and deleted the tweet.
Cusack trained in kickboxing under former world kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez for over twenty years. 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.
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.
When asked in a 2009 interview why he had never married, Cusack answered, "Society doesn't tell me what to do."
|1984||Grandview, U.S.A.||Johnny Maine|
|1985||The Sure Thing||Walter "Gib" Gibson|
|1985||Better Off Dead||Lane Myer|
|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||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||Map of the Human Heart||The Mapmaker|
|1992||Bob Roberts||Cutting Edge Host|
|1993||Money for Nothing||Joey Coyle|
|1994||Bullets Over Broadway||David Shayne|
|1994||The Road to Wellville||Charles Ossining|
|1996||City Hall||Kevin Calhoun|
|1997||Grosse Pointe Blank||Martin Q. Blank||Also co-writer and producer|
|1997||Con Air||Vince Larkin|
|1997||Chicago Cab||Scary Man|
|1997||Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil||John Kelso|
|1998||This Is My Father||Eddie Sharp|
|1998||The Thin Red Line||Capt. 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|
|2002||Max||Max Rothman||Also associate producer|
|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||Direct-to-video|
|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|
|2010||Hot Tub Time Machine||Adam Yates||Also producer|
|2012||The Raven||Edgar Allan Poe|
|2012||The Paperboy||Hillary Van Wetter|
|2012||The Factory||Mike Fletcher||Direct-to-video|
|2013||The Numbers Station||Emerson Kent||Direct-to-video|
|2013||The Frozen Ground||Robert Hansen||Direct-to-video|
|2013||The Butler||Richard Nixon|
|2013||We Are Not Animals||Tony Lovecraft||Also co-writer and executive producer|
|2013||Adult World||Rat Billings|
|2014||The Bag Man||Jack||Direct-to-video|
|2014||Maps to the Stars||Stafford Weiss|
|2014||Drive Hard||Simon Keller||Direct-to-video|
|2014||Love & Mercy||Brian Wilson|
|2015||Chi-Raq||Fr. Mike Corridan|
|2016||Boom Bust Boom||Self||Documentary|
|2016||Cell||Clayton Riddell||Also executive producer; direct-to-video|
|2017||Singularity||Elias van Dorne||Direct-to-video|
|2018||River Runs Red||Horace||Direct-to-video|
|2019||Never Grow Old||Dutch Albert|
|1996||Frasier||Greg||Voice role; Episode: "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven"|
|1999||The Jack Bull||Myrl Redding||Television film; also executive producer|
|2014||Doll & Em||John||Episode: "Three"|
|2020||Utopia||Dr. Kevin Christie||8 episodes|
|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)||High Fidelity||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|
Richard J. Cusack, writer/producer/actor, beloved husband of Nancy, nee Carolan; loving father of Ann, Joan (Richard) Burke, Bill, John and Susie
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....
I was raised Catholic....