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Jason Lee Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (11) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 25 April 1970Orange, California, USA
Birth NameJason Michael Lee
Height 6' 1½" (1.87 m)

Mini Bio (1)

With a flourishing career that includes an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in writer-director Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy (1997) and memorable roles in multiple features for such directors as Smith, Cameron Crowe and Lawrence Kasdan, Jason Lee has solidly established himself among critics, directors and peers.

Jason Michael Lee was born and raised in Orange County, California, to Carol Lynn (Weaver) and Gregory E. Lee, a car dealership manager. Jason took up skateboarding at age 13. By 18, he was on the professional skateboarding circuit, where he wowed legions of young fans and popularized a move called the "360 flip". Inspired to tap into the commercial aspect of the sport, Lee and a friend started the twin companies "Stereo Skateboards" and "Stereo Sounds Clothing". After moving to Los Angeles during his early twenties, however, he began developing an interest in acting. "I met friends that were actors and thought maybe I should try it out", says Lee, who appeared in commercials and music videos. "After watching Steve Buscemi as the bellboy in Barton Fink (1991), I knew I wanted to be in movies", he says.

In the early 1990s, Lee took his skateboarding tricks in front of the camera, appearing in several music videos - including one for the Sonic Youth song "100%", directed by Spike Jonze. Lee got his first taste of straight acting the next year, when he turned up alongside Jonze as a teenage drug customer in Allison Anders's Mi vida loca (1993).

Lee's big break came in 1995 with the lead role in writer-director Kevin Smith's comedy, Mallrats (1995), in which he deftly portrayed the inconsiderate slacker, "Brodie". While the film was almost universally panned, Lee received high marks from critics and audiences for his turn as "cynical sidekick" Brodie Bruce. Smith was so pleased with Brodie that he wrote a part for Lee in his next film, Chasing Amy (1997): Ben Affleck's character's cranky roommate and comic book partner, "Banky". Lee won an Independent Spirit Award for his performance.

After appearing in several indies and a made-for-TV movie, Lee crossed over into mainstream circles with Kissing a Fool (1998). Starring opposite David Schwimmer and Mili Avital, he played a writer who works through his last breakup by writing a book.

Lee went on to showcase his intuitive timing as the demonic "Azrael" in Smith's supernatural comedy, Dogma (1999). Lee also starred in writer-director Cameron Crowe's ensemble feature, Almost Famous (2000), in the role of "Jeff Bebe", the lead singer of a 1970s rock band called "Stillwater". The film won the Golden Globe award for Best Film. He then re-teamed with Crowe on the writer-director's Vanilla Sky (2001), for Paramount Pictures. Lee played the best friend to Tom Cruise's character. In 2001, he also worked again with Smith in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001).

After working with director Lawrence Kasdan in the ensemble comedy, Mumford (1999), Lee reunited for the director's suspense thriller, Dreamcatcher (2003). Other film credits include writer-director Rebecca Miller's The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005) with Daniel Day-Lewis and Catherine Keener; director Barry Sonnenfeld's ensemble comedy, Big Trouble (2002); and Enemy of the State (1998).

In 2003, he played the lead role in the studio comedy A Guy Thing (2003), although the film did not end up faring well with critics and was a disappointment at the box office. Lee bounced as the voice of "Syndrome" in Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar's Award-winning animated feature The Incredibles (2004). He also voiced a character in Sony's motion-capture feature Monster House (2006) about three teenagers who discover their neighbor's house is a monster, and voiced the title character in Underdog (2007), Spyglass Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures' live-action adaptation of the classic 1960s cartoon.

In 2005, creator Gregory Thomas Garcia offered Lee the lead role in the comedy series My Name Is Earl (2005), although Lee originally turned it down Garcia convinced him to take the role. The show is about a hapless crook who has an epiphany after winning a small fortune in the lottery. Determined to change his karma, "Earl" sets out to right all the wrongs he's inflicted on people. During "Earl's" tenure on the air Lee received two Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a TV Series Musical or Comedy, and three SAG nominations for Outstanding Actor in a TV Series Musical or Comedy. In May 2009 My Name is Earl was canceled due to ratings that wound down. In summer 2006, Lee wrote and directed the short film, "The White Door" starring Giovanni Ribisi and Beth Riesgraf. During the four years on "Earl" Lee appeared in only a few films such as, Clerks II (2006) and Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) live action/CG film. In the latter film, he played "Dave Seville", the songwriter/father-figure to singing chipmunks "Alvin", "Simon" and "Theodore".

Lee is also a professional photographer, as well as an avid supporter and collector of the arts. When not working on personal projects, Lee photographs for Los Angeles-based Anthem magazine. He is also actively involved with his skateboard company, "Stereo Skateboards", which recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Biography Man and NIPR

Spouse (2)

Ceren Alkac (1 July 2008 - present) (1 child)
Carmen Llywelyn (1995 - 2001) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Distinctive Raspy Voice

Trivia (21)

Dropped out of high school to be a pro skate boarder.
Professional skateboarder. Retired from skateboarding in 1996 after being pro for 7 years.
Owner of Stereo manufacturing Corp. (Skateboard company)
Was cast as Loki in Dogma (1999), but had to take a smaller part (Azrael) because of scheduling conflicts, so the role went to Matt Damon. His performance as Azrael would lead to him being cast in The Incredibles (2004)
Mentioned a number of occasions in the autobiography of skating legend Tony Hawk, "Hawk: Occupation Skateboarder".
Given a shoe deal from Airwalk during his skateboarding days.
Attended Ocean View High School, (Huntington Beach, CA).
(September 28 2003) Son, Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf-Lee, born to Jason and ex-fiancée Beth Riesgraf. He and Beth were in a relationship from 2001-2007.
Became infamous for naming his son 'Pilot Inspektor'.
He has the ability to cross and un-cross his right eye. He does this frequently in My Name Is Earl (2005), usually while Earl is angry or intoxicated.
Wrote and produced a sitcom pilot in 1996 with Kevin Smith called "Hiatus" which had Lee in the starring role.
Godfather of Kevin Smith's daughter, Harley Quinn Smith.
Lives in the popular Los Angeles neighborhood of Silverlake. Other Silverlake locals include Beck, Bo Barrett, Christina Ricci, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling.
Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2008 Razzie Award nominating ballot. He was suggested in the Worst Actor category for his performances in the films Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) and Underdog (2007). He failed to receive a nomination however.
Jason and his girlfriend, Ceren Alkac, are expecting their first child together, due in Fall, 2008 [April 29, 2008].
Has voiced both a hero and a villain in Disney films - he played the voice of the title character in Underdog (2007) and was the voice of maniacal madman "Syndrome" in Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles (2004).
His Turkish/Australian model wife, Ceren Alkac, gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Casper, on August 10, 2008.
Was once on the same flight from LAX to Montreal with Jason Lee. They were both called to the front desk due to a seating mix-up during check-in.
His daughter, born in 2008, is named Casper.
During an interview with friend Kevin Smith, Lee stated that he was inspired to become an actor by the Coen brothers' film, Barton Fink (1991), particularly by Steve Buscemi's performance as "Chet".
Starting up "Stereo Skateboarding Company" again with partner Chris Pastras. [July 2003]

Personal Quotes (11)

On working with Lawrence Kasdan and Cameron Crowe, and Writer-Directors in general: I'd love to establish relationships with other writer-directors, too, but Chasing Amy (1997) is what got things going for me, and I'll always stick by Kevin.
On his performance as a rock star in Almost Famous (2000): "I wanted to be very serious about being a musician -- a guy who cares a lot about the music and the band and why we did it in the first place. We wanted to show an actual passion on stage with the intent of turning on the audience."
(On skateboarding injuries) I have scars on my knees from smashing into the corner of cement benches. I have scars on my pelvis from jumping off my board and sliding like Superman down a hill. One time I snapped my wrist in half and had to get a cast on my arm. Like an idiot, I skated before the cast was taken off, and I fell again and broke my other arm. For the next three months I had to brush my teeth using only my thumb and pinkie.
(2006 quote on fame) When you reach a certain status in Hollywood, you have to play a lot of games to stay in the limelight. It becomes more about being famous than being an actor. It's a cult of personality. Who's the It person this week? Who has the hottest girlfriend and the most bling-bling? Who showed up at the MTV Video Music Awards in a Hummer limousine? For me it's always more rewarding when people come up to me and say, "I loved you in Mumford. What's your name again?" That's how I've always wanted it to be.
(On My Name Is Earl (2005) and the perks of doing TV) The best thing about Earl is the steady income. I can do films if and when I want, as opposed to doing a film I don't really believe in because I have to pay the bills. I've never been at a Vince Vaughn or Ben Stiller level, so I don't get offered a lot of starring roles in comedy blockbusters. I've done some independent films that I'm proud of, but it's seven weeks of work for not much money. So then you have to find as many acting jobs as you can, just to keep up financially. "Earl" came along at the right time for me.
(On getting into acting) I was just curious about it, in much the same way you might be curious about how cars are made or how to get to the moon. It was naiveté. My girlfriend's mother was a talent manager, and when I told her I wanted to do movies, she said, "Okay, let's give it a shot." So many people would have said, "Oh, I don't know. Let's get you into some acting classes first and see how it goes." That would have been a bit deflating, and I think I would've lost interest.
(On retiring from skateboarding) When I decided to retire, I thought I was getting a little too old to be skating for a living. There was a lot of pressure to be at the top of my game all the time, and my heart just wasn't in it anymore. But I haven't given up skating completely. I still cruise around now and then just for fun. I'm way past my prime, so nobody expects much from me anymore.
(On My Name Is Earl (2005)) I was apprehensive about doing TV, because I didn't want to be known for a certain character. When I did Kissing a Fool (1998) with David Schwimmer, I realized how trapped he was by his role on Friends (1994). Everywhere we'd go, people would shout out to him, "Ross! Hey, Ross!" It's difficult to get away from the shadow of a TV character. I hope I've done enough movies that I won't be pigeonholed as "Earl" for the rest of my life.
[2010, on My Name Is Earl (2005) being canceled and landing Memphis Beat (2010)] I definitely miss "Earl" and working on the show. It was a shame the way they canceled it. We didn't get to finish the series. I was devastated; we were all confused. But I guess life goes on and now here I am working on something entirely different.
[on acting work before landing Mallrats (1995)] The most I ever did, really, was a small walk-on part in Mi vida loca (1993). I had done a Sonic Youth video that Spike Jonze shot where I was skateboarding. I flew to Malaysia to do skateboarding double work for a British Petroleum commercial. Other than that, I had headshots over the years here and there, and nothing ever came of it.
(2000 quote on his acting success) The day I become the jaded, cynical, asshole actor that takes it all for granted, doing parts just for money, is the day I get the fuck out of acting for good. I'll never let that happen.

Salary (1)

A Guy Thing (2003) $3,000,000

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