John C. Reilly Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (25)  | Personal Quotes (17)

Overview (3)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameJohn Christopher Reilly
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Character actor, dramatic leading man, or hilarious comic foil? With an astonishing range of roles already under his belt, John C. Reilly has played an eclectic host of rich characters to great effect over the years, from seedy ne'er-do-wells, to lovable, good-natured schlepps.

The fifth of six children, John Christopher Reilly was born in Chicago, to a father of mostly Irish descent, and a Lithuanian-American mother, and was brought up on Chicago's tough Southwest territory. His father, also named John, ran an industrial linen supply company business. On the amateur stage from age eight, Reilly trained at the Goodman School of Drama and eventually became a member of Chicago's renowned Steppenwolf Theatre.

His film break came with a small role in the Vietnam War drama Casualties of War (1989), wherein Brian De Palma liked his work so much during the early stages that he recast him in a major role by the start of shooting as a soldier bent on rape. Reilly gained momentum throughout the 1990s and showed his dazzling stretch of talent in such films as Days of Thunder (1990), Shadows and Fog (1991), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and The River Wild (1994). He became a major stock player in director Paul Thomas Anderson's films, while finding some of his best roles in Hard Eight (1996) as a compulsive gambler, Boogie Nights (1997) in which he played a narcissistic porn star, and in Magnolia (1999) as a compassionate policeman. He went on to earn further critical points for his role of the soldier sent to the front lines in Terrence Malick's war epic The Thin Red Line (1998).

On stage, Reilly has wowed audiences in "The Grapes of Wrath" on Broadway, "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Othello" at Steppenwolf, and earned an Outer Critics Circle Award and Tony nomination for "True West" alongside another impeccable character player Philip Seymour Hoffman. Reilly finally received the film recognition he deserved in 2002 with a slew of choice, high-profile parts in The Hours (2002), The Good Girl (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), and especially Chicago (2002) as the put-upon husband, Amos Hart, who is played for a patsy by murderous wife Roxie (Renée Zellweger). For this last part, he received both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.

Since then his stock has risen considerably, and he has further widened his cinematic repertoire, appearing in everything from dramatic roles - We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), The Aviator (2004) and Carnage (2011) - to broader comic turns - Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Step Brothers (2008), Cyrus (2010) and Cedar Rapids (2011). Most recently, he has voiced the lead in Disney's animated smash Wreck-It Ralph (2012).

Reilly is married to producer Alison Dickey.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Alison Dickey (1992 - present) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Curly brown hair

Trivia (25)

Received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from DePaul University's Goodman School of Drama (Chicago) [1987]
Originated the role of Marty in the 2002 musical "Marty" (book by Rupert Holmes, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams), based on the 1955 movie Marty (1955).
In April 2004, he left the filming of Manderlay (2005) to be replaced by Slovenian actor Zeljko Ivanek. According to a report in Entertainment Weekly, he did so to protest against the killing of a donkey during production.
Attended DePaul University in Chicago.
John is a wonderful singer who came out of a musical theater background. He did all of his own singing in Chicago (2002).
In 2003, he starred in three out of the five movies nominated for Best Picture. They are Chicago (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Hours (2002). All of these films were produced by Miramax Films.
Made a home video of himself singing in a bow tie and suit for director Rob Marshall who gave him his role in Chicago (2002).
John's father's ancestry was three quarters Irish, one eighth German, one sixteenth French-Canadian, and one sixteenth Scottish. John's maternal grandparents, Clemens Petronis and Veronica Strelciunas, were Lithuanian. He is the fifth of six children.
Director Antoine Fuqua wanted to cast him in his since aborted crime epic "Tru Blu" with Denzel Washington and Benicio Del Toro.
For not only his broad, almost 6' 2" frame, curly hair, and everyman's mug, but also his straight-forward but thoughtful acting style, Reilly has frequently been dubbed "his generation's Gene Hackman".
Was nominated for Broadway's 2000 Tony Award as Best Actor (Play) for a revival of Sam Shepard's "True West."
Graduated from Brother Rice High School on the South Side of Chicago.
In addition to having worked with Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator (2004), he has also worked with two other actors who played Howard Hughes: Jason Robards (from Melvin and Howard (1980)) in Magnolia (1999), and Tommy Lee Jones (from The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977)) in A Prairie Home Companion (2006).
Was member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005.
Is a Chicago White Sox fan.
Lost a few pounds to play the rock star title character in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007).
In the tradition of Alan Young's Filby from The Time Machine (1960), Reilly plays a teenager aged 14 in his forties - aged 41, for Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007).
He met his wife in Thailand while he was filming Casualties of War (1989), who, at the time, was Sean Penn's assistant.
His first plane ride was to Thailand to film Casualties of War (1989).
Will play the iconic role of Stanley Kowalski in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire". [March 2005]
Has frequently played a naive husband, oblivious to his wife's resentment of him, in Chicago (2002), The Hours (2002) and We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011).
As of 2015, has appeared in five films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Thin Red Line (1998), Chicago (2002), The Hours (2002), Gangs of New York (2002) and The Aviator (2004). Of those, Chicago (2002) is a winner in the category.
Appeared in four films along Sean Penn: Casualties of War (1989), We're No Angels (1989), State of Grace (1990) and The Thin Red Line (1998).
Friends with Will Ferrell.
Nominated for the 2019 Golden Globe Award in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy category for his role as Oliver Hardy in Stan & Ollie (2018), but lost to Christian Bale for Vice (2018).

Personal Quotes (17)

(On his reputation as "character actor" rather than leading man): I think there's something about me...that people can relate to. And, you know, beauty can be its own prison.
I grew up a Catholic and went regularly to church. When I made the decision to make acting my vocation, I used to joke that the theatre is my church now. But, especially doing live theatre, where you have to do eight performances in six days, you really have to kind of live like a monk. Then you go to this big, dark place and experience emotions, and it's very spiritual.
"The C stands for Christopher. You can blame the union for that. The Screen Actors Guild make you do it if there's another member with the same name. I wasn't going to change my name, so I just included the middle one. It was a decision I had to make on Casualties of War (1989), my first film in 1989. I got a phone call and had to fly out to Thailand where Brian De Palma was shooting and it was a sudden decision, and I'm stuck with it. So I'm glad I didn't go for a stupid and exotic-sounding name just to grab attention, or you could be talking to a man named Tallulah or something".
Not because I find fame difficult, but because I fear that if you're too well known, you lose the ability to surprise your audience and that's what I like my characters to do. I can still get away with it, I think. I mean, those kids in the lobby didn't know my name and I did an interview yesterday where they looked very confused when I walked in. Turns out they were expecting Philip Seymour Hoffman, though they didn't really know his name either - they just sort of said to me: 'Have you lost weight and dyed your hair?"
I was a bit of a freak, but because I had a few older brothers I was afforded protection and people just kind of let me join their gangs. I was a kind of Zelig figure, moving between different groups. I'd hang with the jocks, the burn-outs, the academic types and I could empathise with all of them. I was curious about all of them, but I know I never felt I fitted in with them, you know? It sounds odd saying it now, but I just wasn't right there - until I started doing plays and then it was, like: "Ah, my people."
In Chicago it's really a case of the play's the thing - people are just so happy to be acting, you know? We were all actors - not like in New York or Los Angeles, where everyone says they are actors but they are actually waiting tables and hustling for spots in commercials. We might not have been paid very much, but we were doing what we wanted to do and I got a lot of experience that way, a lot of versatility, so I was ready when a big chance came along.
I love that people can't place me. They don't know my name. That's 'mission accomplished' in my world.
I view my strongest competition as myself. You're always trying to top yourself, rather than worrying about what other people are doing.
I live on the east side of LA. I don't think I could live in LA if I didn't live on the east side. I want to live in a place that's an accurate reflection of the world, you know? I want to see people of all races and economic backgrounds. I think one of the problems with Hollywood actors is that they fortify themselves in these castles on the west side, and I don't know how you can really be a truthful actor if you're not out learning about the human experience and getting to know all different people. And so I feel really lucky that I have that in the neighborhood that I live in.
[2006 - On success] I'm still paranoid about money and that this can be the last one. I never get ahead of myself, thinking, 'I've made it, baby!'
[on his children] When they turn 21, if they want to be public people, they can be public people - until then, I'm going to shelter them.
[on making Days of Thunder (1990)] I love Tom Cruise and think he's a great actor, but at the time it was all about working with Robert Duvall. That movie was a bizarre experience. I was coming off serious movies and suddenly there's Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer in their fucking heyday like "Sodom and Gomorrah". It was a fall from grace for me as a young man to see the decadence of that movie and Hollywood at its most extreme -- $100,000 parties and recruiting girls off the beach to come be extras. It was nuts.
[on making Hard Eight (1996) (aka "Hard Eight")] "Hard Eight" was like we billed somebody's rich uncle and were getting away with some crazy scheme out in the desert and had to finish before anyone figured out what happened. Gwyneth Paltrow was fairly new in the movie business and it was exciting, all of us giddy with getting to know each other. We knew we were doing a good, original movie.
[2000] Hey, I'm just trying to become the Michael Caine/Gene Hackman of my generation.
(2011) I don't deliberately go into comedy or go into indies, but I do deliberately try to keep changing tact, because I think that is the key to longevity in a career. To continually surprise people. It just gets boring if you start to do the same thing, it just gets boring on a personal level. I try to keep myself from being bored. I'm sort of a restless person, in general, so I try to do stuff that keeps me engaged.
[2011, on Carnage (2011)] Living in Paris, first of all, was amazing. I was there for about 10 weeks, altogether. It's 90 minutes in real time in one location with these four people. It was a really intense experience getting to know everyone. Intense in a good way. Jodie Foster plays my wife, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz are the other couple; luckily there wasn't a diva in the bunch, Roman Polanski included, because it would have been tough. The set was the size of two rooms. We were in there everyday, all day, five days a week. Every character is in every minute of the script. There's no time jumps at all.
[on how smart directors work with actors] You want to get everything you can out of somebody - you didn't hire them just to execute ideas you've already thought of. Hopefully they can do that, adapt to your vision, but hopefully they're going to bring you ideas you would have never thought of without them.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed