Peter Sarsgaard Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (18)  | Personal Quotes (10)  | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Belleville, Illinois, USA
Birth NameJohn Peter Sarsgaard
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Boyish-looking Peter Sarsgaard was born on March 7, 1971, at Scott Air Force Base, in Bellville, Illinois, to Judy Lea (Reinhardt) and John Dale Sarsgaard, an engineer who worked for the Air Force and later Monsanto and IBM. He is a graduate of St. Louis' Washington University, where he majored in history and literature.

Initially trained with the Actors' Studio in New York, Peter began in comedy and became a co-founder of the comedy improvisational group Mama's Pot Roast. Such off-Broadway productions included Horton Foote's "Laura Dennis" and John Cameron Mitchell's "Kingdom of Earth."

He made his screen debut in Tim Robbins' Dead Man Walking (1995) and was given more sizable roles in Desert Blue (1998) and The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), as the ill-fated son of the Musketeer Athos, played by John Malkovich. Peter then started gracing the art-house circuit, making a violent, searing impression as a homophobic killer in Boys Don't Cry (1999) starring two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank as a trans-gendered teen.

Other impressionable offbeat roles for Peter that have thrilled critics from coast to coast include Shattered Glass (2003), which earned him a slew of awards including the prestigious National Society of Film Critics Award. Prior to that, he showed off his versatility with portrayals ranging from a Russian nuclear reactor officer in K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) to a drug addict in The Salton Sea (2002). Other heralded performances include Garden State (2004) and, notably, Kinsey (2004).

On TV, Peter appeared in recurring/regular roles in several critically applauded series and mini-series including The Killing (2011), The Slap (2015), Wormwood (2017) (as ill-fated Army scientist Frank Olson), The Looming Tower (2018) and Running Naked in the Universe (2019). More recent films include Knight and Day (2010), the villain in the DC Comics entry Green Lantern (2011), the Woody Allen drama Blue Jasmine (2013), Experimenter (2015), Jackie (2016) (as Bobby Kennedy), The Magnificent Seven (2016), Loving Pablo (2017), The Sound of Silence (2019) and Human Capital (2019).

In 2009, Sarsgaard married actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and have two children. He co-starred in the movie she wrote and directed -- The Lost Daughter (2021) starring Olivia Colman.

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

Family (3)

Spouse Maggie Gyllenhaal (2 May 2009 - present)  (2 children)
Children Sarsgaard, Ramona
Sarsgaard, Gloria Ray
Parents Reinhardt, Judy Lea
Sarsgaard, John Dale

Trade Mark (1)

Often takes supporting roles instead of headlining a picture, whereby his character is friend to the main character in the film (Kinsey (2004), Shattered Glass (2003), Garden State (2004), Jarhead (2005)).

Trivia (18)

He attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he co-founded a comedy improvisation group called Mama's Pot Roast.
His baby face; his soft, strangely ominous voice; and often bizarre, unstable characters have led to him being compared to John Malkovich, who played his father in The Man in the Iron Mask (1998).
In Garden State (2004), Peter's character collects Desert Storm trading cards. In Jarhead (2005), Peter's character fights in Desert Storm.
He studied with legendary acting coach Terry Schreiber at the T. Schreiber Studio in New York City, like Edward Norton, Jeanine Louise DeName and Broadway actress Kimilee Bryant.
Childhood hero was Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett.
Engaged to Maggie Gyllenhaal [April 2006]
He attended the Actors' Studio Program at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Admits to having a lifelong fear of flying.
Son-in-law of Stephen Gyllenhaal and Naomi Foner.
Brother-in-law of Jake Gyllenhaal.
Became a father for the 1st time at age 35 when his fiancée [now wife] Maggie Gyllenhaal gave birth to their daughter Ramona Sarsgaard on October 3, 2006.
Became a father for the 2nd time at age 41 when his wife Maggie Gyllenhaal gave birth to their daughter Gloria Ray Sarsgaard on April 19, 2012.
His paternal grandfather was of half Danish and half Norwegian descent. His other ancestry includes German, Austrian, Ulster-Scots (Scots-Irish), English, and Irish. His surname originates in Denmark.
Is an avid runner. Runs 50-60 miles per week.
Is friends with ultra marathon champion Scott Jurek.
Co-starring with Elisabeth Shue in the off-Broadway revival of "Burn This" by Lanford Wilson. [2003]
Appearing on Broadway as Trigorin in "The Seagull." [October 2008]
Good friends with Vera Farmiga.

Personal Quotes (10)

"I just pick the best roles that are left over, and they usually aren't the heterosexual, leading-man, non-drug-addict parts. And once you get into doing them, people know you do them." - On his wide range of offbeat parts.
If you go in and audition for roles rather than just be offered them, then you kind of get a chance to kind of discover that you can do something that you didn't think you could do.
When you don't have power, which I still don't in the grand Hollywood scheme of things, you get offered things that you wouldn't ordinarily be offered. Frequently, other people know what I can do more than I do.
On his role as a marine in Jarhead (2005): There's a quality my character has about not caving in to the physical or mental demands of your job. I really took that to heart. A lot of my relatives have served, and I have respect for what it means to be a soldier. These guys are carrying a very heavy burden. We joke about marines being strict and severe, but would you want a bunch of hippies running around with guns?.
When people say, 'The movie sucked, but you didn't'; that means you didn't swing hard enough. You bunted. If the movie goes down, I want to go down with it.
Seriously, in Catholicism, you're supposed to love your enemy. That really impressed me as a kid, and it has helped me as an actor. I don't believe there are bad people. Just people who do bad things. The way that I view the characters I play is part of my religious upbringing. To abandon curiosity in all personalities, good or bad, is to give up hope in humanity. Like somebody who is mumbling on the street - I'm always curious if his words make any sense. I'm interested in lost souls. They possess another sort of secret. (Explaining how his religious upbringing influences his choices as an actor, 2005.)
I'm very much against the death penalty. It's very easy to do a piece about someone who's been railroaded by the system, who's innocent. If you don't believe in the death penalty, you have to take an extreme circumstance - someone who's indefensible - to see if it still applies. Otherwise the death penalty applies in some cases.
[on Sean Penn taking him out to dinner during the making of his first film, Dead Man Walking (1995)] It was a sort of I'm-going-to-rape-you-and-we-should-get-to-know-one-another meal. I thought that was nice, and I've tried to extend the same courtesy to my co-stars, especially if I'm going to kill or rape them.
In my first scene in any movie ever, Sean Penn dragged me out to a swamp, threw me down in the mud, raped and killed me and my girlfriend. We did the scene, we took a shower, put on new clothes and did the scene again. All night long. And that was my big break.
[watching wife Maggie Gyllenhaal kiss onscreen] I once saw an actor kiss my wife in a movie and it drove me crazy because he had his hand in his pocket. I was like, that's my wife and he had his hand in his pocket like he was looking for his keys while he was kissing her? This woman is incredible. Show it!

Salary (1)

Flightplan (2005) $750,000

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