Cusack at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival
John Paul Cusack
June 28, 1966
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, producer, screenwriter, political activist|
|Family||Ann Cusack (sister)|
Joan Cusack (sister)
John Paul Cusack (//; born June 28, 1966) is an American actor, producer, screenwriter and activist. He began acting in films during the 1980s and has since starred in more than 85 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 & Mercy (2014). The son of filmmaker Dick Cusack, his sisters are actresses Joan and Ann Cusack.
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 (1925–2003), originally from New York City and Ann Paula "Nancy" (née Carolan) Cusack, originally from Massachusetts, a former mathematics teacher and political activist. John's siblings 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. 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).
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."
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". 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.
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". However, he later scolded the publication for misquoting him in order to make an interesting headline.
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. This meeting was converted into a book co-authored with Roy titled Things That Can and Cannot Be Said. 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.
During the 2014 Israel Gaza conflict, Cusack supported the Palestinians on social media. He tweeted from the region a number of pro-Gaza articles. 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 a hundred writers, actors, director, and musicians who signed a letter defending Lorde's freedom of conscience.
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 2009 why he had never married, he answered, "society doesn't tell me what to do."
Antisemitic tweet controversy
In June 2019, Cusack was criticized for an antisemitic tweet featuring an image of a large fist with 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 in reality a comment by the white supremacist and neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom. 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.
|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||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||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||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|
|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|
|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-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||We Are Not Animals||Tony Lovecraft||Also co-writer and executive producer|
|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||Love & Mercy||Brian Wilson|
|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||Singularity||Elias van Dorne||Direct-to-VOD|
|2018||River Runs Red||Horace|
|2019||Never Grow Old||Dutch Albert|
|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"|
|2020||Utopia||Dr. Kevin Christie||Upcoming; series regular|
Awards and nominations
- "Famous birthdays for June 28: Kathy Bates, John Cusack". UPI. June 28, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
Actor John Cusack in 1966
- "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
- 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....
- "John Cusack Interview-Max Movie". About.com Hollywood Movies. Archived from the original on August 16, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
I was raised Catholic....
- "Miss Carolan, Newton Centre, Is Bride of Richard Cusack". Daily Boston Globe. February 14, 1960.
- "Newton Girl Plans February Wedding". Daily Boston Globe. December 6, 1959.
- "Being John Cusack." guardian.co.uk. July 1, 2000.
- John Cusack Biography (1966-). FilmReference.com.
- "Actor John johan on Hitler, politics and his movie 'Max'." Beliefnet.com.
- Johnson, Grace (May 12, 2009). "ETHS boasts celebrity graduates". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- Duthel, C. (2012). Angelina Jolie - The Lightning Star. p. 323. ISBN 978-1-4710-8935-0.
- "Actor John Cusack." NPR.org.
- "Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Sarah Gadon Join Robert Pattinson and in Maps to the Stars". Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- Barnes, Henry H. (2014-09-25). "John Cusack: 'Hollywood is a whorehouse and people go mad'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
- John Cusack - Politics on The Huffington Post.
- "John Cusack Stars In MoveOn's New McCain Ad". Huffington Post. Associated Press. June 11, 2008.
- Stern, Marlow. "John Cusack Talks 'Love & Mercy,' Drug Trips, and the Ways Obama Is 'Worse Than Bush'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- "John Cusack on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- "John Cusack on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- 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.
- "Things That Can and Cannot Be Said". Penguin Books. October 5, 2016.
- John Cusack [@johncusack] (August 25, 2015). "Why I Endorse Bernie Sanders" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- 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.
- @johncusack (November 7, 2017). "What you mean join ;)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Kline, Jennifer (May 23, 2019). "John Cusack Tells Trump Fans: 'You Don't Support Troops More Than Me'".
- Stimson, Brie (May 23, 2019). "John Cusack defends not standing 'fast enough' for Wrigley Field military salute".
- Sullivan, Gail (August 5, 2014). "Celebrities get nasty over Gaza and Israel". The Washington Post.
- D'Zurilla, Christie (August 1, 2014). "Madonna lobs shirtless pics in celebs' Israel-Gaza opinion campaign". Los Angeles Times.
- Letters (January 5, 2018). "Lorde's artistic right to cancel gig in Tel Aviv | Letters". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
- Ritman, Alex (June 28, 2018). "Filmmakers Back Right to Boycott Israel Following German Festival Controversy". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Ukidokan Black Belts and Levels Archived 2010-03-12 at the Wayback Machine. URL accessed on March 19, 2010.
- Accused John Cusack stalker, Emily Leatherman, accepts plea deal. New York Daily News. October 10, 2008.
- Andrew Goldman, "Being John Cusack", Elle magazine, November 23, 2009. URL accessed on January 20, 2018.
- Spiro, Amy (June 18, 2019). "John Cusack Slammed for Antisemitic Retweet". The Jerusalem Post.
- Pulver, Andrew (June 18, 2019). "John Cusack under fire for antisemitic 'follow the money' tweet". The Guardian.
- "John Cusack: Actor apologises for anti-Semitic tweet". BBC. June 18, 2019.
- Andrews-Dyer, Helena (June 18, 2019). "John Cusack apologizes for anti-Semitic tweet — after defending why he posted it". The Washington Post.
- "John Cusack Slammed After Posting 'pro-Palestinian' Meme With neo-Nazi Quote". Haaretz. June 18, 2019.
- Hunt, Elle (November 27, 2015). "Cory Bernardi mistakenly 'quotes' Voltaire on Twitter with neo-Nazi's line". The Guardian.
- Moniusko, Sara M (June 18, 2019). "John Cusack apologizes for re-tweeting anti-Semitic image after initially blaming 'bot'". USA Today.
- Barnes, Henry John Cusack: 'Hollywood is a whorehouse and people go mad' The Guardian, 26 September 2014. Accessed 27 February 2015
- Robinson, Tasha Onion A.V. Club interview, November 27, 2007
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