John Christopher Reilly (born May 24, 1965) is an American actor, singer, producer, screenwriter, and comedian. Making his film debut in Casualties of War, Reilly is one of several actors whose careers were launched by Brian De Palma. To date, he has ap...
John Christopher Reilly (born May 24, 1965) is an American actor, singer, producer, screenwriter, and comedian. Making his film debut in Casualties of War, Reilly is one of several actors whose careers were launched by Brian De Palma. To date, he has appeared in more than fifty films, including three separate films in 2002 that were all nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. He has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Chicago and a Grammy Award for the song "Walk Hard", which he performed in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Reilly has starred in Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, a television show on Adult Swim, since its premiere on May 16, 2010.
Early life and education
Reilly was born on May 24, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois, the fifth of six children of an Irish American father and a Lithuanian American mother. His father ran an industrial linen supply company.
Reilly was raised Roman Catholic and attended Brother Rice High School. Reilly is an alumnus of DePaul University in Chicago.
Reilly made his film debut in the Brian De Palma film Casualties of War (1989) as P.F.C. Herbert Hatcher. Although the role of Hatcher was written as a small one, De Palma liked Reilly's performance so much that the role was significantly expanded. Also notable in his film work throughout the 1990s. He starred in Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 film Boogie Nights, in which he played the pornographic film star Reed Rothchild. Reilly was a frequent collaborator of Anderson's in the 1990s, including other roles in Hard Eight, Magnolia, and a cameo in the video for the Fiona Apple single "Across the Universe", which Anderson directed.
He appeared in Days of Thunder (1990) as stock car crew member "Buck Bretherton" – in 2006 he revisited this film's subject matter as the character of race car driver "Cal Naughton, Jr." in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
In 2002 he appeared in three of the year's Academy Award for Best Picture nominees – Chicago, Gangs of New York and The Hours. The three movies were nominated for a total of thirty-two Oscars, including one for Best Supporting Actor for Reilly's performance as Renée Zellweger's trusting husband in Chicago. Ultimately, Chicago won six, The Hours won one, and Gangs of New York won none.
Reilly appeared in Martin Scorsese's 2004 Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator, as Hughes' (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) trusted business partner, Noah Dietrich. Of the role Reilly said, "Noah was almost a father figure to Hughes... Howard would have a scheme, and it was Noah who had to say, 'We don't have the money.' He was one of his few friends." He reportedly quit the 2005 film Manderlay to protest the on-set killing of a donkey. He appeared in Adam McKay's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in 2006, as Cal Naughton, Jr., the title character's best friend, alongside Will Ferrell. He also starred alongside Woody Harrelson, Meryl Streep, and Lindsay Lohan among others in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion. In 2007, Reilly starred as the title character in parody bio-pic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, singing various songs parodying Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, and others. The next year, Reilly reunited with Ferrell to star in Step Brothers.
In 2008, he was among the many notable actors to perform in the online political musical, Proposition 8 - The Musical.
Then in 2009, he played the role of Larten Crepsley from the motion picture Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant and provided the voice of "5" in 9. Reilly also appeared in the 2010 film Cyrus.
In 2011, Reilly costarred alongside Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller in the British-American drama We Need to Talk About Kevin, based on the novel by Lionel Shriver.
Reilly has stated that he would be very determined to play the lead role of Nathan Detroit if a revival of the musical Guys and Dolls were to occur.
In March 2012, he was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, 8 — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as David Blankenhorn. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, a non-profit organization funding the plaintiffs' legal team and sponsoring the play.
Reilly voiced the title character in the 2012 animated hit Wreck-It Ralph. He is set to play the character Rhomann Dey in the 2014 Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy.
In 1998, Reilly appeared, along with Giovanni Ribisi and Winona Ryder, as Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in their video Talk About The Blues. In 2002, he played the role of Amos Hart, Roxie Hart's naïve husband, in Chicago. In 2006, he performed two songs on Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys: "Fathom the Bowl" and "My Son John".
In 2007, Reilly starred in the biopic parody Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. In addition to his acting role, he also performed as a vocalist and songwriter on the movie's soundtrack, for which he was nominated for a Grammy. Reilly went on a concert performance tour in the US, performing as his character Dewey Cox in the Cox Across America 2007 Tour.
In 2011, he recorded two songs produced by Jack White and released as singles by White's Third Man Records: The Delmore Brothers' "Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar," performed with Tom Brosseau, and Ray Price's "I'll Be There If You Want," performed with Becky Stark. He also appeared as "future Mike D" in the Beastie Boys' video "Make Some Noise."
In 2012, his current band, John Reilly & Friends, was slated to perform in the Railroad Revival Tour, alongside Willie Nelson & Family, Band of Horses and Jamey Johnson. However, the event was cancelled.
Reilly provided the voice of himself in The Simpsons episode "Any Given Sundance". He also frequently appeared on Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! as Dr. Steve Brule, a role which led to the spin-off series Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule.
Reilly is also known to be a versatile stage actor. He has participated in numerous Broadway productions, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for the 2000 Broadway production of Sam Shepard's True West. He and co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman were both nominated, alternating between the two lead characters during separate performances.
Reilly married Alison Dickey, an independent film producer, in 1992. They have two sons. Reilly is a vegetarian.
John C. Reilly at the Internet Movie Database
John C. Reilly at the Internet Broadway Database
John C. Reilly at the TCM Movie Database
John C. Reilly at AllRovi
New York Times profile on John C. Reilly
In the Driver's Seat (Moving Pictures Magazine interview)
Interpreting Tennessee Williams – Working in the Theatre Seminar video at American Theatre Wing.org, April 2005
John C. Reilly's Producer Profile on The 1 Second Film
Alison Dickey at the Internet Movie Database
John C Reilly on his children in People.com