May. 24th, 1965
Chicago, Illinois, USA
6' 1 1/2"
Guest TV Roles[none found]
With a homely mug, lumbering gait and unruly mop of curly hair tailor-made for offbeat character work, John C. Reilly played a host of seamy characters to great effect over the years. Of late, however, he has defied the odds by drawing in the ladies with his touching "common man" portrayals of lovable, good-natured schlepps. The fifth of six children born to an Irish father and Lithuanian mother, Reilly was brought up on Chicago's tough Southwest territory. On the amateur stage from age eight, he 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 Sydney (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. Though he didn't win either, it's only a matter a time for this talented thespian who can easily switch from being a dream of a nice guy to your worst nightmare on any given day. Reilly is married to producer Alison Dickey.
- (1987) Received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from DePaul University's Goodman School of Drama (Chicago)
- Lost a few pounds to play the rock star title character in _Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)_ (qv).
- In addition to having worked with 'Leonardo DiCaprio' (qv) in _The Aviator (2004)_ (qv), he has also worked with two other actors who played 'Howard Hughes (I)' (qv): 'Jason Robards' (qv) (from _Melvin and Howard (1980)_ (qv)) in _Magnolia (1999)_ (qv), and 'Tommy Lee Jones' (qv) (from _The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977) (TV)_ (qv)) in _A Prairie Home Companion (2006)_ (qv).
- Is a Chicago White Sox fan.
- 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' (qv)".
- Was nominated for Broadway's 2000 Tony Award as Best Actor (Play) for a revival of 'Sam Shepard' (qv)'s "True West."
- Director 'Antoine Fuqua' (qv) wanted to cast him in his since aborted crime epic "Tru Blu" with 'Denzel Washington' (qv) and 'Benicio Del Toro' (qv).
- His first plane ride was to Thailand to film _Casualties of War (1989)_ (qv).