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John Christopher Reilly (born May 24, 1965) is an American actor, comedian, singer and writer. He is one of several actors whose career was launched by Brian De Palma.

He has appeared in over fifty films, including Boogie Nights (1997), Chicago (2002), Talladega Nights (2006), Step Brothers (2008), Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Reilly was 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 the television series Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule since 2010.

Reilly currently performs with his band John C. Reilly and Friends and worked as a stage actor in True West (2000), for which he was nominated a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

Early life and education Edit

Reilly was born in Chicago, Illinois, the fifth of six children. His father was of Irish and Scottish descent, and his mother was of Lithuanian ancestry. His father ran an industrial linen supply company. Reilly has described himself as being mischievous during his childhood, highlighting an event when he was 12 in which he and his friends stole 500 boxes of Sugar Corn Pops from a freight train.

Reilly, though he no longer claims Catholicism, was raised Roman Catholic and attended Brother Rice High School. Reilly is an alumnus of DePaul University in Chicago.

Career Edit

Reilly made his film debut in the Brian De Palma war film Casualties of War as PFC Herbert Hatcher in 1989. Although his role was written as a small one, De Palma liked Reilly's performance so much that the role was significantly expanded. He played Buck, Tom Cruise's character's NASCAR car chief in Tony Scott's Days of Thunder in 1990. He continued to appear in several significant supporting roles, including 1992's Hoffa and 1993's What's Eating Gilbert Grape. He collaborated with filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson in his directorial debut Hard Eight (1996) as a man in need of $6,000 to pay for the burial of his mother who is taken under the wing of experienced gambler Sydney (Philip Baker Hall); one of the pornographic actors in Boogie Nights (1997), a police officer who falls in love with a drug addict in Magnolia (1999), and a cameo in the music video for Fiona Apple's single "Across the Universe". Terrence Malick's 1998 ensemble war film, The Thin Red Line, featured Reilly in a supporting role that was written as a larger one, but much of his scenes were deleted. In 2002, he appeared in three of the year's Academy Award for Best Picture nominees: Chicago, Gangs of New York and The Hours. For Chicago, he played Amos Hart, Roxanne's (Renée Zellweger) trusting husband and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Reilly appeared in Martin Scorsese's 2004 Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator, as Noah Dietrich, Howard Hughes' (Leonardo DiCaprio) trusted business partner. 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 co-starred in Adam McKay's comedy about NASCAR drivers entitled Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in 2006, as Cal Naughton, Jr. the title character's best friend, played by 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 the same year, in addition to making an uncredited cameo appearance in the musical comedy Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny as a Sasquatch. 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, playing middle-aged step brothers forced to live together.

In 2008, he was among the many notable actors to perform in the online political musical, Proposition 8 - The Musical. Reilly voiced himself in the The Simpsons episode "Any Given Sundance" and co-starred alongside Sean William Scott in The Promotion in 2008. In 2009, he played the role of Larten Crepsley in the film Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, voiced "5" in 9, and starred in the 2010 film Cyrus as a divorcé beginning a new relationship. Reilly received a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and a Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead nomination for his performance. He frequently appeared on Tim and 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, which has aired since 2010.

In 2011, Reilly co-starred alongside Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller in the British-American drama We Need to Talk About Kevin, based on the novel by Lionel Shriver. He co-starred in the comedy-drama Terri alongside Jacob Wysocki, playing a school principal who takes an interest in a teenage misfit. His last release of 2011 was Roman Polanski's black comedy-drama Carnage, also starring Jodie Foster. Reilly 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 Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph. The film grossed over $471 million and a sequel is in development for a 2018 release. He had a cameo in the 2013 comedy sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, playing the ghost of Conferdate General Stonewall Jackson in the film's fight scene. Reilly played Rhomann Dey in the 2014 Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy. 2015 saw him appear in the drama Entertainment, the comedy-drama The Lobster as "Lisping Man", the fantasy horror Tale of Tales, and the English dub of the Studio Ghibli animated film When Marnie Was There. Reilly also starred in and co-wrote the television special Bagboy, reprising his role as Dr. Steve Brule in a fictional television pilot for a sitcom created by Brule. It aired on February 21, 2015, with Vanity Fair saying "If you get it, the show is knockout hilarious, but truthfully, it is not for everyone and Reilly is O.K. with that."

He will be among the ensemble cast of the upcoming computer-animated musical comedy Sing in December 2016, playing a Suffolk sheep. Reilly will also appear in an undisclosed role in the 2017 monster film reboot Kong: Skull Island and is expected to co-star with Steve Coogan in a biopic about the comic double act Laurel and Hardy, with Reilly portraying Oliver Hardy and Coogan portraying Stan Laurel. He optioned the film rights for the Patrick deWitt novel The Sisters Brothers in 2011, with the intention of starring. By April 2016, Joaquin Phoenix was in talks to co-star in the film with Reilly, with Jacques Audiard onboard as director.

Music Edit

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 the musical film 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 songs produced by Jack White and released as two singles by White's Third Man Records. The first single features two The Delmore Brothers songs: "Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar" and "Lonesome Yodel Blues #2", both performed with Tom Brosseau. The second single features Ray Price's "I'll Be There If You Ever Want" as well as the country classic "I'm Making Plans", 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.

In 2014, Reilly appeared on the music video for Mr. Oizo's song "HAM" in which he played Father. Directed by Eric Wareheim, "HAM" is an excerpt from the television comedy Rubberhead, which displays sketches from various comedians. In February 2015, John Reilly & Friends performed on NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series.

Theatre Edit

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 (after starring in Hard Eight and Boogie Nights) were both nominated, alternating between the two lead characters during separate performances.

Personal life Edit

Reilly married Alison Dickey, an independent film producer, in 1992 after meeting on the set of Casualties of War in Thailand. They have two sons, one born in late 1998, the other born in September 2001.

Filmography Edit

Film Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Casualties of War PFC. Herbert Hatcher
1989 We're No Angels Young Monk
1990 Days of Thunder Buck Bretherton
1990 State of Grace Stevie McGuire
1992 Shadows and Fog Cop at Police Station
1992 Out on a Limb Jim Jr.
1992 Hoffa Pete Connelly
1993 What's Eating Gilbert Grape Tucker Van Dyke
1994 The River Wild Terry
1995 Dolores Claiborne Const. Frank Stamshaw
1995 Georgia Herman
1996 Hard Eight John Finnegan
1996 Boys Officer Kellogg Curry
1997 Nightwatch Deputy Inspector Bill Davis Uncredited
1997 Boogie Nights Reed Rothchild
1997 Chicago Cab Steve
1998 The Thin Red Line Sergeant Storm
1998 Flaghole Special Unknown Short film
1999 The Settlement Pat
1999 Never Been Kissed Augustus Strauss
1999 For Love of the Game Gus Sinski
1999 Magnolia Jim Kurring
2000 The Perfect Storm Dale 'Murph' Murphy
2001 The Anniversary Party Mac Forsyth
2001 Frank's Book Frank Short film
2002 The Good Girl Phil Last
2002 Gangs of New York Happy Jack
2002 Chicago Amos Hart
2002 The Hours Dan Brown
2003 Anger Management Older Arnie Shankman Uncredited
2004 The Aviator Noah Dietrich
2004 Criminal Richard Gaddis
2005 Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody? Man With Survey Short film
2005 Dark Water Mr. Murray
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Lefty
2006 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Cal Naughton, Jr.
2006 Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny Sasquatch Uncredited
2007 Year of the Dog Al
2007 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Dewford "Dewey" Cox
2008 The Promotion Richard Wehlner
2008 Step Brothers Dale Doback Also writer (story)
2009 9 5 (voice)
2009 Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Larten Crepsley
2010 The Extra Man Gershon
2010 Cyrus John
2011 Cedar Rapids Dean Ziegler
2011 Fight for Your Right Revisited Mike D (B-Boys 2) Short film
2011 We Need to Talk About Kevin Franklin
2011 Terri Mr. Fitzgerald
2011 Carnage Michael
2012 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Taquito
2012 The Dictator Clayton Uncredited cameo
2012 Wreck-It Ralph Wreck-It Ralph (voice) Also wrote additional story material
2013 Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues The Ghost of Stonewall Jackson Uncredited cameo
2014 Bears Narrator Documentary
2014 Life After Beth Maury Slocum
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Rhomann Dey
2015 Entertainment John
2015 The Lobster Lisping Man
2015 Tale of Tales King of Longtrellis
2015 The Cowboys L'Américain
2015 When Marnie Was There Kiyomasa Oiwa (voice) English dub
2015 View from a Blue Moon Narrator (voice)
2016 Sing Eddie (voice) Post-production
2017 Kong: Skull Island Post-production
2017 The Little Hours Post-production
2018 Wreck-It Ralph 2 Wreck-It Ralph (voice) In development

Television Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Tenacious D Sasquatch Episode: "Death of a Dream"
2004 Cracking Up Steve Evers Episode: "Prom Night"
2006 Tom Goes to the Mayor John (voice) Episode: "Friendship Alliance"
2006 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "John C. Reilly/My Chemical Romance"
2007–10 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Dr. Steven Brule 25 episodes
2008 The Simpsons Himself (voice) Episode: "Any Given Sundance"
2010 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Chrimbus Special Dr. Steve Brule Television film
2010–11 Funny or Die Presents John / Nikola Tesla 2 episodes
2010–present Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule Dr. Steve Brule 18 episodes; also writer and producer
2014 Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories Jordan Episode: "Baby"
2014–present Stone Quackers Officer Barry (voice) 12 episodes; also executive producer
2015 Bagboy Dr. Steve Brule

Stage Edit

Dates Title Role Notes
March 22, 1990 – September 2, 1990 The Grapes of Wrath Noah
March 2, 2000 – July 29, 2000 True West Austin / Lee
April 26, 2005 – July 3, 2005 A Streetcar Named Desire Stanley Kowalski
Video games
Year Title Voice role
2008 Grand Theft Auto IV Liberty Rock Radio 97.8 Imaging
2009 Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned Liberty Rock Radio 97.8 Imaging
2009 Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony Liberty Rock Radio 97.8 Imaging
2009 Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Liberty Rock Radio 97.8 Imaging
Music videos
Year Title Performer(s) Role
1998 "Across the Universe" Fiona Apple Jukebox Thief
1998 "Talk About The Blues" Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Russell Simins
1999 "Save Me" Aimee Mann Officer Jim Kurring
2008 "Boats 'N Hoes" Himself and Will Ferrell Dale Doback
2011 "Make Some Noise" Beastie Boys Future Mike D
2014 "HAM" Mr. Oizo Father
Year Title Role Notes
2008 Green Team Jim Smegg Video short
2010 Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy Bing Crosby Video short
2016 Pound House Fish Man Episode: "Fish Man"

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Title Award
1998 Boogie Nights Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2000 Magnolia
2002 The Anniversary Party Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
2003 The Good Girl Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Chicago Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2005 The Aviator Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2007 A Prairie Home Companion Nominated – Gotham Awards for Best Ensemble Cast
2008 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Song
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song
Nominated – Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
2011 Cyrus Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2012 Cedar Rapids Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
2015 Guardians of the Galaxy Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast