JOHN MALKOVICH (Reverend Gustav Briegleb) is one of the most compelling presences in cinema with a 20-year body of work marked with acclaimed performances in thought-provoking independents as well as mainstream movies. As a guiding member of Chicago’s landmark Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Malkovich as a producer, director and actor has had a profound impact on the American theater landscape. That same spirit of innovation found in Steppenwolf informs Malkovich’s production company, Mr. Mudd, which is the creative force behind some of the most intriguing films of the past ten years including Ghost World and Juno.
Malkovich remains of the one the busiest actors in Hollywood with a diverse line-up of projects, which will soon make their way to theaters. First up is the Coen brothers’ comedy, Burn After Reading, where Malkovich is part of a stellar ensemble featuring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton. The film, which makes its premiere at the 2008 Venice Festival, tells the story of what happens when the private memoir of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of an unscrupulous duo that attempt to sell it. The film premieres in the U.S. on September 12, 2008.
Malkovich also stars in Gilles Bourdos’ Afterwards, which follows a mysterious doctor (Malkovich) who can sense when people are about to die. The film, a Mr. Mudd production, debuts October 2008. Malkovich also recently starred opposite Tom Hanks and his son Colin in Sean McGinly’s film The Great Buck Howard. The film follows an illusionist (Malkovich) in decline that mentors a young man (Colin Hanks) with a disapproving father (Tom Hanks). The film made its premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Lastly, Malkovich will star in Disgrace, an independent that tells the story of a Cape Town professor who, after having an affair with a student, gets caught up in a mess of post-apartheid politics.
Most recently, Malkovich appeared in Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf, opposite Angelina Jolie and in Stefen Fangmeier’s Eragon, opposite Jeremy Irons. He also starred in Raoul Ruiz’ Klimt. The film is a portrait of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (Malkovich), whose lavish paintings came to symbolize the art-nouveau style of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Having worked with many of world’s leading directors, Malkovich has made an indelible impression in such films as: Liliana Cavani’s Ripley’s Game; Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich; Jane Campion’s The Portrait of a Lady; Wolfgang Petersen’s In the Line of Fire; Gary Sinise’s Of Mice and Men; Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky; Stephen Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons; Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun; Paul Newman’s The Glass Menagerie; Roland Joffé’s The Killing Fields; and Robert Benton’s Places in the Heart. He has twice been nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor, for Places in the Heart (1985) and for In the Line of Fire (1994). Malkovich’s performance in Places in the Heart also earned him a Best Supporting Actor Award from the National Society of Film Critics and the National Board of Review. In 1999, he won New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor for Being John Malkovich.
In 1998, Malkovich joined producing partners Lianne Halfon and Russ Smith to create the production company, Mr. Mudd, whose first film was the celebrated film Ghost World, directed by Terry Zwigoff. In 2003, Malkovich followed this up with his own feature directorial debut, The Dancer Upstairs, starring Academy Award® winner Javier Bardem. Other Mr. Mudd credits include The Libertine, starring Johnny Depp and Samantha Morton and Art School Confidential, also directed by Zwigoff and written by screenwriter/cartoonist Dan Clowes. Last year, Mr. Mudd landed its biggest box-office and critical success with Juno, starring Ellen Page, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. The film, distributed through Fox Searchlight, received an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay (Diablo Cody) and three nominations for Best Motion Picture, Best Actress (Ellen Page) and Best Director (Jason Reitman).
Malkovich’s mark in television includes his Emmy Award-winning performance in the telefilm Death of a Salesman, directed by Volker Schlöndorff and co-starring Dustin Hoffman. Other notable credits include the miniseries’ Napoleon and the acclaimed HBO telefilm RKO 281, both garnering Malkovich Emmy Award nominations.
Between 1976 and 1982, Malkovich acted in, directed or designed sets for more than 50 Steppenwolf Theatre Company productions. Malkovich’s debut on the New York stage in the Steppenwolf production of Sam Shepard’s True West earned him an Obie Award. Other notable plays include Death of a Salesman; Slip of the Tongue; Sam Shepard’s State of Shock; and Lanford Wilson’s Burn This in New York, London and Los Angeles. He has directed numerous plays at Steppenwolf, including the celebrated Balm in Gilead in Chicago and off-Broadway; The Caretaker in Chicago and on Broadway; and Libra, which Malkovich adapted from Don DeLillo’s novel. His 2003 French stage production of Hysteria was honored with five Molière Award nominations including Best Director. In addition to film directorial debut on The Dancer Upstairs, Malkovich has directed three fashion shorts (Strap Hangings, Lady Behave, Hideous Man) for London designer Bella Freud. Malkovich recently received a Molière Award as Best Director for his production of Zach Helm’s Good Canary in Paris.