Edward Norton

Edward Norton

Edward Norton
Norton in March 2012
Born Edward Harrison Norton
(1969-08-18) August 18, 1969
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Alma mater Yale University
Occupation
  • Actor
  • Filmmaker
  • Activist
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Shauna Robertson (m. 2012)
Children 1

Edward Harrison Norton (born August 18, 1969) is an American actor, filmmaker and activist. He was nominated for three Academy Awards for his work in the films Primal Fear (1996), American History X (1998) and Birdman (2014). He also starred in other roles, such as Everyone Says I Love You (1996), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), Fight Club (1999), Red Dragon (2002), 25th Hour (2002), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Illusionist (2006), Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). He has also directed and co-written films, including his directorial debut, Keeping the Faith (2000). He has done uncredited work on the scripts for The Score, Frida and The Incredible Hulk.

Alongside his work in cinema, Norton is an environmental and social activist, and is a member of the board of trustees of James Rouse. Norton is president of the American branch of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.[1] He ran in the 2009 New York City Marathon to raise money for the Trust.[2] He also raises money for charity through Crowdrise, a social networking community for volunteers and a micro-donations fundraising platform.[3] In July 2010, Norton was designated as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.[4] On July 2, 2014, Norton was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustee to Signature Theatre, a not-for-profit theater Company in New York.[5] Norton has been on Signature's board since 1996 and served as the co-Chair of the Capital Campaign during the building of The Pershing Square Signature Center.[6]

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
    • Producer 4.1
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Norton was born in Boston, Massachusetts[7] and raised in Columbia, Maryland.[8] His father, Edward Mower Norton Jr., served in Vietnam as a Marine lieutenant and was later an environmental lawyer and conservation advocate working in Asia, as well as a former federal prosecutor in the Carter administration.[9] His mother, Lydia Robinson "Robin" (née Rouse), a teacher of English, died of a brain tumor in 1997.[10][11] His maternal grandfather James Rouse, was the founder of The Rouse Company, who developed the city of Columbia, Maryland (where Norton grew up), helped develop Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Norfolk's Waterside Festival Marketplace and Boston's Quincy Market, as well as co-founded Enterprise Community Partners with Norton's maternal step-grandmother, Patty Rouse.[10] Norton has two younger siblings—Molly and Jim, with whom he has professionally collaborated.

From 1981 to 1985, along with his brother, Norton attended Camp Pasquaney on the shores of Newfound Lake in Hebron, New Hampshire, where he won the acting cup in 1984, returning to the camp's council for two years by directing theater and maintains close connections with the camp.[10] Norton was raised Episcopalian.[12] He graduated in 1987 from Columbia's Wilde Lake High School, where his classmates included New York City Council member Mark Levine[13] and best-selling author Robert Kolker.[14] He attended Yale University, where he was a competitive rower[15] and acted in university productions alongside Ron Livingston and Paul Giamatti, graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.[10] After graduation, Norton worked in Osaka, Japan, consulting for his grandfather's company, Enterprise Community Partners, and speaks some Japanese language.[16][17] He appeared in an EFL textbook, Only in America, used by Nova, a formerly major English language school in Japan.[18] He moved to New York City to star in the Off-Broadway theater, breaking through with his 1993 involvement in Edward Albee's Fragments, at the Signature Theatre Company.[10]

Career

In his film debut Primal Fear, Norton played Aaron Stampler, an altar boy charged with the murder of a Roman Catholic Archbishop who is defended by Martin Vail (Richard Gere). The film is an adaptation of William Diehl's novel.[19] Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "Norton gives a performance that's fully the equal of Gere's – he's as slyly self-effacing as Gere is slyly ostentatious."[20] Alison Macor of The Austin Chronicle, in review of the film, wrote, "Norton's performance and the well-paced tension preceding the movie's climactic sequence provide an entertaining if slightly predictable thriller."[21] Despite the mixed reviews,[22] Norton won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[23][24] That same year, Norton played lawyer Alan Isaacman in The People vs. Larry Flynt. In 1998, he played Derek Vinyard, a reformed neo-Nazi, in the film American History X,[25] David Denby of The New Yorker noted that he gives Derek "ambiguous erotic allure; he's almost appealing".[26] The film received positive reviews[27] and grossed over $23 million worldwide at the box office.[28] His performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.[24] Later, Norton starred with Matt Damon in Rounders, that follows two friends who need to quickly earn enough cash playing poker to pay off a huge debt.[29] In David Fincher's 1999 film Fight Club, Norton played an unreliable narrator who feels trapped with his white-collar position in society. It is based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name.[30] To prepare for the role, Norton took lessons in boxing, taekwondo and grappling.[31] Fight Club premiered at the 1999 Venice International Film Festival.[32] During promotion for the film, he said, "I feel that Fight Club really, in a way ... probed into the despair and paralysis that people feel in the face of having inherited this value system out of advertising."[33] The film failed to meet expectations at the box office,[34] and received polarized reactions from film critics.[35] However, it became a cult classic after its DVD release.[36] In 2008, Fight Club was named the 10th greatest movie of all time by Empire magazine in its issue of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

In 2002, Norton starred in Brett Ratner's Red Dragon as FBI profiler Will Graham and in Spike Lee's 25th Hour. While Red Dragon received mixed reviews, it was commercially successful.[37] 25th Hour was about post-9/11 New York City.[38] In 2003, Norton was forced by Paramount Studios, under threat of lawsuit having signed a three-film contract when he signed up for Primal Fear, to appear in The Italian Job (2003), for which he accordingly refused to promote upon its release.[39][40] Norton won critical praise for his role as Baldwin IV, the leper king of Jerusalem, in Kingdom of Heaven.[41] Norton portrayed Marvel Comics character Bruce Banner / The Hulk in the Marvel Studios film The Incredible Hulk, released in 2008.[42] Norton's failed attempt to rewrite the film along lines of his own choosing resulted in his refusal to promote the film.[40] He was expected to reprise his role in the 2012 film The Avengers,[43] but was replaced by Mark Ruffalo.[44]

Norton in March 2010

In 2006, Norton starred in three films: Down in the Valley, as a dangerous drifter affecting to be a cowpoke, The Illusionist, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and later became a sleeper hit when it went into general release, and The Painted Veil, for each of which he won an award. In 2010, Norton appeared in two films again: in Leaves of Grass, as estranged identical twins (one a small-time drug dealer and the other a Harvard professor); and in Stone, which reunited Norton with his The Score cast-mate Robert De Niro, and in which Norton plays a convict trying to con his parole officer (De Niro) into an early release. In 2008, Norton starred in New Line Cinema's Pride and Glory, as an honest detective assigned to investigate the precinct run by his older brother. The film was not well received by critics, not strongly supported by the studio, and despite also starring Colin Farrell and Jon Voight, its worldwide grosses totaled only $31.1 million, against a production budget of $30 million.[45] Norton played himself in a cameo role in the experimental comedy show Stella,[46] and made another comedic television appearance on the Emmy award-winning ABC show Modern Family in 2010, playing a fictional member of real life '80s new wave band Spandau Ballet. In The Bourne Legacy, he played the antagonist Eric Byer. Norton has also done uncredited script work on some of the films he appeared in specifically The Score and Frida.[47] In 2000, Norton made his directorial debut, Keeping the Faith. He had a reputation of being a perfectionist and managed to receive final cut of American History X, clashed with the director while shooting Red Dragon, and (with the director) clashed with the studio during the shooting of The Incredible Hulk (and refused to do promotion for it).[48] In 2013, Norton starred in The Lonely Island's music video, "Spring Break Anthem," alongside Andy Samberg, Zach Galifinakis, James Franco, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. The video premiered on Funny or Die's Between Two Ferns during a segment between Galifinakis and Franco.[49] In 2014, Norton played Mike Shiner, a prickly Broadway actor in the black comedy film Birdman and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role. On February 20, 2014, it was announced that Norton is directing Motherless Brooklyn.[50] In June 2014, Norton's Class 5 Films and RatPac Entertainment acquired the film rights to the non-fiction article American Hippopotamus, by Jon Mooallem, about the meat shortage in the U.S. in 1910 and the attempts made by Major Frederick Russell Burnham, Captain Fritz Joubert Duquesne and Congressman Robert Broussard to import hippopotamuses into the Louisiana bayous and to convince Americans to eat them. The film will highlight the Burnham - Duquesne rivalry, two famous spies who had previous been under orders to assassinate each other. Norton, William Migliore and Brett Ratner will produce this feature film.[51]

Personal life

Norton at the premiere of the Metropolitan Opera's 2009 season

After six years of dating, Norton proposed to Canadian film producer Shauna Robertson in 2011 and they married in 2012.[52] They have one son, Atlas (born March 18, 2013).[53]

Norton is generally known for his reluctance to embrace his celebrity status and says, "If I ever have to stop taking the subway, I'm gonna have a heart attack."[54]

Norton has stated in interviews that he is a fan of the Baltimore Orioles,[55] and was involved in many of Cal Ripken Jr.'s retirement activities in 2001 when he was asked to be a part of Ripken's biography for Major League Baseball (MLB).[55] He attended Ripken's ceremony at the Hall of Fame in July 2007.[56]

Norton has a private pilot license and discussed his flight training when interviewed on episodes of the Late Show with David Letterman and Inside the Actor's Studio.[57] One of his personal aircraft was a Cessna 206 substantially modified by the AOPA.[58]

Norton was a strong supporter of former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer.[59] Norton is a member of the board of trustees of Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit developer of affordable housing based in his hometown. He is also well known for his support for environmental causes and renewable energy projects, such as Enterprise's Green Communities Initiative and BP's Solar Neighbors program.[60][61][62] He also put time and money toward social activist causes, including improving the quality of living in low-income communities.[63][64]

Norton's work with the HBO documentary By the People: The Election of Barack Obama led to a soundtrack, with proceeds going to Enterprise Community Partners and United Way. Norton also participated in a 2008 Fast Company story about Enterprise's green affordable housing.[65] Norton is the president of the American branch of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.[66] To raise money for the trust, Norton fielded a team of thirty runners in the New York City Marathon on November 1, 2009.[67] The team included Alanis Morissette and David Blaine.[68] Norton finished the event first among celebrities with a time of 3 hours, 48 minutes.[2] Norton and his team raised over $1 million for the Trust.[2][69]

In addition to his involvement with the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, Norton supports African Wildlife Foundation, appearing in a public awareness ad about the dangers of buying elephant ivory as part of the "Say No" campaign.[70] In May 2010, Norton launched a website called Crowdrise, which uses a social networking platform to help raise funds for charity.[71] In May 2012, Norton played football for an 'England vs. The Rest of the World' match the charity event Soccer Aid, along with James McAvoy and Woody Harrelson. The event eventually raised over £4,000,000 for UNICEF UK.[72]

Filmography

Feature films
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Primal Fear Aaron Stampler / Roy
1996 Everyone Says I Love You Holden Spence
1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt Alan Isaacman
1998 Rounders Lester "Worm" Murphy
1998 American History X Derek Vinyard
1999 Fight Club The Narrator
2000 Keeping the Faith Father Brian Finn Also director
2001 The Score Jack Teller
2002 Death to Smoochy Sheldon Mopes / Smoochy the Rhino
2002 Frida Nelson Rockefeller
2002 Red Dragon Will Graham
2002 25th Hour Monty Brogan Also producer
2003 The Italian Job Steve Frazelli
2004 After the Sunset Himself Uncredited
2005 Kingdom of Heaven King Baldwin IV
2005 Down in the Valley Harlan Fairfax Carruthers
2006 The Illusionist Eisenheim
2006 The Painted Veil Walter Fane Also producer
2008 The Incredible Hulk Bruce Banner / The Hulk Also in the video game
2008 Pride and Glory Ray Tierney Also producer
2009 The Invention of Lying Traffic Cop Cameo
2010 Leaves of Grass Bill Kincaid / Brady Kincaid Also producer
2010 Stone Gerald "Stone" Creeson
2012 Moonrise Kingdom Scout Master Randy Ward
2012 The Bourne Legacy Eric Byer
2012 The Dictator Himself Cameo
Uncredited
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel Henckels
2014 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Mike Shiner
2016 Sausage Party Sammy Bagel Jr. (voice) Post-production
Television shows
Year Title Role Notes
2000, 2013 The Simpsons Devon Bradley
Reverend Elijah Hooper (voices)
Episodes: "The Great Money Caper" and "Pulpit Friction"[73][74]
2005 Stella Himself Episode: "Pilot"
2009 Modern Family Izzy LaFontaine Episode: "Great Expectations"
2013 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Edward Norton/Janelle Monáe"
2015 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Himself Episode 28
Music video
Year Title Role Notes
2013 "Spring Break Anthem" Himself The Lonely Island song

Producer

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated Work Award Result
1996 Primal Fear Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Everyone Says I Love You Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
The People vs. Larry Flynt Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
1997 Primal Fear Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Won
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor 2nd Place
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
MTV Movie Award for Best Villain Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor 3rd Place
Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Everyone Says I Love You Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor 2nd Place
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
The People vs. Larry Flynt Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor 2nd Place
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor 3rd Place
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
1999 Rounders Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor Won
American History X Academy Award for Best Actor Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor Nominated
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
Saturn Award for Best Actor Nominated
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor Won
Taormina Film Fest Award for Best Actor Won
Fight Club Jupiter Award for Best International Actor Won
2000 Fight Club MTV Movie Award for Best Fight Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor Nominated
2001 Keeping the Faith Satellite Award for Best Actor - Comedy or Musical Nominated
2003 25th Hour Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Nominated
2004 Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor Won
2005 Kingdom of Heaven Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Nominated
2006 Down in the Valley San Diego Film Critics Society Award Won
The Illusionist San Diego Film Critics Society Award Won
The Painted Veil San Diego Film Critics Society Award Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor Nominated
2007 The Painted Veil Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male Nominated
2008 The Incredible Hulk National Movie Award for Best Performance – Male Nominated
2012 Moonrise Kingdom Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Ensemble Cast 2nd Place
Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Acting Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble 2nd Place
2013 Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble Won
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble Nominated
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Boston Online Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor 2nd Place
Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor 2nd Place
Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor 2nd Place
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Utah Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor 2nd Place
Village Voice Film Poll for Best Supporting Actor 2nd Place
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2015 The Grand Budapest Hotel Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
Georgia Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble Nominated
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble Won
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Georgia Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
Iowa Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor 3rd Place
London Critics Circle Film Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor 3rd Place
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor 3rd Place
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated

References

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External links