Pitt in 2003
|Born||April 10, 1981|
West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, musician, model|
|Partner(s)||Jamie Bochert (2004–2014)|
Michael Carmen Pitt (born April 10, 1981) is an American actor, model, and musician. Pitt is known in film for his roles in Murder by Numbers (2002), Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers (2003), Gus Van Sant's Last Days (2005) and Michael Haneke's Funny Games (2007), and in television for his roles as Henry Parker in the teen drama Dawson's Creek (1999–2000), Jimmy Darmody in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (2010–2011) and Mason Verger in the second season of the NBC series Hannibal (2014). He has also appeared in the films Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), Bully (2001), Silk (2007), Seven Psychopaths (2012), I Origins (2014), and Ghost in the Shell (2017).
Michael Carmen Pitt was born on April 10, 1981 in West Orange, New Jersey to Donald B. Pitt, an auto mechanic, and Eleanor Carol (née DeMaio) Pitt, a waitress. He has two older sisters, Allison and Stacey and one older brother, Brian. Pitt is of Italian and Irish heritage on his mother's side, and of English descent on his father's. By age 16, Pitt had been to three or four different high schools and was in 'special classes' before ultimately dropping out. He also did a brief stint at the Essex County Youth House, a detention center.
In 2001, Pitt earned a breakout role as Tommy Gnosis, the lover of a trans rock star named Hedwig, in the film Hedwig and the Angry Inch, an adaptation of John Cameron Mitchell's 1998 stage musical. Although not his first film role, Pitt's performance as Gnosis led to a series of supporting roles in many acclaimed and often controversial films, including Larry Clark's Bully, Murder by Numbers, and Funny Games, a remake of Michael Haneke's 1997 film of the same name. One of Pitt's more notable roles was as the lead in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers.
Pitt attributes his success in films to a combination of hard work and the presence of "a few angels in my life." He has also stressed that he chooses roles not with the hope that they will garner commercial success or to gain notoriety but to create art, challenge the audience, and ultimately contribute to a project that he is proud of:
To be honest, I make very controversial films. The films that I've made have been very, very bold choices. As the years go by, I think my work is going to come more and more in context. The truth is that you can't take what people say too seriously. If I cared what people think about my career, I would have not done—just look at my work. Don't look at me, look at what I've done. Every movie that I've picked, from my first film on, has been considered by everyone to be "career suicide." And I have an amazing life. I have an amazing career. I work with artists. But I'm not making Spider-Man.
Pitt has also appeared in Asia Argento's Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things and M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and starred in Gus Van Sant's Last Days as a rock musician "inspired" by Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain. He performed all of the songs, which closely resembled Cobain's guitar and singing styles.
On the set of Last Days, he met Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, who had been hired by Van Sant to serve as the film's music consultant. The pair formed a close bond, with Moore writing, "[Gus] wanted me to hang out with Michael and talk about his character, and let him be in character. We ended up spending a lot of time together. My daughter Coco still relates to Michael as Blake from Last Days".
In 2006, he starred in the unconventional romantic comedy Delirious as a young homeless man who befriends a celebrity photographer and falls in love with a pop singer. The movie appeared at the Sundance Film Festival. The following year, he played opposite Keira Knightley in Silk, adapted from the novel by Alessandro Baricco, as Hervé Joncour, a French silkworm smuggler, who falls in love with a baron's concubine while in Japan.
In 2014, Pitt juggled two starring roles, as Tommy Uva in the comedic American crime drama Rob the Mob and as a molecular biologist in search of the truth about the origins of the eye in the science fiction romantic drama I Origins.
During his theater debut, a casting agent whom Pitt had mistaken for a police officer attempting to arrest him noticed him and recommended him for a role on the television series Dawson's Creek. He played Henry Parker on a recurring basis in the third season (1999–2000).
In 2010, Pitt was cast as Jimmy Darmody in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (about the rise of Atlantic City during the Prohibition era), as the protégé of corrupt politician Nucky Thompson. He appeared in the show's first two seasons and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Critics's Choice Award for his performance. Pitt said of Boardwalk Empire, "I'm proud of the work we did on that show. My grandfather was an Italian-American and he met my grandmother in Atlantic City. So Jimmy Darmody spoke to me; he felt very close to home."
In January 2015, Pitt made his official directorial debut with a campaign film for fashion label Rag & Bone's Spring 2015 collection. The video features Pitt and prior co-stars actress Astrid Bergès-Frisbey—the new face of Rag & Bone womenswear—and British actor Stephen Graham, from I Origins and Boardwalk Empire, respectively. Says Rag & Bone co-head, Marcus Wainwright, "[Pitt]'s a really talented actor and musician, and he came to us with this concept of doing a film-based campaign. We thought it was awesome and well worth trying." Pitt has also directed a number of music videos for Pagoda.
In 2020, he revealed he had recently directed a film in Italy called Nocturnal, although there is no release date set yet.
Pitt has modeled for numerous designer campaigns. In 2012, he was named the face of Italian fashion house Prada and modeled their menswear line. He was also featured in two separate Rag & Bone campaigns prior to the release of his self-directed campaign—once for Fall/Winter 2013, with French actress Léa Seydoux, and once for Fall/Winter 2014, with acclaimed actress Winona Ryder.
In 2005, Pitt revealed that he had been "engaged for a long time now" to the model Jamie Bochert, and said of her: "She's my other half." They resided in Brooklyn together. As of 2014, the two were no longer together.
|1999||Even Housewives in Minnesota Have Those Daydreams||Petey|
|2000||Finding Forrester||John Coleridge|
|2001||The Yellow Bird||Stuff|
|2001||Hedwig and the Angry Inch||Tommy Gnosis|
|2002||Murder by Numbers||Justin Pendleton|
|2004||The Village||Finton Coin|
|2004||The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things||Buddy|
|2006||The Hawk Is Dying||Fred|
|2007||Funny Games||Paul||Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|2014||Rob the Mob||Tommy Uva|
|2014||The Smell of Us||Street Musician||Uncredited cameo|
|2014||I Origins||Ian Gray||Also executive producer|
|2015||Macadam Stories||John McKenzie|
|2015||The Driver||Carmen||Short film; also director and co-writer|
|2017||Ghost in the Shell||Kuze|
|2018||Detective Chinatown 2||James Springfield|
|2019||Run with the Hunted||Oscar|
|2020||The Last Days of American Crime||Kevin Cash|
|TBA||You Can't Win||Jack Black||Also producer and co-writer; post-production|
|2002||"What a Wonderful World"||Joey Ramone||Punk Guy|
- via Associated Press. "HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire:' A Dramatic Getaway – New Series Brings Prohibition-Era Atlantic City, N.J., to Life with Historical Accuracy, Lavish Detail", CBS News, September 19, 2010. Accessed October 25, 2015. "Inevitably noted for his baby face, arresting blue eyes and pouty, pillowy lips, the 29-year-old West Orange, N.J., native seized on acting because, 'I liked the attention. And it kind of evolved into a craft, a skill, which was a positive thing in my life. Then I came to New York. I never really left.'"
- "Michael Pitt on choosing projects off the beaten path and 'I Origins'". Toronto Sun.
- "Hot Guy/Cold Drink: Cocktails and Cross-Dressing with Michael Pitt". Elle.
- Ann Hornaday (5 August 2005). "'Last Days': Kurt Cobain in Thin Disguise". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "'Ghost in the Shell' Adds Michael Pitt as the Villain Opposite Scarlett Johansson". 4 February 2016.
- Morgan, Spencer. "Meet Mr. Pitt and the Missus". New York Observer.
- "IMDb". IMDb. Amazon.com.
- Pitt profile in Hannibal, insidetv.ew.com, January 31, 2014; accessed April 11, 2014.
- Abrams, Natalie. "Michael Pitt exits 'Hannibal,' Joe Anderson to replace him". Entertainment Weekly.
- Pagoda (album)
- Grooveshark (2012). "The Dreamers Soundtrack". Grooveshark. Grooveshark. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- Johnson, Noah. "Style.com". Style.com.
- "French Beauty Lea Seydoux and Boardwalk Empire's Michael Pitt Front Rag & Bone's Fall 2013 Ads". Elle.
- Holmes, Sally. "Winona Ryder is Stunning in the New Rag & Bone Campaign". Elle.
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