Sam Rockwell –

Sam Rockwell as President George W. Bush in Vice, in a
performance that earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

Sam Rockwell: Best Supporting Actor, 2017:

Three-Billboards-Movie-Poster Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Crime, Drama – R)

Sam Rockwell won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as a troubled police deputy in the 2017 film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

About Sam Rockwell (1968 – ____)

Sam Rockwell was born in Daly City, California, the son of actors who divorced when he was five years old. He was raised by his father, Pete Rockwell, in San Francisco, while his mother, Penny Hess, lived in New York. At age 10 he made his stage debut playing Humphrey Bogart in an East Village improv comedy sketch starring his mother.

He attended San Francisco School of the Arts for his high school education with Margaret Cho and Aisha Tyler but dropped out before graduating. He later received his high school diploma after his parents enrolled him in an alternative high school called Urban Pioneers because, as Rockwell explained, "I just wanted to get stoned, flirt with girls, go to parties." The school, the actor said, "had a reputation as a place stoners went because it was easy to graduate," but the program ended up helping him regain an interest in performing. After appearing in an independent film during his senior year, he graduated and moved to New York to pursue an acting career.

After his debut role in the 1989 horror film Clownhouse he moved to New York and trained at the William Esper Studios, with teacher Terry Knickerbocker. His career slowly gathered momentum in the early 1990s, when he alternated between small-screen guest spots in TV shows like The Equalizer, NYPD Blue and Law & Order and small roles in films such as Last Exit to Brooklyn and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He also appeared as the title character in The Search for One-eye Jimmy. At this time Rockwell worked in restaurants as a busboy and delivered burritos by bicycle. At one point, he even worked as a private eye's assistant. "I tailed a chick who was having an affair and took pictures of her at this motel", he told Rolling Stone in 2002. "It was pretty sleazy." A well-paying Miller commercial in 1994 finally allowed him to pursue acting full-time.

The turning point in his career was Tom DiCillo's 1996 film Box of Moonlight, in which he played an eccentric man-child who dresses like Davy Crockett and lives in a mobile home. The acclaim it brought put him front and center with casting agents and new-found fans alike, with Rockwell himself acknowledging that "That film was definitely a turning point... I was sort of put on some independent film map after 10 years in New York."

He also won strong reviews for the 1997 film Lawn Dogs, where he played a working-class lawn mower who befriends a wealthy 10-year-old girl (Mischa Barton) in an upper-class gated community in Kentucky; Rockwell's performance won him Best Actor honors at both the Montreal World and the Catalan International Film Festivals. In 1999, Rockwell played prisoner William "Wild Bill" Wharton in the Stephen King prison drama The Green Mile. "I like that dark stuff," he explained. "I think heroes should be flawed. There's a bit of self-loathing in there, and a bit of anger... But after this, I've really got to play some lawyers, or a British aristocrat, or they'll put a label on me."

After appearances as a bumbling actor in 1999's science fiction satire Galaxy Quest, in the 1999 Shakespeare adaptation A Midsummer Night's Dream as Flute, and as gregarious villain Eric Knox in Charlie's Angels, Rockwell won the biggest leading role of his career as Gong Show host Chuck Barris in George Clooney's 2002 directorial debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Rockwell's performance was well received, and the film received generally positive reviews.

Rockwell also received positive attention for his role opposite Nicolas Cage in Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men, with Entertainment Weekly calling him "destined... to forever be a colorful sidekick." He received somewhat more mixed reviews as Zaphod Beeblebrox in the 2005 film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He then had a notable supporting role as Charley Ford, brother of Casey Affleck's character Robert Ford, in the well-received 2007 drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, in which Brad Pitt played the lead role of Jesse James.

In addition to big-budget feature films, Rockwell also appears in indie films such as The F Word and he played a randy, Halloween-costume-clad Batman in a short, Robin's Big Date, opposite Justin Long as Robin. He also starred in the 2008 film Snow Angels opposite Kate Beckinsale.

Rockwell played Victor Mancini in the film Choke, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. Critic Roger Ebert said of his performance that he "seems to have become the latter-day version of Christopher Walken — not all the time, but when you need him, he's your go-to guy for weirdness."

In 2007, Rockwell guest-starred in the web series Casted: The Continuing Chronicles of Derek Riffchyn, Greatest Casting Director in the World. Ever. He appears opposite Jonathan Togo as Derek and Justin Long as Scott. Rockwell plays an aspiring young actor named Pete Sampras.

In 2009, he starred in the critically acclaimed science fiction film Moon, directed by Duncan Jones. His performance was widely praised, with some critics calling for an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination.

Rockwell also appeared in Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths, as well as Nat Faxon and Jim Rash's The Way, Way Back. For his performance in The Way, Way Back, some critics wrote that he again deserved an Academy Award nomination.

In January 2014, it was announced that Rockwell was cast in The Eel, in which plays an escaped convict. The film was produced by Kevin Walsh, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash, marking Rockwell's second collaboration with all three. Additionally, Rockwell starred in the 2015 remake of Poltergeist.

Rockwell re-teamed with McDonagh for the 2017 film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. His performance as racist, bullying police officer Jason Dixon won several accolades, including his first Academy Award. In August 2017, Rockwell was cast to play George W. Bush in Adam McKay's Vice, a biopic of Dick Cheney; he received his second nomination for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award as a result.

Rockwell has never been married and was quoted in a 2007 interview as saying, "I definitely don't want to become a parent. It's not my bag."

Rockwell has been in a relationship with actress Leslie Bibb since 2007, when they met in Los Angeles when he was filming Frost/Nixon. They both appeared in Iron Man 2.

Sam Rockwell's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1989Last Exit to BrooklynAl
1990Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesHead Thug
1991Strictly BusinessGary
1992Jack and His FriendsLouie
1992In the SoupPauli
1992Light SleeperJealous
1992Happy Hell NightYoung Henry Collins
1994Somebody to LovePolish Guy
1994The Search for One-eye JimmyOne-eye Jimmy
1995Glory DazeRob
1996Bad Liver and a Broken HeartBroken Heart
1996Box of MoonlightThe Kid, aka Bucky
1997Arresting GenaSonny
1997Lawn DogsTrent
1998The Call BackAlan/Christopher Walken
1998Jerry and TomJerry
1998Louis & FrankSam
1998Safe MenSam
1998CelebrityDarrow Entourage
1999A Midsummer Night's DreamFrancis Flute
1999The Green MileWilliam "Wild Bill" Wharton
1999Galaxy QuestGuy Fleegman
2000Charlie's AngelsEric Knox
2001D.C. SmallsKaraoke Singer
2001MadeHotel Clerk
2001HeistJimmy Silk
200213 MoonsRick
2002Running TimeThe Hunted
2002Welcome to CollinwoodPero "Pepe" Mahalovic
2002Confessions of a Dangerous MindChuck Barris
2002Stella Shorts 1998–2002Pizza Guy
2003Matchstick MenFrank Mercer
2004Piccadilly JimPiccadilly Jim/Jim Crocker
2005The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyZaphod Beeblebrox
2005The F WordJeremy
2005Robin's Big DateThe Bat-man
2007JoshuaBrad Cairn
2007Snow AngelsGlenn Marchand
2007The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert FordCharley Ford
2008Woman in BurkaSam
2008ChokeVictor Mancini
2008Frost/NixonJames Reston Jr.
2009The Winning SeasonBill
2009MoonSam Bell
2009G-ForceDarwin (voice)
2009Gentlemen BroncosBronco/Brutus
2009Everybody's FineRobert
2010Iron Man 2Justin Hammer
2010ConvictionKenneth Waters
2011Cowboys & AliensDoc
2011The SitterKarl
2012Seven PsychopathsBilly Bickle
2013The Way, Way BackOwen
2013A Single ShotJohn Moon
2013Trust MeAldo Stankas
2013A Case of YouGary
2013Better Living Through ChemistryDouglas Varney
2014Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the KingJustin Hammer
2014Loitering with IntentWayne
2015Digging for FireRay
2015Don VerdeanDon Verdean
2015PoltergeistEric Bowen
2015Mr. RightMr. Right / Francis
2017AxisHimself (voice)
2017The Dark of NightOfficer Witt
2017Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriOfficer Jason Dixon
2017Woman Walks AheadColonel Silas Grove
2018MuteSam Bell
2018Blue IguanaEddie
2018The Best of EnemiesClaiborne Paul Ellis
2018ViceGeorge W. Bush
2019The Best of EnemiesC. P. Ellis
2019Jojo RabbitCaptain Klenzendorf
2020Trolls World Tour
TBAThe One and Only IvanIvan

Sam Rockwell's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1988The EqualizerSlick
1989Dream StreetJoey
1990ABC Afterschool SpecialJason
1992, 1993Law & OrderRandy Borland / Officer Weddeker
1993Lifestories: Families in CrisisKevin Tunell
1995NYPD BlueBilly
1997SUBWAY Stories: Tales from the UndergroundMan Eating
1997–2000Prince StreetDonny Hanson
2005StellaGary Meadows
2012Napoleon DynamiteFilson (voice)
2015Drunk HistoryBugsy Siegel
2015–presentF Is for FamilyVic (voice)
2016Inside Amy SchumerSam
2018Saturday Night LiveHimself (host)
2019Fosse/VerdonBob Fosse

Academy Nominations/Awards won by Sam Rockwell include...

Year Movie Award
2017 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Best Supporting Actor
2018 Vice Best Supporting Actor — Nominated

Memorable Quotes by Sam Rockwell

“ When I took acting classes and being drunk was the assigned impediment of the day, a lot of people would go out the night before and get drunk. That's not research! Research is going to a bar... and drinking coffee. ”

[on his role in Galaxy Quest] “ That part is kind of an homage to Bill Paxton in Aliens. I definitely stole some moves from my buddy [actor] Steve Zahn and Bill Murray's lounge singer character from Saturday Night Live is in there somewhere. Plus a little Michael Keaton in Night Shift and definitely some Richard Pryor. I get a lot from Richard Pryor actually. How agile he is, vulnerable. ”

“ I have a constant sort of melancholy approach to acting that fuels me. I want to do everything. ”

[on what he would do if he wasn't an actor] “ I have no skills. There's absolutely nothing I know how to do. So I'd be fucked otherwise. I'm very fortunate to be an actor. I know I'm very lucky to be doing this. And though I'm not sure where I'm going to end up — whether it's in major films, independents, or theater work — I'm just happy getting to do roles that are really juicy, meaningful and allow me to keep adventuring the way I have been. ”

[on his part in The Green Mile (1999)] “ I guess Wild Bill is a disgusting, racist, pedophile freak. But I'd been wanting to play a psycho, a juicy one. I saw him as Huck Finn meets Satan. The kind of part Gary Oldman or John Malkovich might play. It's just a cool part. ”

“ I've played so many hicks and country bumpkins. It's hilarious, because I've always lived in cities. ”

Things You May Not Know About Sam Rockwell

He told Carson Daly in a talk-show appearance that he dropped out of G.I. Jane because he didn't want to get cold filming the night time SCUBA scenes.

He filmed his scenes for Jarhead in one day. They were later deleted.

To memorize lines, he says he dictates them into a tape recorder in a monotone, so he won't get used to any inflection before he's had a chance to consider which speech pattern would be appropriate for the character.

He is of German, Irish, English, and distant Dutch, descent.

He is close friends with actor Justin Long and Jonathan Togo.

As of 2018, he has been in 3 films that were Oscar nominated for Best Picture: The Green Mile, Frost/Nixon, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Vice-pic1 Vice-pic2
Sam Rockwell in Vice (2018)... top picture with Christian Bale.
Rockwell in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2006)... top picture with Yasiin Bey... bottom picture with Yasiin Bey and Martin Freeman.
Rockwell in A Single Shot (2013)... bottom picture with Amy Sloan.
In Choke (2008)... top picture with Brad William Henke.
As game-show host Chuck Barris in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)...
middle picture with Drew Barrymore ... bottom picture with George Clooney.
In Conviction (2010)... top picture with Tony Goldwyn...
bottom two pictures with Hilary Swank.
In Cowboys and Aliens (2011)... top picture
with Harrison Ford... bottom picture with Ana de la Reguera.
In Don Verdeen (2015)... middle picture with Amy
Ryan... bottom picture with Leslie Bibb, Amy Ryan, and Danny McBride.
In Frost/Nixon (2008)... middle picture with Oliver
, Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen.
In Heist (2001).... middle picture with Rebecca Pidgeon...
bottom picture with Danny DeVito.
In Iron Man 2 (2010).
In Joshua (2007)... top picture with Vera Farmiga ...
bottom picture with Vera Farmiga and Jacob Kogan.
In Matchstick Men (2003)... bottom picture with Drew Barrymore.
In Duncan Jones's Moon (2009).
With Anna Kendrick in Mr. Right (2015).
With Abbie Cornish in Seven Psychopaths (2012).
With Kate Beckinsale in Snow Angels (2007).
In The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)...
with Casey Affleck in second picture... with Jeremy Renner in third picture...
with Brad Pitt and Jeremy Renner in bottom picture.
In his Oscar-winning performance as Officer Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)... with Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand in third picture.
Sam Rockwell in Welcome to Collinwood (2002)... top picture with William H. Macy,
Michael Jeter, and Isaiah Washington... bottom picture with Luis Guzman.