Paul Giamatti

Paul Giamatti in Shoot 'Em Up

Paul Giamatti in “Shoot ‘Em Up”

Paul Giamatti isn’t like most leading men. He’s not particularly good looking and, in some cases, could even be called fat and balding. But he also has one thing that a lot of other Hollywood A-listers don’t have: talent. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Paul’s father served as the youngest president of Yale University before becoming the commissioner of Major League Baseball until his death in 1989. After graduating from an elite boarding school in the state, Paul went on to study English and Drama at Yale, and by the 1990’s had already appeared in several small roles for television and film.

Following his supporting performance as Howard Stern’s program director in the shock jock’s biopic, “Private Parts,” Paul went on to co-star in several high-profile projects including “The Truman Show” and “Saving Private Ryan,” and in 1999, alongside Jim Carrey in the Andy Kaufman biopic, “Man on the Moon.” Even his performance in genre flicks like “Planet of the Apes” and “Big Fat Liar” are to be applauded, though it has been these last three years that have been the most important. Critically acclaimed roles in cult hits like “American Splendor” and “Sideways” – both of which he was snubbed out of Oscar nominations for – and the summer box office flop, “Cinderella Man” – which he was nominated for, but still didn’t win – have all catapulted the actor into a newfound superstardom, but he deserves every minute of it. Here’s hoping Paul continues to pepper his resume with an interesting selection of film roles and more award-worthy performances.

Giamatti’s star power keeps growing over the years, with his starring role on Showtime’s “Billions” generating lots of praise.

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Paul on the Screen

Paul has always been a superstar, though in much smaller roles at first, including “Donnie Brasco,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “The Truman Show,” and “Saving Private Ryan.” In 1999, Paul co-starred in his first major studio picture, “Man on the Moon,” and went on to appear in several others like “Planet of the Apes.” Of course, the actor’s real talent seems to shine much brighter in the indie circuit, and though he got snubbed at the award shows three years in a row for “American Splendor,” “Sideways,” and “Cinderella Man,” he’s still managed to become a full-fledged leading man.

Sideways” (2004)
Our movie critic Jason Zingale notes that “Sideways” is one of those great American films you always hear about, but rarely see. Just like a glass of wine, it requires fine inspection and admiration, so drink it slowly and enjoy the ride. He also notes that “Paul Giamatti is one of the most talented actors in the business, so it’s nice to see him finally get his shot at playing the leading man. He’s everything Hollywood isn’t (ordinary, average-looking and slightly fat), and that’s why he’s able to portray the average Joe so well.” His performance in this film is simply brilliant. He certainly deserved an Oscar nomination for his performance in this film. He and Viginia Madsen have incredible chemistry together in this film.

Paul Giamatti in Sideways

Paul Giamatti Quotes

On the film industry:
“This business feels kind of intense, like a bad fit. Round peg, square hole. But whatever, I’ll take it.”

On fame:
“It’d be disingenuous to say I don’t like attention – I’m an actor for God’s sake – and it’s flattering and all, but attention was never my big goal. I just like to work and have a good time.”