George Orson Welles was an American actor, director and producer who worked in theatre and film. He is remembered for his innovative work in all three: in theatre, most notably Caesar, a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. While in his twenties Welles directed a number of high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937 he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941. Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds performed for his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air, it caused widespread panic because many listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring. Although some contemporary sources say these reports of panic were false and overstated, they rocketed Welles to notoriety.
His first film was Citizen Kane, which he co-wrote, produced and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles followed up Citizen Kane with twelve other feature films, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai, Touch of Evil, The Trial, Chimes at Midnight and F for Fake. With a development spanning fifty years, Welles' final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018. Welles was an outsider to the studio system and directed only thirteen full-length films in his career, he struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either edited or remained unreleased, his distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur".
In 2002 Welles was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. Known for his baritone voice, Welles was an actor in radio and film, a Shakespearean stage actor and magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. George Orson Welles was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, son of Richard Head Welles and Beatrice Ives Welles, he was named after his paternal great-grandfather, influential Kenosha attorney Orson S. Head, his brother George Head. An alternative story of the source of his first and middle names was told by George Ade, who met Welles's parents on a West Indies cruise toward the end of 1914. Ade was traveling with a friend, Orson Wells, the two of them sat at the same table as Mr. and Mrs. Richard Welles. Mrs. Welles was pregnant at the time, when they said good-by, she told them that she had enjoyed their company so much that if the child were a boy, she intended to name it for them: George Orson. Welles's birth announcement and a picture of him as a young boy are among George Ade's papers at Purdue University.
Despite his family's affluence, Welles encountered hardship in childhood. His parents separated and moved to Chicago in 1919, his father, who made a fortune as the inventor of a popular bicycle lamp, became an alcoholic and stopped working. Welles's mother, a pianist, played during lectures by Dudley Crafts Watson at the Art Institute of Chicago to support her son and herself. Beatrice died of hepatitis in a Chicago hospital on May 10, 1924, just after Welles's ninth birthday; the Gordon String Quartet, which had made its first appearance at her home in 1921, played at Beatrice's funeral. After his mother's death, Welles ceased pursuing music, it was decided that he would spend the summer with the Watson family at a private art colony in Wyoming, New York, established by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward. There he played and became friends with the children of the Aga Khan, including the 12-year-old Prince Aly Khan. In what Welles described as "a hectic period" in his life, he lived in a Chicago apartment with both his father and Dr. Maurice Bernstein, a Chicago physician, a close friend of both his parents.
Welles attended public school before his alcoholic father left business altogether and took him along on his travels to Jamaica and the Far East. When they returned they settled in a hotel in Grand Detour, owned by his father; when the hotel burned down and his father took to the road again."During the three years that Orson lived with his father, some observers wondered who took care of whom", wrote biographer Frank Brady."In some ways, he was never a young boy, you know," said Roger Hill, who became Welles's teacher and lifelong friend. Welles attended public school in Madison, enrolled in the fourth grade. On September 15, 1926, he entered the Todd Seminary for Boys, an expensive independent school in Woodstock, that his older brother, Richard Ives Welles, had attended ten years before until he was expelled for misbeha
Jeffrey Wright is an American actor. He is best known for his Tony- and Emmy-winning role as Belize in the Broadway production and HBO miniseries Angels in America, he starred as Jean-Michel Basquiat in Basquiat, Felix Leiter in the James Bond films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, Valentin Narcisse in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, Beetee in The Hunger Games films. Wright stars as Bernard Lowe in the HBO series Westworld. Wright was born in Washington, D. C. to a mother who worked as a customs lawyer and a father who died when he was a child. He graduated from St. Albans School and attended Amherst College, receiving a bachelor's degree in political science and planned to attend law school. After attending New York University for two months, he left to become a full-time actor. Wright began appearing off-Broadway in New York City and Washington DC, in 1990, he appeared in his first major film as an attorney in Presumed Innocent, which starred Harrison Ford. In 1991, Wright joined John Houseman's national touring repertory company The Acting Company with productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Athol Fugard's Blood Knot.
In 1993 and 1994, he appeared as Norman "Belize" Arriaga in Tony Kushner's award-winning play Angels in America. His portrayal of a gay nurse forced to take care of Roy Cohn as he dies of AIDS won him the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. In 1996, Wright portrayed painter Jean-Michel Basquiat in the film Basquiat, to critical acclaim. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Wright appeared in both leading and supporting roles in such films as Celebrity, Ride with the Devil and Boycott, where he gave an AFI Award-winning performance as Martin Luther King, Jr.. In 2003, Wright reprised his role as Norman "Belize" Arriaga in HBO's award-winning adaptation of Angels in America, his performance garnered him an Emmy award as well as a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor in a miniseries. In 2004, he appeared in Jonathan Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate. In February 2005, Wright returned to HBO Films in Lackawanna Blues, he guest starred on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Homicide: Life on the Street.
Among his other film roles was Washington attorney Bennett Holiday in Syriana. The same year, he played Bill Murray's eccentric Ethiopian neighbor Winston in Broken Flowers. In 2005, he starred, he appeared as one of the tenants in Lady in the Water. In 2006, Wright was featured as Felix Leiter in the James Bond movie Casino Royale, he reprised the role in Quantum of Solace. In 2007, Wright starred in the alien invasion suspense thriller The Invasion. In 2008, he portrayed Colin Powell in W, he portrayed Muddy Waters in Cadillac Records, a biopic, loosely based on the rise and fall of Chess Records. In 2010, Wright played Jacques Cornet in the world premiere run of A Free Man of Color at the Vivian Beaumont Theater of the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in New York City. Wright plays Beetee in The Hunger Games film series, starting with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, released in November 2013, he landed the role of Dr. Valentin Narcisse in season 4 of Boardwalk Empire, starting in the fall of 2013.
In March 2017, Wright appeared in a commercial for Dell Technologies where he showcases a solid golf swing while demonstrating a Callaway driver. In 2018, Wright produced the HBO documentary We Are Not Done Yet, which gives voice to war veterans who, through a USO-sponsored arts workshop at Walter Reed National Military Hospital, discover the power and healing of shared experience to unite and find resilience in the face of post-traumatic stress. Wright married actress Carmen Ejogo in August 2000, they had a son named a daughter named Juno and lived in Brooklyn, New York. They have since divorced. In 2004, Wright received an honorary degree from Amherst College. Wright has been a longtime activist working to end resource-related conflicts. In 2011, Wright established Taia Lion Resources, a mineral exploration company focused on ethical and sustainable mining in Sierra Leone. In August 2012, Wright's conflict-free mining philosophy was highlighted in a video by the Enough Project. Jeffrey Wright at the Internet Broadway Database Jeffrey Wright on IMDb Jeffrey Wright at AllMovie HBO cast page for Angels in America
Armand Douglas Hammer is an American actor. The son of businessman Michael Armand Hammer and the great-grandson of oil tycoon Armand Hammer, Hammer began his acting career with guest appearances in several television series, his first leading role was as Billy Graham in the 2008 film Billy: The Early Years, he gained wider recognition for his portrayal of the Winklevoss twins in David Fincher's biographical drama film The Social Network. For the latter, he won the Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor. Hammer went on to portray Clyde Tolson in the biopic J. Edgar, play the title character in the western The Lone Ranger, star as Illya Kuryakin in the action film The Man from U. N. C. L. E.. In 2017, he starred in Luca Guadagnino's romantic drama Call Me by Your Name, for which he received a nomination for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor; the following year, he portrayed Martin D. Ginsburg in the biopic On the Basis of Sex. Hammer was born in California, his mother, Dru Ann, is a former bank loan officer, his father, Michael Armand Hammer, owns several businesses, including Knoedler Publishing and Armand Hammer Productions.
He has Viktor. Hammer has described his background as "half Jewish." His paternal great-grandfather was oil tycoon and philanthropist Armand Hammer, whose parents were Jewish immigrants to the U. S. from Russian Empire, were of Ukrainian Jewish descent. Armie's paternal great-grandmother was Russian-born actress and singer Olga Vadimovna Vadina, the daughter of a tsarist general, his paternal grandmother was from Texas, while his mother's family is from Oklahoma. Hammer lived in the Dallas neighborhood of Highland Park for several years; when he was seven, his family moved to the Cayman Islands, where they lived for five years, settled back in Los Angeles. He attended Faulkner's Academy in Governor's Harbour, Cayman Islands, Grace Christian Academy in Grand Cayman, went to Los Angeles Baptist High School in the San Fernando Valley, he dropped out of high school in eleventh grade to pursue an acting career. Subsequently, he took college courses. Hammer said his parents disowned him when he decided to leave school and take up acting but have since become supportive and proud of his work.
Hammer's professional acting career began with small guest appearances in the television series Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives. His first ventures into film began with a minor role in the 2006 film Flicka, as well as co-starring in a 2008 psychological thriller, Blackout, his first leading role in film came with his portrayal of the Christian evangelist Billy Graham in Billy: The Early Years, which premiered in October 2008. The film garnered Hammer a "Faith and Values Award" nomination in the Grace Award category, awarded for the Most Inspiring Performance in Movie or Television by Mediaguide, an organization which provides movie reviews from a Christian perspective. In 2007, Hammer was hand-picked by filmmaker George Miller, after a long search, to star in the planned superhero film Justice League: Mortal, as Batman/Bruce Wayne; the film, to be directed by Miller, was cancelled. The films cancellation came in large part due to the looming 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike as well as stalled budgetary rebate negotiations with the Australian Government.
In 2009, he played Harrison Bergeron in 2081, based on the short story of the same name by author Kurt Vonnegut, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival. In 2010, Hammer's breakthrough film role was in David Fincher's The Social Network, about the creation of Facebook, he portrayed the identical twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, with actor Josh Pence serving as a body double during filming. The filmmakers utilized computer-generated imagery during post-production to superimpose Hammer's face over Pence's as well as the use of split-screen photography in certain scenes. In preparation for the film, Hammer stated that he had to learn how to row on both sides of a boat in order to play the twins, who are rowing champions. Hammer and Pence went through 10 months of extensive twin boot camp in preparation for their roles, in order to, "drill the subtle movements and speech patterns that the Winklevosses would have developed over two decades of genetic equality." This film earned Hammer his first critical plaudits, with Richard Corliss of Time remarking that Hammer's portrayal of the twins was, "an astonishingly subtle trompe l'oeil of special effects."
For his role in the film, Hammer won Toronto Film Critics Association Awards for Best Supporting Actor. His next role was that of the first Associate Director of the FBI, Clyde Tolson, in Clint Eastwood's 2011 film J. Edgar; the biographical drama, written by Dustin Lance Black, focused on the expansive career of J. Edgar Hoover, of which the titular role was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio; the acting was praised, with David Denby of The New Yorker citing Hammer's performance as "charming" and The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy as, "excellent,". McCarthy goes on further in his review to praise the chemistry between DiCaprio and Hammer in their depiction of the speculated romantic relationship between their characters, pointing out that, "...the way the homoerotic undertones and impulses are handled is one of the best things about the film.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor and producer. Best known for his distinctive supporting and character roles – lowlifes, eccentrics and misfits – Hoffman acted in many films from the early 1990s until his death in 2014. Drawn to theater as a teenager, Hoffman studied acting at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, he began his screen career in a 1991 episode of Law & Order and started to appear in films in 1992. He gained recognition for his supporting work, notably in Scent of a Woman, Boogie Nights, Patch Adams, The Big Lebowski, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Almost Famous, Punch-Drunk Love, Along Came Polly, he began to play leading roles, for his portrayal of the author Truman Capote in Capote, won multiple accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Actor. Hoffman's profile continued to grow, he received three more Oscar nominations for his supporting work as a brutally frank CIA officer in Charlie Wilson's War, a priest accused of pedophilia in Doubt, the charismatic leader of a Scientology-type movement in The Master.
While he worked in independent films, including The Savages and Synecdoche, New York, Hoffman appeared in Flawless, Hollywood blockbusters such as Twister and Mission: Impossible III, in one of his final roles, as Plutarch Heavensbee in the Hunger Games series. The feature Jack Goes Boating marked his debut as a filmmaker. Hoffman was an accomplished theater actor and director, he joined the off-Broadway LAByrinth Theater Company in 1995, where he directed and appeared in numerous stage productions. His performances in three Broadway plays – True West in 2000, Long Day's Journey into Night in 2003, Death of a Salesman in 2012 – all led to Tony Award nominations. Hoffman struggled with drug addiction as a young adult and relapsed in 2013 after many years of abstinence. In February 2014, he died of combined drug intoxication. Remembered for his fearlessness in playing reprehensible characters, for bringing depth and humanity to such roles, Hoffman was described in his New York Times obituary as "perhaps the most ambitious and admired American actor of his generation".
Hoffman was born on July 1967, in the Rochester suburb of Fairport, New York. His mother, Marilyn O'Connor, came from nearby Waterloo and worked as an elementary school teacher before becoming a lawyer and a family court judge, his father, Gordon Stowell Hoffman, of German descent, was a native of Geneva, New York, worked for the Xerox Corporation. Along with one brother, Hoffman has two sisters and Emily. Hoffman was baptized a Roman Catholic and attended Mass as a child, but did not have a religious upbringing, his parents divorced when he was nine, the children were raised by their mother. Hoffman's childhood passion was sports wrestling and baseball, but at age 12, he saw a stage production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons and was transfixed, he recalled. It was like a miracle to me". Hoffman developed a love for the theater, proceeded to attend with his mother, a lifelong enthusiast, he remembered that productions of Quilters and Alms for the Middle Class, the latter starring a teenaged Robert Downey, Jr. were particularly inspirational.
At the age of 14, Hoffman suffered a neck injury that ended his sporting activity, he began to consider acting. Encouraged by his mother, he joined a drama club, committed to it because he was attracted to a female member. Acting became a passion for Hoffman: "I loved the camaraderie of it, the people, that's when I decided it was what I wanted to do." At the age of 17, he was selected to attend the 1984 New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, where he met his future collaborators Bennett Miller and Dan Futterman. Miller commented on Hoffman's popularity at the time: "We were attracted to the fact that he was genuinely serious about what he was doing, he was passionate." Hoffman applied for several drama degree programs and was accepted to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Between starting on the program and graduating from Fairport High School, he continued his training at the Circle in the Square Theatre's summer program. Hoffman had positive memories of his time at NYU.
With friends, he co-founded the Bullstoi Ensemble acting troupe. He received a drama degree in 1989. After graduating, Hoffman worked in off-Broadway theater and made additional money with customer service jobs, he made his screen debut in 1991, in a Law & Order episode called "The Violence of Summer", playing a man accused of rape. His first cinema role came the following year, when he was credited as "Phil Hoffman" in the independent film Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole. After this, he adopted Seymour, to avoid confusion with another actor. More film roles promptly followed, with appearances in the studio production My New Gun, a small role in the comedy Leap of Faith, starring Steve Martin. Following these roles, he gained attention playing a spoiled student in the Oscar-winning Al Pacino film Scent of a Woman. Hoffman auditioned five times for his role, which The Guardian journalist Ryan Gilbey says gave him an early opportunity "to indulge his skill for making unctuousness compelling"; the film was the first to get Hoffman noticed.
Reflecting on Scent of a Woman, Hoffman late
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, co-produced, co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second installment of Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins, starring an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman. In the film, Bruce Wayne / Batman, Police Lieutenant James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City, but are menaced by an anarchistic mastermind known as the Joker, who seeks to undermine Batman's influence and turn the city to chaos. Nolan's inspiration for the film was the Joker's comic book debut in 1940, the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke, the 1996 series The Long Halloween, which retold Two-Face's origin; the "Dark Knight" nickname was first applied to Batman in Batman #1, in a story written by Bill Finger. The Dark Knight was filmed in Chicago, as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong.
Nolan used IMAX 70 mm film cameras to film some sequences, including the Joker's first appearance in the film. Warner Bros. created a viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing promotional websites and trailers highlighting screenshots of Ledger as the Joker. Ledger died on January 22, 2008, some months after the completed filming and six months before the film's release from a toxic combination of prescription drugs, leading to intense attention from the press and movie-going public. A co-production of the United States and the United Kingdom, The Dark Knight was released on July 18, 2008 in the United States and on July 25, 2008 in the United Kingdom. Film critics considered it one of the best films of its decade and one of the best superhero films of all time; the Dark Knight appeared on 287 critics' top ten lists, more than any other film of 2008 with the exception of WALL-E, more critics named The Dark Knight the best film released that year. With over $1 billion in revenue worldwide, it became the highest-grossing film of 2008 and is the 38th highest-grossing film of all time, unadjusted for inflation.
The film received eight Academy Award nominations. In 2016 it was voted 33rd among 100 films considered the best of the 21st century by 117 film critics from around the world; the Dark Knight Rises, the final film in the trilogy, was released on July 20, 2012. A gang of criminals rob a Gotham City mob bank, murdering each other for a higher share of the money until only the Joker remains, who escapes with the money. Batman, District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant Jim Gordon form an alliance to rid Gotham City of organized crime. Bruce Wayne believes that with Dent as Gotham's protector, he can retire from being Batman and lead a normal life with Rachel Dawes – though she and Dent are dating. Mob bosses Sal Maroni and the Chechen hold a videoconference with their corrupt accountant, who has taken their funds for safekeeping and fled to Hong Kong; the Joker interrupts the meeting to warn them that Batman is unhindered by the law, offers to kill him in exchange for half of their money. The mob bosses disagree, Gambol places a bounty on the Joker.
The Joker kills Gambol, taking over his gang. The mob decides to take the Joker up on his offer. Batman finds Lau in Hong Kong and brings him back to Gotham to testify, allowing Dent to apprehend the entire mob; the Joker threatens to kill people unless Batman reveals his identity, starts by murdering Police Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb and the judge presiding over the mob trial; the Joker tries to kill Mayor Anthony Garcia, but Gordon sacrifices himself to stop the assassination. Dent kidnaps one of Joker’s henchmen and threatens him with a deadly game of heads or tails using Dent's lucky coin. Dent learns. Bruce decides to reveal his secret identity to prevent more deaths. Before he can, Dent falsely announces that he is Batman. Dent is taken into protective custody. Batman comes to Dent's rescue and Gordon, who faked his death, apprehends the Joker, securing a promotion to Commissioner. Rachel and Dent are escorted away by detectives on Maroni's payroll. Batman interrogates the Joker, who reveals that they have been trapped in separate locations rigged with explosives and that Batman must choose one to save.
Batman races to save Rachel. Batman realizes that the Joker has sent him to Dent's location instead. Both buildings explode, disfiguring Dent; the Joker escapes with Lau. The Joker kills Lau and the Chechen. Coleman Reese, an accountant at Wayne Enterprises, deduces that Bruce is Batman and threatens to publicize the information. Not wanting Reese's revelation to interfere with his plans, the Joker threatens to destroy a hospital unless Reese is killed within an hour. All hospitals are evacuated and Gordon travels to secure Reese; the Joker, disguised as a hospital nurse, discovers Dent's ward and hands him a gun, convincing him to
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor and singer. His career has included critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of substance abuse and legal difficulties, a resurgence of commercial success in middle age. For three consecutive years from 2012 to 2015, Downey topped the Forbes list of Hollywood's highest-paid actors, making an estimated $80 million in earnings between June 2014 and June 2015. Making his acting debut at the age of five, appearing in his father's film Pound, Downey appeared in roles associated with the Brat Pack, such as the teen sci-fi comedy Weird Science and the drama Less Than Zero, he starred as the title character in the 1992 film Chaplin, for which he earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor and he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. After being released in 2000 from the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison where he was incarcerated on drug charges, Downey joined the cast of the TV series Ally McBeal playing Calista Flockhart's love interest.
For that he earned a Golden Globe Award. His character was terminated when Downey was fired after two drug arrests in late 2000 and early 2001. After his last stay in a court-ordered drug treatment program, Downey achieved sobriety. Downey's career prospects improved when he featured in the black comedy crime Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, the mystery thriller Zodiac, the satirical action comedy Tropic Thunder. Beginning in 2008, Downey began portraying the role of Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in several films as either the lead role, member of an ensemble cast, or in a cameo; each of these films, with the exception of The Incredible Hulk, has grossed over $500 million at the box office worldwide. Downey has played the title character in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, which earned him his second Golden Globe win, its sequel, both of which have earned over $500 million at the box office worldwide; as of 2018, the U. S. domestic box-office grosses of Downey's films total over US $4.9 billion, with worldwide grosses surpassing $11.6 billion, making Downey the third highest-grossing U.
S. domestic box-office star of all time. Downey was born in New York on April 4, 1965, the younger of two children, his father, Robert Downey Sr. is an actor and filmmaker, while his mother, Elsie Ann, was an actress who appeared in Downey Sr.'s films. Downey's father is of half Lithuanian Jewish, one-quarter Hungarian Jewish, one-quarter Irish descent, while Downey's mother had Scottish and Swiss ancestry. Robert's original family name was Elias, changed by his father to enlist in the Army. Downey and his older sister Allyson grew up in Greenwich Village; as a child, Downey was "surrounded by drugs." His father, a drug addict, allowed Downey to use marijuana at age six, an incident which his father said he now regrets. Downey stated that drug use became an emotional bond between him and his father: "When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how." Downey began spending every night abusing alcohol and "making a thousand phone calls in pursuit of drugs."During his childhood, Downey had minor roles in his father's films.
He made his acting debut at the age of five, playing a sick puppy in the absurdist comedy Pound, at seven appeared in the surrealist Greaser's Palace. At the age of 10, he was living in England and studied classical ballet as part of a larger curriculum, he attended the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York as a teenager. When his parents divorced in 1978, Downey moved to California with his father, but in 1982, he dropped out of Santa Monica High School, moved back to New York to pursue an acting career full-time. Downey and Kiefer Sutherland, who shared the screen in the 1988 drama 1969, were roommates for three years when he first moved to Hollywood to pursue his career in acting. Downey began building upon theater roles, including in the short-lived off-Broadway musical American Passion at the Joyce Theater in 1983, produced by Norman Lear. In 1985, he was part of the new, younger cast hired for Saturday Night Live, but following a year of poor ratings and criticism of the new cast's comedic talents, he and most of the new crew were dropped and replaced.
Rolling Stone magazine named Downey the worst SNL cast member in its entire run, stating that the "Downey Fail sums up everything that makes SNL great." That same year, Downey had a dramatic acting breakthrough when he played James Spader's sidekick in Tuff Turf and a bully in John Hughes's Weird Science. He was considered for the role of Duckie in John Hughes's film Pretty in Pink, but his first lead role was with Molly Ringwald in The Pick-up Artist; because of these and other coming-of-age films Downey did during the 1980s, he is sometimes named as a member of the Brat Pack. In 1987, Downey played Julian Wells, a drug-addicted rich boy whose life spirals out of his control, in the film version of the Bret Easton Ellis novel Less Than Zero, his performance, described by Janet Maslin in The New York Times as "desperately moving", was praised, though Downey has said that for him "the role was like the ghost of Christmas Future" since his drug habit resulted in his becoming an "exaggeration of the character" in real life.
Zero drove Downey into films with bigger budgets and names, such as Chances Ar