Darren Aronofsky directs Oscar® winners Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, and Ellen Burstyn in this hypnotic tale of four people each pursuing their vision of happiness. Even as everything begins to fall apart, they refuse to let go, plummeting with their dreams into a nightmarish, gut-wrenching freefall.
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Ellen BurstynActorEllen Burstyn was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Correine Marie (Hamel) and John Austin Gillooly. She is of Irish, French/French-Canadian, Pennsylvania Dutch (German), and Native American ancestry.. She worked a number of jobs before she became an actress. At 14, she was a short-order cook at a lunch counter. After graduating from Detroit's Cass Technical High School, she went to Texas to model and then to New York as a showgirl on The Jackie Gleason Show (1952). From there, it was to Montreal as a nightclub dancer and then Broadway with her debut in "Fair Game (1957)". By 1963, she appeared on the TV series The Doctors (1963), but she gained notice for her role in Goodbye Charlie (1964). Ellen then took time off to study acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. Her big break came when she was cast as the female lead in The Last Picture Show (1971). For this role, she received nominations for the Golden Globe and Academy Award. Next, she co-starred with Jack Nicholson in The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), giving a chilling performance. Then came The Exorcist (1973). She was again nominated for the Golden Globe and Academy Award. In 1974, she starred in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), for which performance she won the Oscar and BAFTA awards as Best Actress. For the Golden Globe, she was nominated but lost to Marsha Mason. The same year, she made history by winning a Tony Award for the Broadway play "Same Time, Next Year". She won praise and award nominations for her performances in the film versions of Same Time, Next Year (1978) and Resurrection (1980). In "Resurrection", she played a woman with the power to heal. A succession of TV movies resulting in two Emmy nominations kept her going as did the series The Ellen Burstyn Show (1986). The TV movies continued through the 1990s. Also in the 1990s, she was cast in the supporting role in such movies as The Cemetery Club (1993), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), The Baby-Sitters Club (1995) and The Spitfire Grill (1996). In addition to her acting, She was the first woman president of Actor's Equity (1982-85).More
Jennifer ConnellyActorJennifer Connelly was born in the Catskill Mountains, New York, to Ilene (Schuman), a dealer of antiques, and Gerard Connelly, a clothing manufacturer. Her father had Irish and Norwegian ancestry, and her mother was from a Jewish immigrant family. Jennifer grew up in Brooklyn Heights, just across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, except for the four years her parents spent in Woodstock, New York. Back in Brooklyn Heights, she attended St. Ann's school. A close friend of the family was an advertising executive. When Jennifer was ten, he suggested that her parents take her to a modeling audition. She began appearing in newspaper and magazine ads (among them "Seventeen" magazine), and soon moved on to television commercials. A casting director saw her and introduced her to Sergio Leone, who was seeking a young girl to dance in his gangster epic Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Although having little screen time, the few minutes she was on-screen were enough to reveal her talent. Her next role after that was an episode of the British horror anthology TV series Tales of the Unexpected (1979) in 1984. After Leone's movie, horror master Dario Argento signed her to play her first starring role in his thriller Phenomena (1985). The film made a lot of money in Europe but, unfortunately, was heavily cut for American distribution. Around the same time, she appeared in the rock video "I Drove All Night," a Roy Orbison song, co-starring Jason Priestley. She released a single called "Monologue of Love" in Japan in the mid-1980s, in which she sings in Japanese a charming little song with semi-classical instruments arrangement. On the B-side is "Message Of Love," which is an interview with music in background. She also appeared in television commercials in Japan. She enrolled at Yale, and then transferred two years later to Stanford. She trained in classical theater and improvisation, studying with the late drama coach Roy London, Howard Fine, and Harold Guskin. The late 1980s saw her starring in a hit and three lesser seen films. Amongst the latter was her roles in Ballet (1989), as a ballerina and in Some Girls (1988), where she played a self-absorbed college freshman. The hit was Labyrinth (1986), released in 1986. Jennifer got the job after a nationwide talent search for the lead in this fantasy directed by Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas. Her career entered in a calm phase after those films, until Dennis Hopper, who was impressed after having seen her in "Some Girls", cast Jennifer as an ingénue small-town girl in The Hot Spot (1990), based upon the 1950s crime novel "Hell Hath No Fury". It received mixed critical reviews, but it was not a box office success. The Rocketeer (1991), an ambitious Touchstone super-production, came to the rescue. The film was an old-fashioned adventure flick about a man capable of flying with rockets on his back. Critics saw in "Rocketeer" a top-quality movie, a homage to those old films of the 1930s in which the likes of Errol Flynn starred. After "Rocketeer," Jennifer made Career Opportunities (1991), The Heart of Justice (1992), Mulholland Falls (1996), her first collaboration with Nick Nolte and Inventing the Abbotts (1997). In 1998, she was invited by director Alex Proyas to make Dark City (1998), a strange, visually stunning science-fiction extravaganza. In this movie, Jennifer played the main character's wife, and she delivered an acclaimed performance. The film itself didn't break any box-office record but received positive reviews. This led Jennifer to a contract with Fox for the television series The $treet (2000), a main part in the memorable and dramatic love-story Waking the Dead (2000) and, more important, a breakthrough part in the polemic and applauded independent Requiem for a Dream (2000), a tale about the haunting lives of drug addicts and the subsequent process of decadence and destruction. In "Requiem for a Dream," Jennifer had her career's most courageous, difficult part, a performance that earned her a Spirit Award Nomination. She followed this role with Pollock (2000), in which she played Pollock's mistress, Ruth Klingman. In 2001, Ron Howard chose her to co-star with Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind (2001), the film that tells the true story of John Nash, a man who suffered from mental illness but eventually beats this and wins the Nobel Prize in 1994. Jennifer played Nash's wife and won a Golden Globe, BAFTA, AFI and Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. Connelly continued her career with films including Hulk (2003), her second collaboration with Nick Nolte, Dark Water (2005), Blood Diamond (2006), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), He's Just Not That Into You (2009) and Noah (2014), where she did her second collaboration with both Darren Aronofsky and Russell Crowe and made her third collaboration with Nick Nolte in that same film. Jennifer lives in New York. She is 5'7", and speaks fluent Italian and French. She enjoys physical activities such as swimming, gymnastics, and bike riding. She is also an outdoors person -- camping, hiking and walking, and is interested in quantum physics and philosophy. She likes horses, Pearl Jam, SoundGarden, Jesus Jones, and occasionally wears a small picture of the The Dalai Lama on a necklace. Her favorite colors are cobalt blue, forest green, and "very pale green/gray -- sort of like the color of the sea". She likes to draw.More
Jared LetoActorJared Leto is a very familiar face in recent film history. Although he has always been the lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and songwriter for American band Thirty Seconds to Mars, Leto is an accomplished actor merited by the numerous, challenging projects he has taken in his life. He is known to be selective about his film roles. Jared Leto was born in Bossier City, Louisiana, to Constance "Connie" (Metrejon) and Anthony L. "Tony" Bryant. The surname "Leto" is from his stepfather. His ancestry includes English, Cajun (French), as well as Irish, German, and Scottish. Jared and his family traveled across the United States throughout his childhood, living in such states as Wyoming, Virginia and Colorado. Leto would continue this trend when he initially dropped a study of painting at Philadelphia's University of the Arts in favor of a focus on acting at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 1992, Leto moved to Los Angeles to pursue a musical career, intending to take acting roles on the side. Leto's first appearances on screen were guest appearances on the short-lived television shows Camp Wilder (1992), Almost Home (1993) and Rebel Highway (1994). However, his next role would change everything for Leto. While searching for film roles, he was cast in the show, My So-Called Life (1994) (TV Series 1994-1995). Leto's character was "Jordan Catalano", the handsome, dyslexic slacker, the main love interest of "Angela" (played by Claire Danes). Leto contributed to the soundtrack of the film, and so impressed the producers initially that he was soon a regular on the show until its end. Elsewhere, Leto began taking film roles. His first theatrically released film was the ensemble piece, How to Make an American Quilt (1995), based on a novel of the same name and starring renowned actresses Winona Ryder, Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Jean Simmons and Alfre Woodard. The film was a modest success and, while Leto's next film, The Last of the High Kings (1996), was a failure, Leto secured his first leading role in Prefontaine (1997), based on long-distance runner Steven Prefontaine. The film was a financial flop, but was praised by critics, notably Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. He also took a supporting role in the action thriller, Switchback (1997), which starred Dennis Quaid, but the film was another failure. Leto's work was slowly becoming recognized in Hollywood, and he continued to find work in film. In 1998, everything turned for the better on all fronts. This was the year that Leto founded the band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, with his brother, Shannon Leto, as well as Matt Wachter (who later left the group), and after two guitarists joined and quit, Tomo Milicevic was brought in as lead guitarist and keyboardist. As well as the formation of his now-famous band, Leto's luck in film was suddenly shooting for the better. He was cast as the lead in the horror film, Urban Legend (1998), which told a grisly tale of a murderer who kills his victims in the style of urban legends. The film was a massive success commercially, though critics mostly disliked the film. That same year, Leto also landed a supporting role in the film, The Thin Red Line (1998). Renowned director Terrence Malick's first film in nearly twenty years, the film had dozens of famous actors in the cast, including Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, John Travolta, Nick Nolte and Elias Koteas, to name a few. The film went through much editing, leaving several actors out of the final version, but Leto luckily remained in the film. The Thin Red Line (1998) was nominated for seven Oscars and was a moderate success at the box office. Leto's fame had just begun. He had supporting roles in both James Mangold's Girl, Interrupted (1999), and in David Fincher's cult classic, Fight Club (1999), dealing with masculinity, commercialism, fascism and insomnia. While Edward Norton and Brad Pitt were the lead roles, Leto took a supporting role and dyed his hair blond. The film remains hailed by many, but at the time, Leto was already pushing himself further into controversial films. He played a supporting role of "Paul Allen" in the infamous American Psycho (2000), starring Christian Bale, and he played the lead role in Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream (2000), which had Leto take grueling measures to prepare for his role as a heroin addict trying to put his plans to reality and escape the hell he is in. Both films were massive successes, if controversially received. The 2000s brought up new film opportunities for Leto. He reunited with David Fincher in Panic Room (2002), which was another success for Leto, as well as Oliver Stone's epic passion project, Alexander (2004). The theatrical cut was poorly received domestically (although it recouped its budget through DVD sales and international profit), and though a Final Cut was released that much improved the film in all aspects, it continues to be frowned upon by the majority of film goers. Leto rebounded with Lord of War (2005), which starred Nicolas Cage as an arms dealer who ships weapons to war zones, with Leto playing his hapless but more moral-minded brother. The film was an astounding look at the arms industry, but was not a big financial success. Leto's flush of successes suddenly ran dry when he acted in the period piece, Lonely Hearts (2006), which had Leto playing "Ray Fernandez", one of the two infamous "Lonely Hearts Killers" in the 1940s. The film was a financial failure and only received mixed responses. Leto then underwent a massive weight gain to play "Mark David Chapman", infamous murderer of John Lennon, in the movie, Chapter 27 (2007). While Leto did a fantastic job embodying the behavior and speech patterns of Chapman, the film was a complete flop, and was a critical bomb to boot. It was during this period that Leto focused increasingly on his band, turning down such films as Clint Eastwood's World War 2 film, Flags of our Fathers (2006). In 2009, however, Leto returned to acting with Mr. Nobody (2009). Leto's role as "Nemo Nobody" required him to play the character as far aged as 118, even as he undergoes a soul-searching as to whether his life turned out the way he wanted it to. The film was mostly funded through Belgian and French financiers, and was given limited release in only certain countries. Critical response, however, has praised the film's artistry and Leto's acting. He made his directorial debut in 2012 with the documentary film Artifact (2012). Leto remains the lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and main songwriter for Thirty Seconds to Mars. Their debut album, 30 Seconds to Mars (2002), was released to positive reviews but only to limited success. The band achieved worldwide fame with the release of their second album A Beautiful Lie (2005). Their following releases, This Is War (2009) and Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams (2013), received further critical and commercial success. After a five years hiatus from filming, Leto returned to act in the drama Dallas Buyers Club (2013), directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and co-starring Matthew McConaughey. Leto portrayed Rayon, a drug-addicted transgender woman with AIDS who befriends McConaughey's character Ron Woodroof. Leto's performance earned him an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor. In order to accurately portray his role, Leto lost 30 pounds, shaved his eyebrows and waxed his entire body. He stated the portrayal was grounded in his meeting transgender people while researching the role. During filming, Leto refused to break character. Dallas Buyers Club received widespread critical acclaim and became a financial success, resulting in various accolades for Leto, who was awarded the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role and a variety of film critics' circle awards for the role. In 2016, he played the Joker in the super villain film Suicide Squad (2016). Leto is considered to be a method actor, known for his constant devotion to and research of his roles. He often remains completely in character for the duration of the shooting schedules of his films, even to the point of adversely affecting his health.More
Keith DavidActorKeith David was born Keith David Williams in New York City's Harlem district, and was raised in East Elmhurst, in the Queens section of the city. He is the son of Dolores (Dickenson), a New York Telephone manager, and Lester Williams, a payroll operations director. As a child, he realized he wanted to act after playing the cowardly lion in his school's production of "The Wizard of Oz." He later enrolled in New York's High School of the Performing Arts and continued his studies at Juilliard. After graduation, he was hired as an understudy for Tullus Aufidius in William Shakespeare's "Coriolanus." In 1992, he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his role in the Broadway play "Jelly's Last Jam." Keith's extraordinary range of talent is evidenced by his body of work. His films include "The Princess and the Frog", "Coraline", and "Crash". Other credits are "Barbershop", "Agent Cody Banks", and "Requiem for a Dream". Prior to that, Keith was featured in "There's Something About Mary", "Armageddon" and "Dead Presidents". Keith has received Emmy Awards for his narration of two Ken Burns documentaries: "The War" and "Unforgivable Blackness", and was nominated for his narration of "Jazz". He received a daytime Emmy nomination for his work in Showtime's "The Tiger Wood's Story". Keith David gained wide attention in 1986 for his role as King in the Oscar winning film "Platoon". Other of his over 75 film credits includes "Men at Work", "Clockers", and "Pitch Black". Keith has also worked with notable directors including Clint Eastwood ("Bird"), Steven Spielberg ("Always") and John Carpenter ("The Thing" and "They Live"). Born in Harlem, New York and raised in East Elmhurst, Queens, Keith sang in the all borough choir as a boy. He knew he wanted to act at the age of nine when he appeared as the cowardly lion in his school's production of "The Wizard of Oz". He later attended New York's famed High School of the Performing Arts and then graduated from Juilliard. There he studied under such voice and speech teachers as Robert Williams and Edith Skinner.More
Marlon WayansActorMarlon Wayans was born on July 23, 1972 in New York City, New York, USA as Marlon L. Wayans. He is an actor and writer, known for White Chicks (2004), Little Man (2006) and Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996). He was previously married to Angelica Zachary.More