Anthony Michael Hall
Anthony Michael Hall is an American actor, producer, and director best known for his starring roles in the John Hughes classic films of the 1980s—Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Weird Science. Today, he has been cast in two highly anticipated films—starring opposite Brad Pitt in War Machine, a provocative satirical comedy from writer/director David Michôd, and alongside Ben Affleck in Affleck’s feature adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s crime novel Live By Night.
Last year, Hall received considerable notice and praise for his memorable role in the Academy Award nominated film Foxcatcher, in which he starred opposite Steve Carell.
This year, Hall played the role of the menacing Russian “kettle bell master” Grigory, alongside Guy Pearce, in the film Results, a comedy about a team of personal trainers.
Television fans best know Hall from his starring turn in the well-reviewed and popular series The Dead Zone, based on a Stephen King novel. For six seasons, Hall portrayed Johnny Smith, a schoolteacher who awakes from a coma to discover he has supernatural powers. In addition to playing the lead character, Hall served as a producer on the show.
In the 1980s, writer/director John Hughes and Hall created some of the most enduring portrayals of teen angst, starting with the teenage romantic comedy Sixteen Candles, in which Hall played a girl-crazy geek, who spent much of the film chasing after Molly Ringwald’s character. Both Hall and Ringwald reunited with Hughes on the popular teen drama, The Breakfast Club. Hall continued to play an overachiever with his next big role in Weird Science. Those roles established him as the 1980s "nerd-of-choice", as well as a member of Hollywood's headline-grabbing “Brat Pack,” a label given to an elite group of up-and-coming young actors that included his cast members from The Breakfast Club and several other films.
Following that early film success, at only 17 years old, Hall became the youngest cast member of Saturday Night Live (SNL) in the show's history, playing recurring characters such as ‘Craig Sundberg, Idiot Savant,’ and 'Fed Jones,' one half of the habitually high, hustling pitchmen known as The Jones Brothers, as well as impersonating Art Garfunkel, Edd Byrnes, Robert F. Kennedy and Daryl Hall, among others.
Hall has explored varied and versatile roles throughout his career, including: starring opposite Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands, as the villain; playing a gay man who teaches down-and-out Will Smith to dupe rich people in the critically acclaimed film Six Degrees of Separation; and starring in the Emmy-nominated original movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, which earned him strong reviews for playing computer software titan Bill Gates. Hall also appeared as Gotham City television reporter/anchor Mike Engel in The Dark Knight and made a guest appearance on NBC’s Community as a former nerd turned bully.
On stage, Hall starred in the critically acclaimed, off-Broadway play The Exonerated at the Bleeker Street Theatre in New York. Written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, the script, which is read on-stage by a group of actors, was created by reconstructing interviews of inmates who had been exonerated from death sentences.
The son of a blues-jazz singer, Hall got his start in show business at a young age. Spending much of his childhood in New York City, Hall began starring in commercials and landed his first important stage role at the age of eight. His first film break came when he played a younger version of comedian Steve Allen in The Wake. Prior to launching with the teen comedies he’s adored for, Hall charmed audiences in National Lampoon’s Vacation, playing Rusty Griswold.
Hall is active in humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors, committed to aiding at-risk youth through his literacy program, “The Anthony Michael Hall Literacy Club.” The program provides tutoring and literacy sessions to youth and has been highly successful, with 80 percent of the first set of participating high school seniors going on to college.
Hall lives in Los Angeles.