John Paul Cusack is an American actor, producer and screenwriter. He began acting in films during the 1980s and has since starred in a number of movies, including Better Off Dead, Say Anything…, Bullets over Broadway, Grosse Pointe Blank, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, 1408, Igor, 2012, The Raven, and Love and Mercy. Take a look below for 27 more fun and interesting facts about John Cusack.
1. Cusack was born in 1966 in Evanston, Illinois.
2. He was born into an Irish Catholic family, the son of writer-actor-producer and documentary filmmaker Richard J. Cusack, originally from New York City and Ann Paula “Nancy” Cusack, originally from Massachusetts, a former mathematics teacher and political activist.
3. His father, Richard Cusack (1925–2003), was an actor, along with John’s siblings Ann, Joan; additional siblings are Bill and Susie.
4. They had moved from Manhattan, New York, to Illinois.
5. Richard was also a documentary filmmaker who owned a film production company and was a friend of activist Philip Berrigan.
6. Cusack graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1984, where he met Jeremy Piven, and spent a year at New York University before dropping out, saying that he had “too much fire in his belly”.
7. Cusack began acting in films in the early 1980s.
8. He made his breakout role in Rob Reiner’s The Sure Thing (1985).
9. He also starred in Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut film, Say Anything… (1989).
10. Cusack played a con artist in Stephen Frears’ 1990 neo-noir film The Grifters.
11. After establishing New Crime Productions, Cusack co-wrote the screenplay for and starred in George Armitage’s crime film Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), in which he played an assassin who goes to his 10-year high school reunion to win back his high school sweetheart.
12. In Spike Jonze’s fantasy film Being John Malkovich (1999), Cusack played a puppeteer who finds a portal leading into the mind of the eponymous actor, John Malkovich.
13. Cusack was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance in High Fidelity (2000), based on Nick Hornby’s novel.
14. In 2014, Cusack criticized Hollywood saying the mega-corporations have stepped in with 50-producer movies, franchises being king, and stars being used as leverage. He called Hollywood, “a whorehouse and people go mad.”
15. Between 2005 and 2009, Cusack wrote blogs for The Huffington Post, which included an interview with Naomi Klein.
16. He voiced his opposition to the war in Iraq and the Bush administration, calling the Bush administration’s worldview “depressing, corrupt, unlawful, and tragically absurd”.
17. He also appeared in a June 2008 MoveOn.org advertisement, where he made the claim that George W. Bush and John McCain have the same governing priorities.
18. Cusack criticized the Obama administration for its drone policy in the Middle East and its support of the National Defense Authorization Act, and became one of the initial supporters of the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2012.
19. In 2015, Cusack, Daniel Ellsberg and Arundhati Roy met Edward Snowden, a fugitive from the US because of his leaks of classified information, at a Moscow hotel room.
20. Cusack endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in his 2016 and 2020 presidential bids.
21. He is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
22. He is anti-war, having tweeted, “Being anti-war — is pro-troops — pro-human”.
23. Cusack trained in kickboxing under former world kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez for over two decades.
24. He began training under Urquidez in preparation for his role in Say Anything… and holds the rank of a level six black belt in Urquidez’s Ukidokan Kickboxing system.
25. In March 2008, police arrested Emily Leatherman outside Cusack’s Malibu, California home for stalking him.
26. When asked in 2009 why he had never married, he answered, “society doesn’t tell me what to do.”
27. In 2018, after Lorde cancelled performances in Israel due to pressure from the BDS movement, Cusack was among more than a hundred writers, actors, director, and musicians who signed a letter defending Lorde’s “freedom of conscience”.