John Paul Cusack (born June 28, 1966) is an American film actor and screenwriter. He won the 1990 Most Promising Actor CFCA Award for Say Anything..., the 1998 Favorite Supporting Actor Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Con Air, and the 2000 Commitment to Chicago Award.
Cusack was born in Evanston, Illinois, to an Irish American Catholic family. His father, Dick Cusack (1925—2003), and siblings Ann, Joan, Bill, and Susie have also been actors; his father was also a documentary filmmaker, owned a film production company, and was a friend of activist Philip Berrigan. Cusack's mother, Nancy, is a former mathematics teacher and political activist. Cusack spent a year at New York University before dropping out, saying that he had "too much fire in his belly".
Cusack gained fame in the mid-1980s after appearing in teen movies such as Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, One Crazy Summer, and Sixteen Candles. Cusack made a cameo in the 1988 music video for "Trip At The Brain" by Suicidal Tendencies. His biggest success in that genre is arguably his starring role as Lloyd Dobler in Cameron Crowe's Say Anything. His roles broadened in the late 1980s and early 1990s with more serious-minded fare such as the political satire True Colors and the film noir thriller The Grifters.
Cusack became a proven box office success with his roles in the dark comedy Grosse Pointe Blank and the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster Con Air. In the years hence, his range of films has diversified, appearing in roles such as an obsessive puppeteer in Being John Malkovich, a lovelorn record store owner in High Fidelity, and a Jewish art dealer mentoring a young Adolf Hitler in Max. He starred in the horror film 1408, based on Stephen King's short story of the same name. He next appeared as a widowed father in the Iraq War-themed drama Grace is Gone and as assassin Brand Hauser in the dark political satire, War, Inc., along with Hilary Duff and Marisa Tomei.
His sister Joan Cusack and close friend Jeremy Piven have appeared in many of his films. The siblings appeared as two geeks in Sixteen Candles: John as one of Farmer Ted's posse, and Joan as the geek with the neck brace. They also appeared together in High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank, Cradle Will Rock, Martian Child, Say Anything, and War, Inc.. Piven and Cusack played opposite one another in One Crazy Summer, Serendipity, and Grosse Pointe Blank. Cusack also had a brief cameo, seen from behind but speaking a line of dialogue, in Broadcast News, in which Joan also appeared. Piven also had roles in Say Anything, The Grifters, Runaway Jury and Grosse Pointe Blank.
Cusack will next be seen in Roland Emmerich's disaster film, 2012, which is scheduled to be released in theaters November 13, 2009, as Jackson Curtis, a book writer and limo driver.
Personal and political life
Since May 2005, Cusack has been an occasional contributing blogger at The Huffington Post, including an interview with Naomi Klein. He has written extensively on his opposition to the war in Iraq and his disdain for the Bush administration, calling its worldview "depressing, corrupt, unlawful, and tragically absurd". He also appeared in a June 2008 MoveOn.org ad, where he makes the claim that George W. Bush and John McCain have the same governing priorities.
Cusack has an allegiance to both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, for which, he says, he's "in trouble there for that." He has led the crowd in a performance of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at Wrigley Field.
In 2008, police arrested a woman suspected of stalking Cusack. On October 10, 2008, the woman pleaded no contest and received five years probation and mandatory psychiatric counseling, and was ordered to avoid Cusack, his home and business for the next 10 years.