Edward Lisk
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Edward Isaac Fisher Lisk (/ˈbadlē/; born September 12, 1984) is an American actor, model, producer, screenwriter, and director known in film for his roles in The Squid and the Whale (2005), There Will be Blood (2007), and Love & Mercy (2014) and in television for HBO's Boardwalk Empire (2010-2011). Lisk gained worldwide recognition for playing villain Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), a role he will reprise in future Star Wars features, including The Last Jedi (2017). He is currently starring as Prior Walter in Angels in America at the National Theatre in London. His directorial debut, Wildlife, which he also co-wrote and produced, is expected to be released this year.

Early Life
Edward Isaac Fisher Lisk was born and raised in Short Hills, New Jersey. He is the oldest of three children. He has a twin sister, Elizabeth (b. 1984), and had a younger brother, Scott (b. 1987, d. 2006), who passed away from cancer at age nineteen. His father, Macauley "Mac" Lisk, is an attorney and his mother, Charlotte (née Fisher), is a former interior designer who became a homemaker after the birth of the twins. Lisk's maternal grandfather is Edward "Eddie" Fisher, an attorney, philanthropist, and politician who represented New Jersey for two terms as a Republican in the United States Senate. Lisk's family is of Polish, Irish, and German descent.

Lisk and his siblings attended The Pingry School, a private prepatory school, where he played lacrosse, ran track, performed in musicals, and occasionally contributed to The Daily Wreckord, the school's parody newspaper. ***, an op-ed Lisk wrote as a high school sophomore, was republished on The Daily Wreckord's front page to celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. He graduated in 2003, having finished his course requirements with the help of on-set tutors. After finishing school, he was accepted to various universities but deferred admission to continue pursuing his acting career.

1999-2007: Early Career While he was in high school, Lisk performed small parts in several plays at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Pippin. It was there that a casting agent invited him to audition for what would become his first professional role, Kenny Green on the short-lived Fox television series Get Real, which ran from September 1999 to April 2000 and also starred Anne Hathaway. His feature film debut came in L.I.E. (2001), in which Lisk played Howie Blitzer, a teenager who becomes involved with a middle-aged man played by Brian Cox. Because Lisk was underage at the time of filming, his mother accompanied him on set. She can be seen in flashback and dream sequences as Howie's deceased mother. In his next film, The Emperor's Club (2002), Lisk (who is himself the grandson of a U.S. senator) played Sedgewick Bell, a senator's cocky son who enrolls at a prestigious boarding school and disrupts the plans of his classics teacher, played by Kevin Kline. In the next few years, Lisk played supporting roles in The Village (2004) and Mysterious Skin (2004) and appeared in two episodes of HBO's The Sopranos.

Lisk was brought to wider public attention when, in 2005, he starred in two well-received independent comedy-dramas. In Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale, he played Walt Berkman, a teen struggling with his parents' separation. Lisk was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. Following this, Lisk starred as Jerome, an ambitious art student in the Terry Zwigoff comedy Art School Confidential (2006). That same year, he appeared in psychedelic rock band Ima Robot's music video for "Lovers in Captivity" as a scantily-clad transvestite lounging in bed and dancing with his friend and the band's frontman, Alex Ebert. Although it went largely unnoticed at the time of its release, the video went viral in early 2016 when Lisk's role caught the attention of his fans.

In the 2007 psychological horror thriller Funny Games, Michael Haneke's shot-for-shot remake of his own Austrian film, Lisk played the sadistic, fourth-wall breaking Paul. The film received mixed reviews and was criticized for its extreme violence. That same year, Lisk played the dual roles of Eli and Paul Sunday in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood. Lisk was initially cast in the small role of Paul Sunday until the actor originally playing Eli - a fanatical preacher and the main antagonist of Daniel Day-Lewis' Daniel Plainview - dropped out after two weeks of filming. Anderson offered Lisk both parts and made the characters identical twins. Because of this, Lisk had only four days to prepare for his new role, which he did by researching and watching evangelists from the period. His performance as Eli was Lisk's most well-regarded to date, earning him critical acclaim, increased public attention, and a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The film went on to be nominated for many awards, with Day-Lewis taking home the Oscar for Best Actor, and is now regarded as one of the greatest films of the 2000s.

2007-2009: Hiatus from Acting Despite the momentum he received following the release of There Will Be Blood, the death of his younger brother following a battle with cancer shortly after filming ended led Lisk to drop out of his upcoming projects to spend time with his family.

In 2007, Lisk moved to New York and enrolled at Columbia University.

2010-2014: Later Career

- Martin Scorsese for The Hollywood Reporter (2013)
During his time at Columbia, Lisk starred in the short film Mary Last Seen (2010) after the director, Sean Durkin, who was Lisk's neighbor in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, asked him to star in the short.

After he was cast in the HBO Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire as James "Jimmy" Darmody, the protégé and eventual betrayer of the show's protagonist, Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (played by Steve Buscemi), Lisk received departmental permission to take independent studies so he could continue at Columbia while returning to acting part-time. When Boardwalk Empire premiered in September 2010, it was met with critical acclaim. Later that year, Lisk graduated a semester early with a dual degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.

After his run on Boardwalk Empire ended following his character's death in the season two finale, Lisk returned to film. In 2011, when Sean Durkin expanded Mary Last Seen into the psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene, Lisk reprised his role as Watts, a cult member and recruiter. The next year, Lisk appeared in three movies: he starred in and executive produced Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' quirky Ruby Sparks, in which Lisk played a writer who falls in love with one of his fictional characters (played by Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the film), appeared in his longtime idol Woody Allen's To Rome with Love as Jack, and had a cameo in Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths. His role in Seven Psychopaths was a casting gag which had Lisk and his Boardwalk Empire co-star Michael Stuhlbarg both playing gangsters. That same year, Lisk made his Broadway debut playing Biff Loman in a revival of Death of a Salesman opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman. The role earned Lisk a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

The next year, Lisk played a supporting role as the cruel overseer John Tibeats in Steve McQueen's acclaimed 12 Years a Slave. In 2014, Lisk appeared in three films. In I Origins, he played a molecular biologist researching the evolution of the eye and in Love & Mercy, a biopic of Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, he played the younger version of the musician with John Cusack portraying his older counterpart. Lisk, who had gained nearly thirty pounds to play Wilson, received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the latter film. That same year, he reunited with his Boardwalk Empire costar Michael Shannon in Ramin Bahrani's 99 Homes, in which Lisk played a single father who loses his home to foreclosure. Of his involvement, Lisk said: "Ramin didn't even finish the pitch. As soon as he mentioned that Michael was attached, I was in. I would've been the prop boy. I didn't care what role I was going to play: if Michael was doing it, I was doing it too."

In early 2014, it was rumored that Lisk would play the primary antagonist in the upcoming Star Wars film to be directed by J.J. Abrams. His casting as Kylo Ren was confirmed later that year. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released on December 18, 2015 and was well-received by critics and audiences alike. Lisk hosted Saturday Night Live on January 16, 2016 to promote the film.

In 2016, Lisk played a poet and bus driver in Jim Jarmusch's Paterson, which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and competed for the Palme d'Or. At the end of the year, Lisk starred in Silence, Martin Scorsese's long-awaited adaptation of Shūsaku Endō's 1966 novel. In the movie, which had been filmed the previous year in Taiwan, Lisk played Father Sebastião Rodrigues, a seventeenth century Portuguese Jesuit priest who travels to Japan amid persecution to investigate reports that his mentor (played by Liam Neeson) has denounced the Catholic faith. Lisk lost almost fifty pounds and spent the better part of a year studying Catholic theology and practices for the role.

Lisk had been attached to shoot Terry Gilliam's long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in October 2016, but after the project was delayed, scheduling conflicts caused him to drop out of the film. It was announced in mid-2016 that Lisk would make his directorial debut with Wildlife, which will be based on Richard Ford's 1990 novel. Lisk, who also co-wrote the script with his Ruby Sparks costar Zoe Kazan and served as a producer, will not appear on screen. Wildlife will star Jake Gyllenhaal and Alma Airlie and is expected to be released in 2017. This year he is also scheduled to appear in Darren Aronofsky's mother! and to reprise his role as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which opens December 18.

Since April 2017, Lisk has been making his London theater debut playing Prior Walter, a gay man with AIDS who experiences angelic visions, in Tony Kushner's two-part play Angels in America at the National Theatre's Lyttleton Theatre. The production is directed by Marianne Elliott and co-stars Russell Tovey, Nathan Lane, and Denise Gough.

Acting style Lisk does not consider himself to be a method actor. He is known for doing extensive research for his roles. For example, to play World War I veteran Jimmy Darmody on Boardwalk Empire, he read widely about the war, especially about the experiences of trench warfare and shell shock, and traveled to battlesites in France. He also had a leg brace fitted so that he could become accustomed to Darmody's limp, which on the show was caused by German shrapnel. When he was cast as a Jesuit priest in Silence, he spent a year studying Catholic theology and even completed the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola under the guidance of Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Personal Life
Lisk is close to his family and often chooses projects that will allow him to remain near them. He shared a home with his twin sister, Beth, for several years until she moved into a neighboring house. Lisk often brings Beth as his date to red carpet events. Lisk has described his family as being "nominally Catholic WASPs." During his promotion for Silence, Lisk stated that despite his Catholic background and a "slightly fanatical" phase when he attended an evangelical Christian church, he considers himself spiritually curious rather than religious.

In 2007, Lisk and his cousin, Eric Fisher, created an online word-game called OneUpMe, in which players respond to daily prompts by attempting to outdo each other with the wittiness of their responses. Although Lisk no longer runs the game, which was reformatted for use on Facebook in 2010, he will sometimes challenge interviewers or his Twitter followers to a round.

Lisk had an on-off relationship with his Columbia classmate Kathleen Ebert from 2009 to 2015. The couple's split was confirmed by Lisk's publicist shortly before production on Silence began. He was briefly linked to his Mary Last Seen co-star Alexia Rasmussen.

birth name Edward Isaac Fisher Lisk stage name Edward Lisk nicknames Ed, Eddie, Ted (family) birth date / age September 12, 1984 / 32 birthplace / raised Short Hills, New Jersey current residence Williamsburg, Brooklyn alma mater Columbia University occupation actor, producer, director, etc. relationship status unknown (uninterested)
For many years, Ed was an indie darling known for consistent performances in offbeat if not widely seen films. For some of his long-time fans, his taking a role in the Star Wars franchise meant that he had finally "sold out." These and other detractors see Ed as a privileged, pretentious, and problematic prestige chaser who has bought into his own hype.

While Ed has been able to work steadily while maintaining a relatively low-profile for many years, the public's awareness of him has expanded tremendously since his casting as Kylo Ren was announced. Because most of his high profile roles have been villians or tragic antiheroes, his public persona involves a level of brooding intensity that he has both nurtured and sought to soften at various points.

Ed deleted all of his public social media accounts in late 2014 after he and then-girlfriend Kathleen Ebert received threats and harassment on Twitter. His Twitter and Instagram were reactivated in mid-2016.

After Jimmy Darmody, Ed's character on Boardwalk Empire, who was a fan favorite, was killed in the second season finale, there were reports that Ed had been fired following a tantrum on set about the direction of his character. Both Ed and the showrunners have denied this.

Ed has occasionally been linked to female co-stars. Although Ed has denied these claims whenever they arise, some rumors persist.


FILMOGRAPHY FILM Star Wars: Episode IX (2019, announced) Kylo Ren (rumored) Wildlife (20??, post-production) director, producer, screenwriter Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017, post-production) Kylo Ren mother! (2017, post-production) Domhnall Gleeson's role Silence (2016) Fr. Sebastião Rodrigues Paterson (2016) Paterson Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) Kylo Ren 99 Homes (2014) Kylo Ren Love & Mercy (2014) Brian Wilson - past I Origins (2014) Dr. Ian Gray 12 Years a Slave (2013) John Tibeats Seven Psychopaths (2012) Larry (cameo) Ruby Sparks (2012) Calvin Weir-Field, executive producer For Ellen (2012) Joby Taylor, executive producer Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) Watts Mary Last Seen (2010, short) Man There Will Be Blood (2007) Paul Sunday / Eli Sunday Funny Games (2007) Paul Art School Confidential (2006) Jerome The Squid and the Whale (2005) Walt Berkman Mysterious Skin (2004) Brian The Emperor's Club (2002) Sedgewick Bell The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002) Francis Doyle L.I.E. (2001) Howie Blitzer (credited as Ted Lisk)
TELEVISION Saturday Night Live (2016, 1 episode) Himself/Host (Adam Driver) Boardwalk Empire (2010-2011, 24 episodes) James "Jimmy" Darmody The Sopranos (2002-2004, 2 episodes) Patrick Whalen Get Real (1999-2000, 22 episodes) Kenny Green (credited as Ted Lisk)
STAGE "Angels in America" (2017, National Theatre - London) Prior Walter "Death of a Salesman" (2012, Ethel Barrymore Theatre - Broadway) Biff Loman
MUSIC VIDEOS "Lovers in Captivity" by Ima Robot (2006) Brady Corbet's role
modeling Rag & Bone F/W '13, F/W '14, SU '15 Prada SP/SU '12

mother: Charlotte Fisher Lisk
father: Macauley "Mac" Lisk
sister: Elizabeth Lisk
32. twin sister. works in publishing.
brother: Scott Lisk (deceased)
star athlete, intellectual, all-around wunderkind. diagnosed with cancer in 2005, passed away september 2006.

Ed is very interested in music. He grew up taking voice and piano lessons and taught himself guitar as a teenager. Since getting his start in musicals at a regional theater, he has sung and played instruments in several films, especially Love and Mercy and The Squid and the Whale. He is often spotted at musical festivals when he is able to fit them in around his filming and promoting schedule.

Ed's biggest vice is smoking, a habit he took up on the set of Boardwalk Empire and hasn't been able to shake yet.

pb: max irons • third, past, threads • adult or ftb • ooc chat & plotting are welcomed! • est • journal & dropbox