GOING IN STYLE
ZACH BRAFF (Director) began his career with success as an
actor, but he has since found equal recognition for his distinctive writing,
producing and directing of successful feature films, television series and stage
One of the New Jersey native's most notable characters is that of Dr. John
"J.D." Dorian on the beloved television series "Scrubs." During the half-hour
comedy's nine-year, 175-episode run, Braff earned a Primetime Emmy and three
consecutive Golden Globe nominations from 2005-07 for his starring role.
"Scrubs" also received numerous Emmy nominations for Best Comedy Series and Best
In addition to directing seven episodes of "Scrubs," including the show's
landmark 100th episode, Braff made his feature film debut behind the camera as
the director and writer of his original comedy drama "Garden State," in which he
also starred. Braff shot the coming-of-age film in his home state for a budget
of $2.5 million, resulting in a $5 million unprecedented sale to two studios
during its premiere at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
With a cast including Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard and Ian Holm, "Garden
State" grossed over $35 million at the box office, won praise from film critics
and received more than three-dozen award nominations. Braff won an Independent
Spirit Award for Best First Feature and was nominated for Best First Screenplay.
He also earned a Writers Guild nomination for Best Original Screenplay and
picked up a Best Director honor from the National Board of Review, plus a second
"special recognition" prize. The movie's breakthrough soundtrack sold more than
1,000,000 copies and earned Braff a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack
Album. Other "Garden State" honors for Braff include Breakthrough Director from
the Hollywood Film Festival, a Most Promising Filmmaker Award from the Chicago
Film Critics Association and a Grand Prize Jury nomination at the 2004 Sundance
Braff made history in spring 2013 when he funded his second feature film, "Wish
I Was Here," via an online crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter. The project
surpassed its $2 million goal in four days and ultimately collected a total of
$3.1 million from 46,520 individual backers. Braff's high-profile Kickstarter
success made headlines and helped launch crowd sourcing as a viable model for
Co-written with his brother, Adam, "Wish I Was Here" began production
immediately following the Kickstarter campaign and was shot on location in Los
Angeles. The film stars Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin and Josh Gad and centers on
Braff's character, Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father and husband, who is
forced to take ownership of his life after his father reveals he has terminal
cancer. The film was released theatrically in June 2014.
Braff is currently in pre-production on the film "Bump." The black comedy
script, which made the 2015 Black List, was written by Ori Guendelman and Rob
McClelland. He is also returning to TV, directing, producing and starring in the
ABC/Sony pilot "Start Up," with "Scrubs" writer/producer Matt Tarses, based on
Alex Blumberg's popular podcast. The series would follow Braff's character as he
quits his job and starts a new business.
In March 2014, Braff made his Broadway debut as lead character David Shayne in
"Bullets Over Broadway," written by Woody Allen, directed by Susan Stroman and
performed at the St. James Theatre. The musical stage production is based on the
screenplay of Allen's 1994 film, set in 1920s New York. Braff played a
struggling playwright so desperate to get his latest drama produced that he
casts a rich mobster's talentless girlfriend in exchange for financing.
Braff's theater career has developed significantly in recent years. In 2012, he
made his West End debut starring in his own original play, "All New People." The
play was previously staged at Second Stage Theatre in New York in 2011, where
Braff previously starred in Paul Weitz's original drama, "Trust," in 2010. His
other theater credits include the 1998 Joe Papp Public Theatre staging of
Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and Papp's 2002 New York Shakespeare Festival production
of "Twelfth Night" at Central Park's Delacorte Theatre.
Prior to earning his film degree from Northwestern University, Braff made his
big-screen acting debut in Woody Allen's 1993 comedy "Manhattan Murder Mystery,"
as the son of Allen and Diane Keaton's characters. Following college, he worked
briefly at the renowned Public Theatre in New York before relocating to Los
Angeles. Braff's additional film acting credits include Greg Berlanti's poignant
comedy "The Broken Hearts Club"; Tony Goldwyn's romantic comedy, "The Last
Kiss"; the drama "The High Cost of Living"; the romantic comedy "The Ex,"
starring opposite Amanda Peet and Jason Bateman; the drama "Getting to Know
You," adapted from works by Joyce Carol Oates; and the 2005 animated hit
"Chicken Little," for which he voiced the title character. Braff also appeared
alongside James Franco in the 2013 fantasy adventure "Oz: The Great and
Powerful," directed by Sam Raimi.
In 2008, Braff earned his pilot's license. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.
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