Michael Stuhlbarg, receiving the NVFF17 Charles Krug Spotlight Tribute, is quite the chameleonic actor. So much so, that the Los Angeles Times wrote an article in 2015 titled “Michael Stuhlbarg might be the most popular actor you don’t recognize,” in which they praised his ability to perfectly morph into any character he is tasked with portraying.
Graduating from the prestigious Juilliard School in Drama, Stuhlbarg got his start in theater, making his first major impact in playwright-turned-director Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman. The play was a major success, in large part to Stuhlbarg’s performance as Michal, an unreliable narrator with a constantly shifting character arc. “Is he good, is he bad? What are his motivations,” the audience would likely be asking throughout the play whenever Michal (as played by Stuhlbarg) was on stage. The Pillowman received a Tony nomination for Best Play in 2005.
Going from working with a darkly comedic writer like McDonagh (In Bruges; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) to the Coen Brothers, Stuhlbarg’s next part left a major impression on viewers. His role of the neurotic physics Professor, Larry Gopnik, masterfully portrayed a man torn between his boring life and the desire for something more. Stuhlbarg received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, and the film, A Serious Man, received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
Because of this stunning launch into the film industry, and having already made a name for himself on Broadway, Stuhlbarg was given major roles in Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, John Madden’s Miss Sloane, Edward Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice, Jay Roach’s Trumbo, Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, Ridley’s Scott Body of Lies, and Marvel’s Doctor Strange. His television credits include Boardwalk Empire and Fargo.
Whether it is a slight hint of a Minnesota accent, overcoming his already quick, seemingly nervous diction for Professor Gopnik, or his longer hair, thicker glasses and soft weariness as Andy Hertzfeld in Steve Jobs, Michael Stuhlbarg mentally and physically embodies each of his characters.
Michael can be seen in the upcoming films Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water, both playing at NVFF17, as well as the upcoming Steven Spielberg film, The Post.
These current films are highly anticipated with Oscar buzz surrounding each of them. Moreover, Stuhlbarg is the one of the favorites to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his touching portrayal of the academic father to breakout star Timothee Chalamet in the stunning and heartbreaking Call Me by Your Name. Don’t miss Stuhlbarg in his two exquisite, completely unrecognizable performances at this year’s film festival, and meet him at the Celebrity Tributes, Thursday, November 9, at 6pm at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville. His on stage conversation with Access Hollywood’s Natalie Morales will surely be insightful, inspiring and entertaining.