Biography of Edward NortonEdward Norton is an American actor and director, who has become famous for his roles in Primal Fear (1996), American History X (1998), Fight Club (1999), The Illusionist (2006) and Birdman (2014). Net worth: $300 million.
His Childhood and YouthEdward Harrison Norton was born on August 18, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts. The actor’s father, Edward Mower Norton Jr., served in Vietnam, and later was an environmentalist in Asia and a federal prosecutor in the Cabinet of Jimmy Carter (the 39th President of the USA). His mother, Lydia Robinson, was an English teacher, died of a brain tumor in 1997. Norton has younger sister Molly and brother Jim.
Edward's maternal grandfather was a successful businessman: he founded The Enterprise Foundation (affordable accommodation) and the well-known building company, named The Rouse Company. Norton's grandfather helped to build Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Norfolk’s Waterside Festival Marketplace, and other establishments.
Unlike his grandfather, from childhood, Norton saw himself on the stage, not in the business. The boy started his acting career on the stage of the Colombia Center for Theatrical Arts. Thanks to his remarkable talent 15-year-old Norton won the acting cup at the summer camp in Bristol (New Hampshire) - later he returned to the camp’s council by directing theater, improving his acting skills.
After high school, Edward entered Yale University to study History. As a student, the guy was a competitive rower and acted in university performances with the future Hollywood stars Ron Livingston and Paul Giamatti.
After graduation, Norton went to Japan to help his grandfather in his business. Since then, the actor has spoken Japanese well. But even doing this job, Edward was able to apply his acting skills: he starred in a series of training videos for a video tutorial of the English language of the major language school in Japan.
His Acting CareerIn the early 1990s, Edward moved from Japan to New York City, wanting to become a star. His breakthrough occurred in 1993 in the Off-Broadway Theater, where the actor was involved in the production of the play by Edward Albee (an author of the world-famous book Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?).
Norton made his movie debut in 1996, having starred in the lead role in Primal Fear. In Gregory Hoblit’s adventure movie the actor played a young man, accused of the murder of the archbishop and defended in the court by the well-known lawyer (played by Richard Gere). Critics and audience were impressed by the acting of young Norton, who soon won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Oscar.
In the same year, Edward played lawyer Alan Isaacman in the biopic The People vs. Larry Flynt. The role of the infamous publisher and businessman Flint was played by Woody Harrelson.
However, the real glory was ahead. In 1998, in the drama American History X the actor played Derek Vinyard, in the past - a ruthless leader of the neo-Nazi group, who had changed his outlook on life, being imprisoned. The movie really impressed the audience and received a lot of positive feedback. Critics noted that Norton's character had an ambiguous erotic allure, and Edward played him perfectly well.
Norton showed himself as a true perfectionist on the set of the movie. Director Tony Kaye was editing the movie during the whole year, taking into account the numerous notes of Norton. Later, the actor had repeatedly interfered with the production process with his ideas, disturbing the directors and screenwriters.
The next high-profile movie with Norton was Fight Club by David Fincher. In the 1999 psychological thriller, based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, Edward played the unnamed narrator, who was dissatisfied with his life of yuppies and formed the underground organization Fight Club with soap salesman Tyler Durden (played by Brad Pitt).
To prepare for the role, Norton took the lessons in boxing, taekwondo, and grappling, and he was deliberately losing his weight from the beginning of the shooting (unlike Pitt, who was putting on the weight).
The movie was nominated for an Oscar, and Edward Norton could have won the MTV Movie Awards for Best Fight (he beat himself in one scene), but Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne received it for the fight in The Matrix (1999).
According to Zoomboola.com, in 2002, Norton starred in Brett Ratner's thriller Red Dragon, the second movie in a series about intellectual-psychopath Hannibal Lecter (he was traditionally played by Anthony Hopkins). Spike Lee’s 25th Hour was also successful. The actor played a successful American, sentenced to 7 years for drug trafficking – he had only 24 hours to say goodbye to his relatives.
In the movie there is a lot of similarity to American History X: in both movies, there are scenes with the mention of slavery, Norton has the same hairstyle and beard, his father is a firefighter, and he is a criminal.
In 2003, Paramount Studios forced the actor to star in the action movie The Italian Job - these were the terms of the contract. Norton was not eager to work on this project and later refused to promote the movie’s release. However, the movie was commercially successful, and on the set of it Norton met with Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland and Jason Statham.
Then Edward Norton starred in The Illusionist and The Painted Veil with Naomi Watts. In 2008, it was released the Marvel Studios movie The Incredible Hulk, in which the actor played the lead role. Norton has portrayed scientist Bruce Banner, who after a failed experiment mutates, becoming the green monster Hulk.
Eric Bana played a mutant in the first movie, in 2003. Then the designers created the similarities of the appearance through facial expressions capture, but Hulk’s face was made without the outline of Edward’s face, so he was not like an actor. Norton was expected to reprise his role in The Avengers in 2012, but he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo due to Norton’s disagreements on salary issues.
In the 2010 tragicomedy Leaves of Grass the actor played two roles at once - diametrically different twins. In the thriller Stone Norton again played a prisoner who was ready to do everything to get out of prison. Two years later, Edward could be seen in the cult action movie The Bourne Legacy, a spin-off of movies about the former agent Jason Bourne.
Norton received a lot of praise for his work after the Oscar-winning black comedy Birdman (2014) by Alejandro Inarritu. The uniqueness of the movie is associated with the effect of continuous shooting (in fact, the movie consists of more than 100 montages). In the story of an aged theater director (Michael Keaton), Edward Norton played a daring actor who got naked on the stage, tried to rape his partner (Naomi Watts) in front of thousands of spectators, and desperately fought with his boss. Critics noted that for the last fifteen years after Fight Club the actor had played a strong and temperamental character.
Since February 2018, Edward Norton, as a director and screenwriter, has been working on the movie Motherless Brooklyn. Its events take place in the 1950s in New York City. The movie tells the story of an investigator with Tourette's syndrome who is looking for the murderer of his mentor. Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin and Leslie Mann will star in this movie.
In March, on the set, there was a fire, which killed one of the firefighters. A $7 million suit was filed against Norton’s production company, which acted with recklessness, carelessness, and negligence. A week after the incident, the shooting was resumed.
Personal Life of Edward NortonIn the mid-1990s, Edward Norton dated actress Drew Barrymore, then he was engaged to rock singer Courtney Love, a widow of the band leader of Nirvana Kurt Cobain, but they did not marry. From 1999 to 2003, he dated Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek.
In 2011, Norton proposed to Canadian director Shauna Robertson after six years of dating. In 2013, the family had a son, Atlas.
Norton has a private pilot license and a private jet - modified Cessna 206.
Edward Norton supports many environmental projects, in particular, the development of renewable energy sources. The actor is also a member of the African Wildlife Foundation, speaking against the supply of ivory.
He is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and a spokesperson for the Convention on Biological Diversity. He regularly allocates funds for improving the quality of life in low-income communities. In May 2010, Norton launched a website called Crowdrise - a social networking platform to raise funds for charity.
Edward Norton NowIn 2019, the premiere of the film "Alita: battle angel" with elements of cyberpunk took place. In it, Edward Norton played the role of Professor Desti Nova. The actor also took part in the American crime drama "Motherless Brooklyn", playing Lionel Essrog in it.
In 2020, the premiere of the film "The French Dispatch" by Wes Anderson. The company on the set of Edward Norton was made up of such famous actors as Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray.
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