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Chris Elliott Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (4)  | Personal Quotes (14)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameChristopher Nash Elliott
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Chris Elliott was born on May 31, 1960 in New York City, New York, USA as Christopher Nash Elliott. He is an actor and writer, known for There's Something About Mary (1998), Groundhog Day (1993) and Cabin Boy (1994). He has been married to Paula Niedert Elliott since March 8, 1986. They have two children.

Spouse (1)

Paula Niedert Elliott (8 March 1986 - present) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

His beard

Trivia (4)

Son of Bob Elliott (of "Bob and Ray" fame).
Father of Abby Elliott and Bridey Elliott.
Was considered for the role of Harry Dunne in Dumb and Dumber (1994).
He is of English, German, and Scottish descent.

Personal Quotes (14)

(Recalling a personal encounter with comedian Jerry Seinfeld): "When my show, Get a Life (1990), first aired on Fox and Seinfeld (1989) first aired, it was around the same time. Surprisingly, Get a Life (1990) was doing slightly better. Jerry and I were sitting next to each other on a flight, and he seemed slightly depressed that his show wasn't doing that great. I can actually remember saying, 'Ah come on. I think it's funny. I'm sure people will catch on.' In about six months, I was off the air -- and he was through the roof."
It's a cliché to say that dying is easy and comedy's hard, but I do enjoy appearing in dramas because I don't have to worry about getting a laugh. I don't want to say that drama is an easy job for me, because it isn't, but it does carry a different set of challenges.
I'm definitely self-absorbed, otherwise I wouldn't be in this business. But I also live in fear of -- believe it or not -- humiliation. Everything that I do is humiliating even though I've made a living doing it.
I appreciate people being huge fans of mine but I don't see it. I'm not being humble and I'm not being hard on myself. I'm not even entirely clear on what I do. I know that it's funny but it's hard for me to talk about it like it's an art form.
(2007) I haven't really auditioned much in my career. I've been lucky in terms of the feature work; it's mostly been people that have been fans of mine that have called and said "We have this part, do you want to do it?" That kind of thing. And that's sort of still the way it is right now-I don't really go after features too much.
(2007, on Dilbert) It was an unhappy experience only in my performance-I wasn't happy with my performance in it. I'm not crazy about my voice on its own, doing anything. I've done a number of King Of The Hills because I'm friends with Paul Lieberstein, who runs the show, but I'd done a pilot with Larry Charles before Dilbert, and then he called and asked if I'd do Dogbert. I said sure, but I don't like the sound of my voice, and I'm not entirely sure why. I haven't figured that out yet, because I come from a radio family-in essence, my dad made his career in radio, and he has a great voice, but... My theory is that I'm not comfortable isolating one part of whatever it is I do. And my voice, without me moving around and mugging and adding whatever I add to it, I get uncomfortable. I thought it was a fairly lackluster performance... A lot of what I am telling you goes against what people tell me on the street, when they come up to me and tell me, "You were great in this, that, or the other thing." Some times I just walk away baffled about my own feelings. I've come to realize I have my own take on what it is I do. But a lot of people have come up to me and told me that they liked my Dogbert character.
(2007) Cabin Boy is a flawed movie, and I look back on it with a certain amount of regret in terms of some of the choices that we made, but at the same time, I'm pretty proud of it, and actually happy that it has somewhat of a cult following at this point. The character in that movie, I like. It was basically Freddie Bartholomew from Captains Courageous, and it's sort of funny to watch that movie now, because I start with this sort of pseudo-English accent, and then as the notes came down from the studio, you can actually see the accent starting to diminish throughout the movie. I think I end with hardly an accent at all. But I'm actually proud of the movie.
(2007, There's Something About Mary) A part that I think anybody could have - it was really funny on the page right away. That was one of those scripts that I read and laughed out loud at, which I rarely do, so I'm fairly certain that anyone could have plugged into the part and just done the lines in the script and gotten laughs. I added the facial blemishes, after I met with Peter and Bobby Farrelly, as kind of a running thing, so I guess I feel like I contributed something to it, but with or without the boil on the eyelid, it still was a character just funny on the page. I can't take much credit for that.
(2007, on his Kingpin part) The Farrelly's sent me Kingpin, I remember, and they had said that they were thinking of me for the Bill Murray role-they had it out to Bill Murray, but they weren't sure if Bill Murray was going to do it. Then they called and said, "Yeah, Bill Murray's gonna do it." And I said "Oh, that's too bad," and then they wrote this other little part for me in the casino, and called me up and flew me out just to do that scene. They were really hardcore fans of mine, and it was fun to work with them just that night, shooting that scene, but then a lot more fun to have more to do in There's Something About Mary.
I did end up in The Abyss, but I didn't get the part I auditioned for. That was during the 1988 writers' strike, maybe? Maybe there was another one after that, I can't remember. But it was during a writers' strike that I went out and read for the role Todd Graff got, the guy with the little white rat that he carries around on his shoulder. James Cameron liked me and we talked a lot, and then I heard I didn't get the part, and a few weeks later, I got invited down to North Carolina, and he was literally writing my role on legal paper while I was on the set. Handing it to me and saying, "Okay, you're gonna say this, that, and that thing." And I had a great time doing that movie, actually. He was really great to me.
(2007, on New York Stories) Okay, here's the New York Stories story. I got offered that part from Fred Roos, to play a robber in the Coppola one of the three little short films. And I was joking with Adam Resnick the day before the shoot, about me shooting this. And we were joking that Coppola wasn't going to know who I was, that he was going to call me "the guy with the beard." So I show up to shoot, and we don't shoot because there is something wrong with the camera. I don't know what the problem is, but I am there for, like, seven hours. And we haven't yet shot my scene. And it's late at night, and it gets into the early hours of the morning. I'm exhausted-I've worked all day at Letterman. So they yell "Action," and we shoot this wide scene. And Coppola says "Okay, that was great. Now, the guy with the beard, you come in a little earlier next time." And, I've got to say, I was just so mad at that point, at 4 in the morning, to not have the guy even know who I was, that I tried the next day to get out of the film, and tried to leave. But they had already got me on film so it was too late. I had to stay and go back and shoot the next night. That was my Coppola experience.
(2007, on Snow Day) Kind of a favor-slash-business choice, financially. I knew someone at Nickelodeon who called me and said there was this role, and asked if I would be interested in doing it, so I did it. At the time, my kids were of the age that they were watching Nickelodeon, and would enjoy that kind of movie, and I thought "Well, I haven't really done a kids' movie yet." I guess I justified it that way.
(2007, on Manhunter) That was more difficult for me, in a way, just because I felt totally out of place there. I was cast through a casting agent who'd seen some article on me, and had told Michael Mann, "Oh yeah, it would be cool to have him in this movie," I guess. So I knew right from the start, "Oh, I really shouldn't be in this." The Abyss, I could put a little bit of my attitude from Letterman into the character. In Manhunter, I was supposed to be an FBI forensic investigator. And I don't know, I was 23 or 24 at the time, with a giant beard and long, stringy blonde hair-I just didn't look the part. I remember when the movie premiered, I appear in the scene where everybody's putting together the final information that leads to this killer, and the camera panned the table and cut to me, and there was this big blast of laughter from the audience that broke the whole tension of that scene. I can only imagine that Michael Mann was not happy about that.
(2007) People are always surprised that I'm not bouncing off the walls and that I'm not goofy, and crazy, and that sort of thing. But I think it's clear that I have created this other person, this alter ego. That's not unusual. It's certainly what Laurel and Hardy did, what the Marx brothers did, what Pee-wee Herman did. Even though I don't wear a goofy costume or have a goofy name, I'm still a completely different character.

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