Christopher Jacob Abbott (born February 1986) is an American actor. Abbott made his feature film debut in Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011). Abbott’s other notable films include Hello I Must Be Going (2012) and The Sleepwalker (2014). In 2015, Abbott starred as the title character in the critically acclaimed film James White.
Year Title Role Notes
2009 Snapshot (short)
2011 Martha Marcy May Marlene Max
2012 Hello I Must Be Going Jeremy
2012 Father/Son Oliver Short film
2012 Art Machine Cap’n Tar
2013 Roshambo Chris Video short
2013 All That I Am Christian
2013 The Exit Room Joseph Short film
2014 The Sleepwalker Andrew
2014 A Most Violent Year Louis Servidio
2015 James White James White
2015 The Girlfriend Game Henry (voice) Short film
2015 Criminal Activities Warren
2016 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Fahim Ahmadzai
2016 Katie Says Goodbye Bruno
2017 Sweet Virginia Elwood
2017 It Comes at Night Will
2018 Tyrel Johnny
2018 Piercing Reed
2018 First Man David Scott
2018 Vox Lux The Journalist
2019 FULL-Dress Nick/Chris Post-production
2020 The Black Bear
2020 Possessor Post-production
2020 The world to come
Year Title Role Notes
2009 Nurse Jackie Andy Singer Episode: “Pill-O-Matix”
2010 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Kyle Wyler Episode: “Lost Children of the Blood”
2012–2016 Girls Charlie Dattolo 13 episodes
2013 Enlightened Travis Episode: “Higher Power”
2017 The Sinner Mason Tannetti Main role; 7 episodes
2019 Catch-22 John Yossarian Main role; 6 episodes
Year Title Role Theater Notes
2008 Good Boys and True Justin Second Stage Theatre
2008 Mouth to Mouth Phillip Acorn Theatre
2010 That Face Henry Manhattan Theatre Club
2011 The House of Blue Leaves Ronnie Shaughnessy Walter Kerr Theatre
2013 Where We’re Born Tony Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
2014 Fool for Love Martin Williamstown Theatre Festival
2015 John Elias Schreiber-Hoffman Signature Theatre
2016 The Rose Tattoo Alvaro Mangiacavallo Williamstown Theatre Festival
Awards and nominations
Year Award Category Work Result
2011 Gotham Award Best Ensemble Cast Martha Marcy May Marlene Shared with Elizabeth Olsen, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner, John Hawkes, Louisa Krause, Sarah Paulson Nominated
2013SXSW Film Festival Ensemble Cast All That I Am Shared with Gaby Hoffmann, Christopher McCann, Dan Bittner, Emily Fleischer, Jacinta Puga, Carlos Puga Won
2015 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Actor James White Nominated
2015 Chicago International Film Festival Emerging Artist Award Won
201] Detroit Film Critics Society Best Actor Nominated
2015 Gotham Award Best Actor Nominated
2015 Hamptons International Film Festival Breakthrough Performer Won
2016 Independent Spirit Awards Best Male Lead Nominated
2016 International Cinephile Society Awards Best Actor Nominated
2016 Berkshire Theatre Award Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor – Large Theatre The Rose Tattoo Nominated
Abbott is mostly known for his role as Charlie Dattolo in the HBO comedy-drama series Girls and for his role as Mason Tannetti in the first season of The Sinner. Abbott has also had an extensive career on stage, having performed in both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.
In 2018, he portrayed astronaut David Scott in the film First Man.
Early life and education
Abbott was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, the son of Anna (née Servidio) and Orville Abbott. He has an older sister, Christina. Abbott is of Italian and Portuguese descent. He spent his early years in Chickahominy, a working-class, heavily Italian-American neighborhood in Greenwich, and grew up in Stamford. Abbott worked at a local video store and at his friend’s wine store. Abbott attended Norwalk Community College shortly before he began studying acting at HB Studio. Abbott moved to New York City in 2006 to be closer to school.
2008–2012: Early career
After moving to New York, Abbott began going to big open calls for plays while in school. This is how Abbott got his two first acting jobs, Off-Broadway. The first play, Good Boys and True, opened in the Spring of 2008 and was written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by Scott Ellis. It followed a scandal at a prep school. Abbott played the lead character’s (Brian J. Smith) gay best friend, Justin. The second play, Mouth to Mouth, opened in the Fall of 2008. The mordant and mournful play about the limits of friendship and family was written by Kevin Elyot and directed by Mark Brokaw. Abbott played the sympathetic 15-year-old son of Laura (Lisa Emery). Abbott received positive reviews for both productions. Abbott followed this with guest-starring roles in the comedy series Nurse Jackie and the police procedural series Law & Order: Criminal Intent . In 2010, Abbott co-starred opposite Cristin Milioti and Laila Robins in the play That Face at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
Abbott made his feature film debut in the 2011 drama thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene opposite Elizabeth Olsen. Written and directed by Sean Durkin, the filmed premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in January,and had a limited release in the United States on October 21, 2011. It was met with positive reviews.The same year, Abbott made his Broadway debut in the revival of the play The House of Blue Leaves opposite Ben Stiller and Edie Falco. Directed by David Cromer, the play opened in April 2011. Abbott played the part of the sullen, recently drafted son, Ronnie Shaughnessy, for which Abbott received positive reviews.
2012–present: Girls and film roles
In 2012, Abbott co-starred opposite Melanie Lynskey in the comedy-drama film Hello I Must Be Going. The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and was released theatrically in the United States on September 7, 2012. Critic Roger Ebert praised the film and Abbott’s performance. Abbott gained public recognition for his role as the sweet, docile boyfriend of Marnie (Allison Williams), Charlie Dattolo in the HBO comedy-drama series Girls. Created by Lena Dunham, the series premiered on April 15, 2012. Abbott decided to quit the series after season two’s finale which left the fans of the series in shock. Abbott stated that the reason why he left was because of the fact that he couldn’t relate to the character. Before leaving Girls, Abbott starred in a series of short films opposite model-actress Sheila Márquez for Free People and guest-starred in an episode of the comedy-drama series Enlightened opposite Luke Wilson.
After leaving the series, Abbott returned to the theatre in the fall of 2013 in the play Where We’re Born by Lucy Thurber at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. The Jackson Gay-directed play featured Abbott opposite a cast that included Betty Gilpin. Abbott received positive reviews for his role as Tony. In 2014, Abbott co-starred in the drama film The Sleepwalker, co-written by his good friend Brady Corbet. It premiered in-competition in the US Dramatic Category at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2014. It was met with mixed to positive reviews. Abbott also co-starred opposite Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda in the 2014 production of Sam Shepard’s play Fool for Love at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Abbott received positive reviews for his performance in the Daniel Aukin-directed play. In his second film of 2014, Abbott played the supporting role of Louis Servidio in J. C. Chandor’s crime drama film A Most Violent Year. Starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, the film had its world premiere at the AFI Fest on November 6, 2014 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and received a limited release on December 31, 2014.
In the Fall of 2015, Abbott played Elias Schreiber-Hoffman in the Annie Baker play John opposite Georgia Engel and Lois Smith. Directed by Sam Gold, the play took place at the Signature Theatre. Abbott’s performance received positive reviews and the play was chosen as one of the best plays of 2015 by The New York Times. Abbott starred as the title character in the drama James White opposite Cynthia Nixon, directed by Josh Mond. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2015 and received a theatrical limited release on November 13, 2015. It was met with positive reviews and Abbott received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.
In 2016, Abbott co-starred in the comedy war film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, opposite Tina Fey and Martin Freeman, released on March 4, 2016.Abbott also returned for an episode of Girls, in the series’ fifth season. The episode was critically acclaimed and lauded as one of the series’ best episodes ever. In the summer of 2016, Abbott co-starred opposite Marisa Tomei in the Trip-Cullman production of Tennessee Williams’ play The Rose Tattoo at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, for which Abbott received positive reviews. Abbott co-starred opposite Olivia Cooke in the American independent drama film Katie Says Goodbye (2016), which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.
Abbott starred alongside Joel Edgerton and Riley Keough in Trey Edward Shults’s horror film It Comes at Night, which was released on June 9, 2017.He also co-starred opposite Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman in the television series The Sinner, which debuted in 2017.
Abbott will star in the crime-thriller, Full-Dress, which began production in May 2016 and is expected to be released in 2017, and will co-star in Jamie M. Dagg’s upcoming thriller Sweet Virginia opposite Jon Bernthal, Imogen Poots and Rosemarie DeWitt. Abbott will also star opposite Mia Wasikowska in Nicolas Pesce’s film based on the novel Piercing.
Abbott lives in New York. Abbott considers John Cassavetes to be the model for the type of creative life he would like to emulate.
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