Jon Favreau Biography
Jonathan Kolia "Jon" Favreau is an American actor, screenwriter and film director. He is best known for appearing in films including Rudy and Swingers, as well as directing Iron Man.
Favreau was born in Flushing, New York, the son of Madeleine, a schoolteacher who died of leukemia in 1978, and Charles Favreau, a special education teacher. His father was an Italian American Catholic and his mother was Jewish. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1984 and attended Queens College from 1984 to 1987, before dropping out. He briefly worked for Bear Stearns on Wall Street before returning to Queens College for a semester in early 1988. He dropped out of college for good (a few credits shy of completing his degree), and in the summer of 1988, moved to Chicago to pursue a career in comedy. He performed at several Chicago improvisational theaters, including the ImprovOlympic and the Improv Institute.
While in Chicago, Favreau landed his first film role alongside Sean Astin as the pudgy tutor D-Bob in the classic sleeper hit Rudy (1993). Favreau met Vince Vaughn—who also played a small role in this film—during shooting. The next year, he appeared in the college film PCU alongside Jeremy Piven, and also stepped into the world of television in the 1994 episode of Seinfeld titled "The Fire" as Eric the Clown. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he made his breakthrough in 1996 as an actor-screenwriter with the film Swingers, which was Vaughn's breakthrough role as the glib and extremely confident Trent Walker, a perfect foil to Favreau's heartbroken Mike Peters. In 1997 he appeared on the popular TV sitcom Friends portraying Pete Becker, whom Monica dates for several episodes, and who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
He rejoined Piven in 1998 as part of Very Bad Things (1998). In 1999 he starred in Rocky Marciano, based on the life of the only undefeated world heavyweight champion in the world. He later appeared in Love & Sex (2000), co-starring Famke Janssen. Favreau got some screen time as lawyer Foggy Nelson in the 2003 movie Daredevil (2003) (considerably more in the Director's Cut version). In 2003 he also starred in The Big Empty, directed by Steve Anderson. His character was John Person, an out of work actor given a strange mission to deliver a blue suitcase to a man named Cowboy in the desert. Earlier, Favreau appeared in 2000's The Replacements as maniacal linebacker Daniel Bateman. He was a guest-director for an episode of the college dramedy Undeclared in 2001.
In 2000, he played himself in a Sopranos episode as a Hollywood director who feigns interest in developing mob associate Christopher Moltisanti's execrable screenplay in order to collect material for his own screenplay.
In 2001, he made his (film) directorial debut with another self-penned screenplay, Made. Made once again teamed him up with his Swingers co-star Vince Vaughn but was generally perceived as lacking the spark that made Swingers such a big hit. In the fall of 2003, he scored his first financial success as a director of the hit comedy Elf starring Will Ferrell and James Caan. Also in 2003, Favreau had a small part in Something's Gotta Give (a film starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson); Favreau played Leo, Harry Sanborn's (Nicholson) personal assistant, who visited Harry in the hospital. Among Favreau's latest projects, he has directed the film adaptation of Zathura (2005). Never to turn his back on acting, Favreau still makes regular appearances in film and television. He recently reunited with friend Vince Vaughn in the much-hyped hit romantic comedy The Break-Up and appeared in My Name Is Earl as a reprehensible fast food manager. Favreau also made a guest appearance in Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show.
Favreau also has a TV series called Dinner for Five which airs on the cable TV channel IFC. On April 28, 2006, it was announced that Favreau was signed to direct the long awaited Iron Man movie. Favreau was the third director attached to John Carter of Mars, the film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' swashbuckling space hero. Robert Rodriguez and Kerry Conran were previously attached within the last two years. Mark Protosevich and Ehren Kruger have both written drafts. The Marshal in Revelation has been in development since Swingers was released. It's a western about a Hasidic gunslinger. At one time both Favreau and Vince Vaughn were to co-direct. Neanderthals is a CG animated film that Favreau will write and produce. Johnny Zero will cover the birth of the hot rod movement following World War II. Favreau will write and direct. Iron Man was the first Marvel-produced movie under their alliance with Paramount, and Favreau served as the director and an executive producer. He recently told MTV that he would like to be at the helm of an Avengers film. During early scenes in Iron Man Favreau appears as Tony Stark's loyal friend, and driver, Happy Hogan. He also wrote a mini-series for Marvel Knights titled Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas that started in September 2008.
On October 15, 2008, TV Guide reported that Favreau has signed on to co-star in Couples Retreat, a comedy chronicling four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort, which he also wrote. The film will see him reunited with co-star Vince Vaughn. Kristin Davis will play his better half.
Favreau married Joya Tillem in November 24, 2000. The couple have three children, a son, Max, born July 25, 2001, and two daughters, Madeleine, born April 2003 and Brighton Rose, born August 2006. Joya Tillem is the niece of KGO (AM) lawyer/talk show host Len Tillem.
Favreau also plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games for the Cancer Care charity.
Favreau credits Dungeons & Dragons with giving him "...a really strong background in imagination, storytelling, understanding how to create tone and a sense of balance."