Tom Sizemore filmography and biography
Date of birth: 29 November 1961, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Tom Sizemore biography
Tom Sizemore rose in prominence throughout the 1990s, establishing
himself as a memorable tough guy character, sought after by the most
respected directors in the business. Born in Detroit on 29 November,
1961, Sizemore grew up idolizing the tough guy characters of the movies
he watched. After attending Wayne State University, he got his master's
degree in theater from Temple University in 1986.
Like many he moved to New York City and struggled, waiting tables and performing in plays. His first break came when Oliver Stone (I) cast him in a bit part in Born on the Fourth of July. Bigger roles soon followed throughout the early 1990s, such as Guilty by Suspicion, True Romance, and Striking Distance. 1994 proved to be an even bigger year for Sizemore, as he won the role of "Bat Masterson" in Kevin Costner's star-studded biopic Wyatt Earp, as well as one of his first truly memorable roles as "Detective Jack Scagnetti" in Oliver Stone (I)'s controversial Natural Born Killers. In 1995 he appeared in Devil in a Blue Dress, Strange Days, as well as the acclaimed crime epic Heat, directed by Michael Mann (I). Sizemore's first big leading role is in The Relic, the big budget effects thriller directed by Peter Hyams.
According to a 2001 interview in The Calgary Sun, Sizemore entered a drug rehab program in 1998 after his mother and his friend Robert De Niro appeared on his doorstep during the filming of Witness to the Mob (1998) (TV). Telling him they were there to drive him to jail or to rehab, Sizemore chose rehab. After he completed rehab, he counseled teens involved in substance abuse.
Offered both a role in WWII films directed by both Terrence Malick and Steven Spielberg, Sizemore chose the role of "Sergeant Horvath" in Saving Private Ryan. The role and film received widespread acclaim and introduced Sizemore's talents to a much broader audience in a more human and well-rounded role than he had previously been given. Sizemore also credits this shoot and Steven Spielberg for helping him with his recovery from addiction, with Steven Spielberg threatening to re-shoot the entire film if Sizemore failed a drug test even once.
After a flamboyant and uncredited mobster role in Enemy of the State, Sizemore then portrayed a psychotic paramedic in Bringing Out the Dead directed by Martin Scorsese. Seemingly taking it easy, he then turned in fine but stereotypical performances in Play It to the Bone, Red Planet, and Pearl Harbor. Sizemore then received another leading role in the high-profile military drama Black Hawk Down directed by yet another legendary director, Ridley Scott.
Specializing in the sort of ultimate tough guy/manly man roles that hearken back to a different era in film, Sizemore continues to be a favourite of Hollywood's greatest directors. Never afraid to speak his mind about anyone and anything, his sense of blunt honesty and lack of pretentiousness is refreshing. A commanding voice and presence on film, Sizemore looks to continue as one of Hollywood's greatest actors.
Tom Sizemore trivia
- (24 January 1997) Arrested in Los Angeles, after his wife, Maeve Quinlan, called police claiming she'd been physically injured by Tom during an argument at their apartment.
- According to a 2001 interview with The Calgary Sun, he credits Robert De Niro with turning his life around during the filming of Witness to the Mob (1998) (TV). De Niro showed up on his doorstep with Tom's mother and told him they were there to drive him to jail or rehab. He chose rehab.
- Formerly engaged to Heidi Fleiss.
- His brother, Aaron Sizemore, is a writer and lives in Detroit.
- His younger brother is Paul Sizemore
- He is of Welsh and French descent and NOT Italian-American despite assumptions of the contrary. His father's side of the family is of Welsh descent and his mother's (Chenault) is of French.
- Practiced martial arts as a teenager.
- Attended Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and graduated in theater (acting).
- Had his nose accidentally broken by Juliette Lewis (I) during the filming of the prison cell fight scene in Oliver Stone (I)'s Natural Born Killers.
- Has played characters in seven movies who have died in shootouts: True Romance, Enemy of the State, Saving Private Ryan, Heat, Natural Born Killers, Devil in a Blue Dress and Dreamcatcher. If counting voice work, the number goes up to eight!: He did the voice of Sonny Forelli in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) (VG), who is killed in a gang shootout.
- As a struggling young actor in New York, Sizemore worked for three years as a waiter in the World Trade Center.
- Auditioned six times for the part of Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs.
- Gained 44 lbs. to portray John Gotti in Witness to the Mob (1998) (TV) by gorging on ice cream, pizza, pasta with cream sauce, meatball sandwiches and drinking weight gainer shakes.
- In February 2005, he failed a court-ordered drug test after he was caught trying to use a prosthetic penis to fake the results, the second time he has been caught trying this.
- Was in attendance at Chris Penn (I)'s funeral
- Has twin sons Jayden and Jagger born in July of 2005 with ex-girlfriend Janelle McIntire.
- Claims to have spent $11 million on lawyers and legal fees fighting previous drug and domestic violence charges.
- Is the lead singer for the Hollywood rock band Day 8, formed in 2002. The members are Rod Casho, Michael Taylor, Lester Mendoza, and Tyrone Tomke. They have recorded a 4 song EP.
- Spent time doing research at Folsom Prison, a maximum security facility near Sacramento, California to gather insider insight into the criminal psychology and felonious crews like the fictional one his character belongs to in Heat.
- Tom is the godfather of Michael Madsen (I)'s youngest child, Hudson.
- Tom credits his ex-wife Maeve Quinlan, a professional tennis player and a regular on The Bold and the Beautiful, with helping to keep him on the straight and narrow, she was always there to steer him straight.
- Favorite movies are: Taxi Driver, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Deer Hunter.
- Starred in numerous regional and off-Broadway theatrical productions including Horton Foote's "The Land of the Astronauts" at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York.
- As a teenager, Tom sang tenor in musicals staged by local theatre groups. He was annoyed at not being considered for the part of "Che", (Antonio Banderas (I) landed the role), in Alan Parker (I)'s Evita. He's about to start taking singing lessons again (2009).
- For Natural Born Killers, Tom was dressed by Emporio Armani.
- Tom features in the longest "walk 'n talk" scene in movie history, as "Jack Scagnetti" in Natural Born Killers.
- To prepare for Natural Born Killers, Tom met with Ted Bundy's psychiatrist and John Wayne Gacy.
- On 9/9/2004, Tom was shot at while driving in his car in Los Angeles. There was a passenger in the car, both Tom and the passenger were unharmed.
- Credits his childhood for his passion for acting. He watched the tough guys take care of business and decided that those were the roles that he would play when he got older.
- Tom's wish list of people to work with are: Quentin Tarantino, 'Stanley Kubrick', Jodie Foster, Jack Nicholson (I) and Bernardo Bertolucci.
- Attended at Temple University of Philadelphia and majored in theater.
- Tom feels that doing homework is critical in perfecting his roles. For his role in The Relic, he met with curators and scientists to learn more about the research behind public museum exhibits.
- Met his ex-wife, Maeve Quinlan, on the set of Natural Born Killers. Maeve was working as an extra.
- Tom's favourite horror flick is Alien.
- Wrote the stand-off scene between "Horvath" and "Reiben" in Saving Private Ryan.
- When Tom arrived at boot camp he weighed 190lbs, but the food was so awful, he left weighing 178lbs. His first consumption upon leaving was a diet coke.
- Frequently worked with the producer Ryan R. Johnson.
Tom Sizemore quotes
- "Strangling that girl was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Number one, it was her first movie. Two, she was really nice. And three, there she was in Winslow, Arizona - the middle of nowhere - with me and Oliver Stone (I), and she had to get raped and murdered." About his role in Natural Born Killers.
- "I'm a very fortunate actor. I'm blessed to be the position I'm in right now. Hell, I'm blessed to be in any position, you know? There are so many guys who had good lives, great lives, and blew it....I think there are some guys who think they don't deserve to have good lives. They feel they don't deserve their good fortune, so they throw it away. One of my good friends was Chris Farley. Chris blew it. He blew the whole enchilada."
- "When he hired me, Oliver [Oliver Stone (I)] said, 'I'm making a table. I have four legs already - Robert Downey Jr., Juliette Lewis (I), Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson. And I'm going to have a fifth leg on my table. And if that leg is wobbly, my table is a very fucked-up table, and things fall off of it. You're not going to be a wobbly leg, are ya?' And I said, "No. I won't, I won't, I won't fuck up your table." - On getting the part in Natural Born Killers.
- "I was a wayward kid, a rambunctious and angry teenager, but I found acting as a fifteen-year-old. I saw some movies with Montgomery Clift and James Dean (I), and I read biographies about them - then Marlon Brando - and I got it in my head that I wanted to be an actor. The first scene I did in an acting class was from "In the Boom Boom Room", by David Rabe. I played "Big Al". It was a very violent and emotional scene, and I liked that - I realized I had it in me."
- "Temptation is impossible for me to resist...Come on. This is Hollywood. It's in the job description."
- "I was the star of the class. I got the best roles. I was a very serious actor. Besides me, no one from that class has done anything in the business." - On his time as a drama student at Temple University.
- "You must have to want it so badly, if there is any way you can live without it, get out of it. Being an unsuccessful actor is like having a skin disease. Make sure your passion is not misplaced." - On advice to aspiring actors.
- "Steven [Steven Spielberg] said he was going to give me a second chance, but that he would have me tested throughout the shoot. He said that even if I only started using on the last day of production he'd recast the part and re-shoot everything. He didn't want to be part of my problem." - On his drug problem and Saving Private Ryan.
- "For years I fooled myself into thinking I could or even was getting off drugs. People knew I was using but they still hired me for their films. I was grateful back then, but it was what contributed to my downward spiral. People talk about my bizarre behaviour at the 1995 Toronto Film Festival when we were promoting Devil in a Blue Dress. I was so high during that period I don't remember making the movie, let alone promoting it." - Quote from 2001.