Childhood & Early Life
Abbott was born on February 1, 1986, to Orville Abbott and Anna Abbott (nee Servidio), in Greenwich, Connecticut, US. He grew up in Chickahominy in Greenwich and Stamford.
While Abbott’s father is of Portuguese and Eastern European descent, his mother has Italian ancestry.
As a teenager, Abbott worked at a local video store and at a friend’s wine shop.
While attending ‘Norwalk Community College,’ Norwalk, Connecticut, he attended classes in theater and was inspired to pursue acting as a career option. Hence, he got himself enrolled at the ‘Herbert Berghof Studio,’ also known as the ‘HB Studio,’ Greenwich Village, New York, to learn acting. He moved to New York in 2006, to stay closer to the school.
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Abbott made his acting debut as ‘Justin’ in the play ‘Good Boys and True’ in the spring of 2008, while still in school. Soon, he appeared as the 15-year-old son of ‘Laura’ in ‘Mouth to Mouth.’ His performance was appreciated by all.
He made his TV debut with the role of ‘Andy Singer’ in an episode of the medical comedy–drama series ‘Nurse Jackie,’ titled ‘Pill-O-Matix,’ in 2009. The following year, he appeared as ‘Kyle Wyler’ in an episode of the police-procedural TV drama ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent,’ titled ‘Lost Children of the Blood.’
In 2011, he made his feature-film and ‘Broadway’ debut. His debut film was ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene,’ a dramatic thriller featuring him as ‘Max.’ The film was nominated for the ‘Best Ensemble Cast’ award at the ‘Gotham Independent Film Awards.’ His ‘Broadway’ debut was as ‘Ronnie Shaughnessy’ in the revival of the play ‘The House of Blue Leaves.’
His performance as ‘Jeremy’ in the 2012 comedy–drama movie ‘Hello I Must be Going’ earned him critical acclaim. After his portrayal of the docile ‘Charlie Dattolo’ in the ‘HBO’ comedy–drama series ‘Girls,’ he became a recognizable face. However, he shocked his fans by quitting the show abruptly after the season-two finale, citing that he could not identify with the character on a personal level.
The year 2013 saw Abbott appearing as ‘Chris’ in a short video called ‘Roshambo’ and as ‘Joseph’ in a short film called ‘The Exit Room.’ He also served as an executive producer for the latter. The same year, he shared the ‘Ensemble Cast’ award with the rest of the cast of the movie ‘All that I Am’ at the ‘South By Southwest Awards.’
His non-film credits in 2013 included a TV show and a play. He was seen as ‘Travis’ in an episode of the series ‘Enlightened,’ titled ‘Higher Power.’ He was also seen in the play ‘Where We’re Born,’ as ‘Tony.’
The 2014 Norwegian–American drama film ‘The Sleepwalker’ saw him in the lead role of ‘Andrew.’ His second film of the year was ‘A Most Violent Year,’ which saw him appear as ‘Louis Servidio.’
Abbott’s career soared after he appeared as the titular character in the multiple award-winning drama film ‘James White,’ written and directed by Josh Mond. This performance earned him a lot of awards and nominations. He won the ‘Emerging Artist Award’ at the ‘Chicago International Film Festival’ and the ‘Breakthrough Performance’ award at the ‘Hamptons International Film Festival.’ He was nominated for the ‘Best Actor’ by the ‘Chicago Film Critics Association,’ the ‘Detroit Film Critics Society,’ and the ‘Gotham Awards.’ He was also nominated for the ‘Best Male Lead’ at the ‘Independent Spirit Awards.’
He was seen as ‘Warren’ in the crime thriller ‘Criminal Activities,’ as ‘Henry’ (voice role) in the short film ‘The Girlfriend Game,’ and as ‘Elias Schreiber-Hoffman’ in the play ‘John.’
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Abbott was nominated for the ‘Berkshire Theatre Award’ for ‘Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor – Large Theatre,’ for the role of ‘Alvaro Mangiacavallo’ in the play ‘The Rose Tattoo’ in 2016. He was also seen in an episode of the fifth season of ‘Girls,’ which became one of the most-liked episodes of the series.
The year 2016 also saw him playing the character ‘Fahim Ahmadzai’ in the biographical war comedy–drama ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,’ based on the memoir ‘The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan’ by Kim Barker. The same year, he appeared as ‘Bruno,’ alongside Olivia Cooke, rumored to be his girlfriend, in the drama film ‘Katie Says Goodbye.’
He appeared as ‘Elwood’ in ‘Sweet Virginia,’ a Canadian–American neo-noir thriller. He was also seen as ‘Will’ in ‘It Comes At Night’ and as ‘Mason Tannetti’ in ‘The Sinner,’ an anthology crime-drama mystery (2017).
The year 2018 saw him in minor characters. He appeared as real-life astronaut David Scott in ‘First Man,’ a biopic on astronaut Neil Armstrong, and as a journalist in ‘Vox Lux.’
He appeared as ‘John Yossarian’ in the satirical dark-comedy miniseries ‘Catch-22,’ based on Joseph Heller’s novel of the same name that premiered on May 17, 2019, on ‘Hulu.’ He wrapped up the year with the role of ‘Nick/Chris’ in the crime comedy–drama ‘Full-Dres.’
He will be seen as ‘Colin’ in ‘Possessor,’ a science-fiction thriller, and as ‘Gabe’ in ‘Black Bear,’ another thriller.