Cory Michael Smith is an American actor, best known for his performance as ‘The Riddler’/‘Edward Nygma’ in the ‘Fox TV’ series ‘Gotham.’ Born and raised in Ohio, he obtained a degree in art musical theater from ‘Otterbein University.’ While studying at the university, he appeared in a number of stage productions, such as ‘The Scene,’ ‘Tartuffe,’ and ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ Following his graduation, he moved to New York and performed in ‘off-Broadway’ productions such as ‘The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World’ and ‘The Whale.’ His ‘Broadway’ debut play was ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’ Smith also appeared in films such as ‘Camp X-Ray,’ ‘Dog Food,’ and ‘Carol.’ Since 2014, he has been working in the successful series ‘Gotham,’ as the super-villain ‘Edward Nygma,’ the role that has proved to be the most significant one of his career. His roles in the miniseries ‘Olive Kitteridge,’ the film ‘1985,’ and the ‘Fox’ series ‘Gotham’ have earned him several nominations and awards. He will be seen in the upcoming ‘Amazon’ series ‘Utopia.’ During the promotions of his film ‘1985,’ he revealed he was gay. However, nothing much is known about his personal relationships. Smith currently stays in New York City.
Childhood & Early Life
Smith was born on November 14, 1986, in Columbus, Ohio, to David and Theresa [née Fagan] Smith. He has an older brother, Chad. He studied at the ‘Hilliard Darby High School’ and graduated in 2005. Later, he attended ‘Otterbein University’ in Westerville, Ohio, and obtained a degree in art musical theater and jazz piano in 2009.
During his senior year at the college, he worked as an intern at a casting office. While studying at the university, Smith appeared in a number of plays, such as ‘The Scene,’ ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,’ ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle,’ and ‘Tartuffe.’ He moved to New York at the age of 22.
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Smith started his career with theater. In 2011, he made his ‘off-Broadway’ debut with the New York premier of ‘The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World.’ It was produced by ‘Playwrights Horizons’ and the ‘New York Theater Workshop.’ From 2009 to 2012, he worked in various regional theater productions. His other ‘off-Broadway’ projects included plays such as ‘Cock aka The Cockfight Play’ by Mike Bartlett, at ‘The Duke on 42nd Street,’ and ‘The Whale’ by Samuel D Hunter, at ‘Playwrights Horizons.’ He was part of ‘The Fantasticks’ [at both the ‘Barrington Stage Company’ and ‘The Repertory Theater of St. Louis] and ‘Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them.’
Smith made his ‘Broadway’ debut in 2013, with the role of ‘Fred – The Narrator’ in Truman Capote’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’ He received accolades for this performance. The movie featured him opposite Emilia Clarke.
Smith’s debut film, ‘Camp X-Ray,’ in which he appeared with Kristen Stewart, premiered at the 2014 ‘Sundance Film Festival.’ The same year, his short horror film ‘Dog Food’ premiered at the ‘South by Southwest.’ In this movie, he appeared alongside Amanda Seyfried.
In 2014, Smith appeared as ‘Dr. Kevin Coulson’ in the cable miniseries ‘Olive Kitteridge.’ It was directed by Lisa Cholodenko and featured him opposite Frances McDormand. This performance won him a ‘Critics’ Choice TV Award’ nomination for the ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Limited Series’ in 2015.
Smith was also cast as criminal mastermind ‘Edward Nygma’/‘The Riddler’ in the ‘Fox Television’ crime drama ‘Gotham.’ It was a career-defining role for Smith. His performance in the hit series earned him a nomination for the ‘Teen Choice Award’ for ‘Choice TV: Villain.’
Smith has worked in two movies by director Todd Haynes, ‘Carol’ [in 2015, alongside Cate Blanchett and Roomey Mara] and ‘Wonderstruck’ [in 2017, opposite Julianne Moore].
Smith’s first lead role was as ‘Adrian Lester’ in ‘1985,’ a film about a gay man whose partner dies of AIDS. In this 2018 movie, directed by Yen Tan, he shared screen space with Virginia Madsen, Michael Chiklis, and Jamie Chung. Smith’s role in this film won him the award for the ‘Best Actor in a Feature Film’ at the ‘Queen Palm International Film Festival’ . He also worked as an executive producer for this film.
In 2018, Smith also appeared in the role of ‘Roger Chaffee’ in the biographical film ‘First Man.’ His forthcoming ventures include the adaptation of the British series ‘Utopia’ by ‘Amazon,’ which will feature him as the bright and ambitious ‘Thomas Christie,’ alongside Dan Byrd and Sasha Lane.
Family & Personal Life
While promoting his film ‘1985’ , which was a story of a gay man, Smith opened up about his own sexuality and came out as gay. He said that his family had accepted his sexuality but had taken some time to adjust to it.
Reportedly, a few years ago, he was dating his ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s co-star Emilia Clarke. However, the couple had not commented about it. No information is available about Smith’s present relationship/s.