Nick Cassavetes is an American director, actor and scriptwriter who is famous for directing the hit film 'The Notebook'. Born to prestigious actors, cinema and acting were natural part of Nick's growing up years. As a child, he also worked in a couple of films, starring his father. In his childhood, Cassavetes was passionate about sports and dreamt of pursuing a career in basketball, but an unfortunate injury thwarted his dreams. Thereafter, he decided to join the glamorous word of movies and embarked on an acting career in the late 1980s. His initial films were 'Black Moon Rising', 'Blind Fury', and 'Delta Force 3'. In the mid-1990s, he decided to don the director's hat and released his first movie 'Unhook the Stars'. However, he received his due credit only after his third movie 'John Q' was released and became a major hit at the box office. His biggest hit till date is the romance drama 'The Notebook', which established him as a successful film director. Since then, Cassavetes has divided his time between acting, writing and filmmaking. He is currently working on his latest directorial venture.
Born to two prominent actors, it was only natural for Nick Cassavetes to spend a lot of his childhood on movie sets. As a child actor, he made an early debut in his father’s films: 'Husbands' (1970) and 'A Woman Under the Influence' (1974). However, his interest in films began to wane as he grew up, and he decided to become a sportsman instead. As a gifted athlete, he earned a scholarship to attend the ‘Syracuse University’, but his dreams of making a name for himself as a sportsperson were marred by a serious injury. Subsequently, Cassavetes decided to follow into his parents' footsteps and enrolled in the ‘American Academy of Dramatic Arts’.
After learning the nuances of acting and filmmaking, Cassavetes made his acting debut as T. J. in the 1985 film 'Mask'. He followed this up with several roles in different movies in the 1980s. His most notable films from this period include 'The Wraith', 'Black Moon Rising', 'Quiet Cool', 'Under the Gun', 'Blind Fury' and 'Backstreet Dreams'. At the same time, he appeared as a guest actor on TV series, such as 'Matlock', 'L. A. Law', 'Quantum Leap' and 'The Marshall Chronicles'. His projects expanded considerably in the 1990s, and he worked in movies like 'Dreams' (1990), 'Delta Force 3: The Killing Game' (1991), 'Sins of Desire' (1993) and 'Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle' (1994), before venturing into filmmaking.
Cassavetes made his directorial debut with drama movie 'Unhook the Stars' in 1996 and followed it up with the 1997 film 'She’s So Lovely'. While both movies failed to perform well at the box office, they received moderately positive reviews. Around this time, he landed his most popular role as an actor and was cast as Dietrich Hassler in the sci-fi film 'Face/Off' (1997). Over the next few years, he starred in movies, such as 'Farticus' (1997), 'Life' (1999), The Astronaut's Wife' (1999) and 'Blow' (2001). Despite a slew of successful films to his credit as an actor, he was more inclined toward direction, focusing the next decade mainly on his filmmaking career. His third directorial venture was the Denzel Washington-starrer drama film 'John Q', released in 2002. The movie was an instant hit at the box office, in addition to being critically successful. Cassavetes then directed the Nicholas Sparks adaptation 'The Notebook' in 2004. The movie was a blockbuster and performed exceedingly well at the box office. It also cemented his position as a director in Hollywood. In 2006, Cassavetes released his next drama film 'Alpha Dog', starring Justin Timberlake, Ben Foster, Olivia Wilde and Bruce Willis. It was both commercially and critically popular and was also nominated for several awards.
Cassavetes’s next film 'My Sister's Keeper' (2009) proved to a big hit as well. It starred Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin and was an adaption of Jodi Picoult's novel of the same name. The movie also won several awards at different film festivals. Cassavetes made a brief return as an actor with roles in the TV series 'Entourage' (2010) and the Hollywood comedy 'The Hangover II' (2011) before directing his next film. In 2012, he released the Sienna Miller and David Morse-starring drama 'Yellow'. Despite the mellow response at the box office, the movie was a hit with the critics.
He directed the 2014 comedy 'The Other Woman', which starred Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton and Nicki Minaj in leading roles. Despite the commercial success of the film, it was panned by the critics. His latest acting credit was in the TV series ‘Tales’, in which he was cast as Rodney King. Cassavetes is currently busy working on his next directorial venture.
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Family & Personal Life
Nicholas David Rowland Cassavetes was born on May 21, 1959 in New York City to John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands. Both his parents were popular actors during the 1950s. He has two siblings. His brother Alexandra Cassavetes is an actor-director, while his sister Zoe Cassavetes is a scriptwriter, actress and director. Cassavetes got married to Isabelle Rafalovich in 1985, but they got divorced later. The couple has two daughters: Virginia Sara and Sasha. He was next married to actress Heather Wahlquist, but this marriage ended in a divorce as well. He is currently in a relationship with Christina Virzi, a Las Vegas-based model and make-up artist. They duo dated for several years before announcing their engagement in April 2018.