Billions star Paul Giamatti is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award–winning actor who made his Broadway debut before starring in films such as American Splendor (2003), Sideways (2004) and The Holdovers (2023).
The youngest of three, Giamatti came from a successful family. His mother, Toni Giamatti, was an actor and English teacher, while his father, A. Bartlett “Bart” Giamatti, was a professor of literature at Yale University. Bart was appointed as the president of Yale by his predecessor and served as the Major League Baseball Commissioner for five months before dying suddenly of a heart attack in 1989 at age 51.
Similar to his parents, Paul graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in fine arts from the Yale School of Drama. He made his Broadway debut in 1995 in Arcadia before landing a breakout role in the 1997 film Private Parts.
Paul’s starring role as the title character in HBO’s miniseries John Adams earned him his first Emmy in 2008 and first Golden Globe Award in 2009.
“He was kinda very openly neurotic and contradictory and self-sabotaging. He was a really conflicted, complicated guy,” Paul described the former president to CNN in 2008. “He didn’t really hide that.”
Paul also shared with the Los Angeles Times in 2008 that the role’s main challenge was avoiding letting the present invade the past.
“You want to make it accessible, I suppose,” he said at the time. “But you didn’t want to shirk on making it feel like another time.”
In 2023, Paul received critical and audience acclaim for his role in The Holdovers alongside Dominic Sessa and Da’Vine Joy Randolph. His performance earned him an Academy Award nomination, his first BAFTA nomination for Best Actor and a Golden Globe win for Best Actor.
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