Jason Schwartzman
Birth Date:
June 26, 1980
Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California, USA
5' 6
Famous for:
His role as Max Fisher in 'Rushmore' (1998)
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American actor and musician Jason Schwartzman was shot to prominence with his adroit, uproarious portrayal of innovative lovestruck Max Fischer in Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed comedy Rushmore (1998), for which he won a YoungStar Award and a Lone Star Film & Television Award and was nominated for a Teen Choice and a Chicago Film Critics Association. Since that promising debut, the exceptional young player has collected a number of movie resumes under his belt, including Slackers (2002), Simone (2002), Spun (2003), I Heart Huckabees (2004), Bewitched (2005), Shopgirl (2005) and Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (2006). He will star in The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and The Marc Pease Experience (2008). The award-winning actor also has had a regular role on the short-lived television series “Cracking Up” (2004).

Schwartzman also has a lucrative side-career as a musician. He played drums and wrote songs for Phantom Planet, a pop rock group he formed in 1994. The band is most known for spawning the hit single “California,” the theme song for The O.C. Schwartzman quit in 2003 in favor for acting. Currently, he is in the pop/rock solo act Coconut Records and released a first CD in March 2007.

As for his private life, the diminutive, dark-haired performer has been romantically involved with actress Zooey Deschanel and Selma Blair. Blair is eight years his senior. Actress Claire Danes is Schwartzman’s very close friend.

Hollywood Royalty

Childhood and Family:

Jason Francesco Schwartzman was born on June 26, 1980, in Los Angeles, California, to producer Jack Schwartzman (died of pancreatic cancer in 1994), who was Jewish, and Italian-American actress Talia Shire, best known as Rocky Balboa’s lover Adrian. He comes from a show biz family. Besides his parents, he is also nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and cousin of Sofia Coppola, Christopher Coppola, Roman Coppola and Nicolas Cage. His older brother, Robert Schwartzman, is an actor and the vocalist of the band Rooney, and his half-siblings, John Schwartzman and Stephanie Schwartzman, are both cinematographers. Jason was educated at Windward School in Los Angeles, California.



12-year-old Jason Schwartzman had his first taste of show business as a production intern for the comedy film Bed & Breakfast (1992), produced by his father and starring his mother. A year later, he tried his hand in acting and auditioned for the role of Tom Hanks’ matchmaking child in Sleepless In Seattle. Unfortunately, it went to Ross Malinger. Undaunted, young Schwartzman went on to pursue his other passion, music. The grandson of Academy Award-winning composer Carmine Coppola then formed a pop rock band in 1994, called Phantom Planet where he served as a drummer and songwriter. With his group, he released a debut album, Phantom Planet Is Missing, on Geffen Records in the late 1998.

Shortly thereafter, Schwartzman enjoyed success as an actor with his debut film, Rushmore (1998), directed by Wes Anderson and written by Anderson and Owen Wilson. In this critically touted comedy, he starred as Max Fischer, a homely 10th-grade scholarship boy who befriends a miserable local factory magnate, Blume (played by Bill Murray), and falls in love with an older woman, Ms. Cross (played by Olivia Williams), a recently widowed teacher. Delivering a bravura performance, the actor was handed a YoungStar for Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy Film and a Lone Star Film & Television for Best Actor, as well as received a Teen Choice nomination for Film- Choice Hissy Fit and a Chicago Film Critics Association nomination for Most Promising Actor.

After the victory, Schwartzman remained a low profile and chose to spent time with his band. He also took on small, odd roles in television, including his guest stint as a greasy fake-ID dealer, Howie Gelfand, on the NBC short-lived series “Freaks and Geeks” (2000). His next film, Slackers, an anti-high school comedy costarring Devon Sawa and Jason Segel, was originally set for release in 2000, but then postponed to 2001 and again to early 2002. He also appeared on the Cannes-screened CQ (2001), the directorial debut of cousin Roman Coppola, and found himself acting with Al Pacino and Winona Ryder in the sci-fi film Simone (2002).

In August 2003, after scoring the hit single “California” with Phantom Planet that became the theme song for the popular Fox melodrama “The O.C.,” Schwartzman announced his leaving from his band to concentrate on his acting career. This effort paid off when he made a huge impression for playing a pace freak on the critically applauded Spun (2003). The same year, he also starred as a 1960s teenager living with his blasphemous, eccentric mother in actor Joe Pantoliano’s directorial debut, Just Like Mona.

Next, Schwartzman had a lead opposite Dustin Hoffmann, Jude Law and Naomi Watts in writer-director David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees (2004), as a bothered rival named Albert Markovski, supported Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman in the remake of Bewitched (2005), playing Ferrell’s deeply focused, truth-impaired Hollywood agent, as well as costarred with Steve Martin and Claire Danes on Shopgirl (2005), based on Martin’s bestselling novella of the same name. The latter project saw him as Ray, an unrefined, not-so-flourishing bachelor who vied with an affluent sophisticate (played by Martin) for the loves of a Beverly Hills glove salesgirl (played by Danes). Meanwhile, on the small screen, he made his debut as a series regular with a role as a student who moves into a Beverly Hills family’s guest house on the Mike White-created “Cracking Up” (2004). The Fox sitcom, however, was cancelled after only nine episodes. In 2006, he shared the top bill with Kirsten Dunst for the Oscar winner Marie Antoinette, directed by Sofia Coppola. Additionally, he contributed to Ben Lee’s 2005 album Awake Is The New Sleep.

In 2007, multi-talented Schwartzman created the pop/rock solo act Coconut Records, and released a first CD on March 20 on iTunes. It contains such songs as “Nighttiming,” “West Coast” and “This Old Machine.” He also still composes music for several movies. On the movie front, he has three upcoming projects under his belt. He will rejoin director Wes Anderson for the biopic The Darjeeling Limited (2007), costarring with Natalie Portman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Anjelica Huston, and star with Ben Stiller in the comedy The Marc Pease Experience (2008). Besides, he is set to team with George Clooney and Cate Blanchett for Anderson’s animated feature The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2008).


  • YoungStar: Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy Film, Rushmore, 1999
  • Lone Star Film & Television: Best Actor, Rushmore, 1999
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