Since her first memorable role as the female Thermian Laliari in the sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest (1999), Missi Pyle has appeared in Josie and the Pussycats (2001), Bringing Down the House (2003), Big Fish (2003), Along Came Polly (2004) and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) before gaining another notice as compulsive gum chewer Violet Beauregarde's mother in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). Recently appearing with Lindsay Lohan in Just My Luck and with Ewan McGregor in Stormbreaker, Pyle will soon star in the upcoming films Mojave Phone Booth (with Annabeth Gish), Patriotville (with Justin Long and Emmanuelle Chiriqui), Visioneers (opposite Judy Greer and Zach Galifianakis), Entry Level (alongside D.B. Sweeney), and Spring Breakdown (with Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler and Parker Posey). She is currently playing Amanda Pontell on Fox's drama-comedy series "The Wedding Bells."
On a more personal note, the 5' 11'' actress, one of Maxim's '100 Sexiest Women' (2004), was married to storyteller Antonio Sacre. Since 2004, she reportedly has dated Josh Meyers (born January 8, 1976), former cast member of MADtv.
Childhood and Family:
On November 16, 1972, Andrea Kay Pyle was born in Houston, Texas. Her parents, Joseph Franklin Pyle and Linda Lou Watters, who gave her nickname “Little Missi,” have divorced. Her mother remarried and took 12-year-old Pyle to Germantown, Tennessee, where she attended a local high school and graduated in 1991. She received her BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1995, she finished her study at the Oxford School of Drama in London, England. Pyle, who appeared in school's GHS-TV cable access station and Poplar Pike Playhouse theatre, was honored by the Poplar Pike Playhouse in Germantown, Tennessee, for her achievements.
While playing John Malkovich's wife in Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater production of “The Libertine,” Pyle met solo performer and English/Spanish bilingual storyteller Antonio Sacre. The couple, who shared 3-legged dog named Saskia and a cat named Chester, married in May 2000, but divorced five years later.
Bringing Down the House
Having been enjoying acting since her early years, Missi Pyle started auditioning at age 13. While studying at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she played the lead in a number of Shakespeare productions, including as Cressida, the Trojan woman who falls in love with one of the sons of King Priam, Troilus, in “Troilus and Cressida.” She also performed in the summer productions of “Ruthless” at the Galvest Island Outdoor Musicals, and “Big River,” in which she played Becky.
Following graduation, Pyle signed up with the Paradigm Agency in New York and began performing in many productions as well as doing voiceovers. She also portrayed the "black widow" character in the interactive theme restaurant "Jekyll and Hyde" in New York City in the mid 1990s.
In 1996, Pyle made on-screen acting debut in writer-director Steven Feder's independent comedy film The Cottonwood, starring Pruitt Taylor Vince. She followed it up with the next year’s small part as a café waitress in James L. Brooks’ Oscar-winning romantic drama comedy, As Good As It Gets (starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear). She also returned on stage to play Kimberly Procthkow in Tom Noonan's "Wang Dang" at the Paradise Theater, New York City (1998), and then as Burning Jewel in David Beaird's "900 Oneonta" at the Circle Repertory Theatre, New York City (1996) and in The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Los Angeles (1999).
Pyle got her first leading role in Dean Parisot's sci-fi comedy movie Galaxy Quest (1999; with Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell and Tony Shalhoub), as the female Thermian Laliari. That same year, TV viewers could catch her appearing as a guest on an episode of the NBC sitcoms "Mad about You" and "Friends."
The new millennium saw Pyle starring in writer-director M. George Stevenson's short independent noir film, But Enough About Me... Afterward, she was cast as one of the regular performers on ABC/Syndicated Emmy-winning variety/talk show "The Wayne Brady Show" and took the lead as Alexandra Cabot in Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan's musical comedy Josie and the Pussycats (starring Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson), based upon the Archie comic (which had been adapted into a Saturday morning cartoon in 1970 by Hanna-Barbera).
In 2004, Pyle was nominated an MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Queen Latifah) for her performance as Ashley, the Tae-Bo-fighting society girl in Adam Shankman's comedy movie Bringing Down the House (also starring Steve Martin). She was cast alongside Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup and Jessica Lange in Tim Burton's screen version of Daniel Wallace's novel, Big Fish, and shared the screen with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston in writer-director John Hamburg's romantic comedy Along Came Polly (also with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Debra Messing and Alec Baldwin).
After appearing as a drunken tourist in Peter Segal's romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, 50 First Dates, Pyle co-starred with Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller in writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber's comedy movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, playing Fran, a member of the Purple Cobras and the love interest of Joel Moore's character. She went to the spotlight again in 2005 when she was offered to play the mother of compulsive gum chewer Violet Beauregarde (played by AnnaSophia Robb) in Tim Burton's Oscar-nominated adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1964 children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (also starring Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore).
Moviegoers subsequently watched Pyle in Geoffrey Sax's spy film based on the first of the best-selling series of Alex Rider novels by Anthony Horowitz, Stormbreaker (a.k.a. Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker; starring Alex Pettyfer and Ewan McGregor), and as Lindsay Lohan’s demanding boss in Donald Petrie's romantic comedy Just My Luck (both in 2006). She has appeared on ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning legal dramedy "Boston Legal," Comedy Central's "The Sarah Silverman Program" and NBC's sci-fi drama series "Heroes." She currently plays the regular role of Amanda Pontell, the former Bridezilla client who becomes a board member of The Wedding Palace on Fox's drama-comedy series "The Wedding Bells."
As for his upcoming film projects, Pyle has completed John Putch's drama film about based on a real phone booth in the Mojave Desert, Mojave Phone Booth, along with Annabeth Gish, Steve Guttenberg and Christine Elise, which scheduled for release sometime in the future. She will soon wrap several comedy films: Talmage Cooley's Patriotville (with Justin Long and Emmanuelle Chiriqui), writer-director Tate Taylor's Pretty Ugly People (alongside Jack Noseworthy and Larry Sullivan), and Jared Drake's Visioneers (opposite Judy Greer and Zach Galifianakis). She will also team with D.B. Sweeney and Cedric Yarbrough in writer-director Douglas Horn's Entry Level, and with Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler and Parker Posey in Ryan Shiraki's Spring Breakdown.