Paul Schneider
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Asheville, North Carolina
5' 11½" (1.82 m)
Famous for:
His critically acclaimed independent film “George Washington” (2000)
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All the Real Girls


“After we did 'All the Real Girls,' some guy asked me how I was going to go to Hollywood and hang on to my indie values. ‘Indie values?’ There's like 18 things wrong with that phrase, but I understood what he meant. If your value system is external to you, then yeah, it can be hard to hold on to. Is it hard to hold on to this glass of water through a typhoon? It absolutely is. But if your value system is in you, like lungs, like blood..” Paul Schneider

American actor, writer and director Paul Schneider rose to fame as a result of his collaboration with longtime friend, writer-director David Gordon Green. Having first met while both were students of NCSA, Schneider kicked off his cinematic career with the critically acclaimed independent film “George Washington” (2000), Green's motion picture debut. He then starred as womanizer Paul in Green's “All the Real Girls” (2003), in which Schneider shared a Chlotrudis nomination for his writing. Since then, Schneider has acted in such movies as Jordan Hawley's “50 Ways to leave Your Lover” (2004), Cameron Crowe's “Elizabethtown” (2005), Thomas Bezucha's “The Family Stone” (2005), Andrew Dominik's “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (2007), Craig Gillespie's “Lars and the Real Girl” (2007), Jane Campion's “Bright Star” (2009) and Sam Mendes' “Away We Go” (2009). Schneider debuted as director-writer with 2008's “Pretty Bird,” from which he picked up a Grand Jury Prize nomination at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. On the small screen, Schneider, who was named one of the “Ten Actors to Watch” by Variety in 2007, recently portrayed Mark Brendanawicz on the NBC series “Parks and Recreation” (2009).

NCSA Graduate


“I come from a really lovely, really smart family where the only stress was money and employment. It wasn't violence, it wasn't drink. It was money. I was a sensitive, runty, rednecky kid, and I absorbed my parents’ stress about that. Now I find myself living in the epicenter of money, trying to define myself against it. I'm having a nice little swing here, but even if they come at me with a big paycheck, and they haven't, believe me, it won't fill the void that'll be created in me if I have to go out and lie to guys like you about loving a movie I'm in that I actually can't stand. That's gotta chip away at you.” Paul Schneider

Paul Andrew Schneider was born on March, 16, 1976, in Asheville, North Carolina. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA), where he met writer-director David Gordon Green (born on April 9, 1975). They soon became friends and in their junior year, co-wrote a screenplay about a boy and girl who fall in love. After graduating in 1998, Paul and David headed to Hollywood, but moved back to North Carolina within a year.

Paul moved to New York City in 2003. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Pretty Bird


Paul Schneider got his early acting experience by appearing in several films by NCSA classmate David Gordon Green, including “Pleasant Grove” (1997) and “Physical Pinball” (1998). Schneider was working as a conductor of a train ride when he was chosen to portray railroad worker Rico Rice on Green’s first feature film, “George Washington” (2000), about a group of children in a small town in the U.S. Written and directed by Green, the drama won various awards, including the Discovery Award at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival and a New York Film Critics Circle for Best First Film, and was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Feature and Best First Screenplay.

After his feature film acting debut, Schneider was cast in director Andrew Gillis' debut feature, “Security, Colorado” (2001), opposite Karen Felber and Chuck Snow. Two years later, he was reunited with Green in “All the Real Girls,” in which Green directed and co-wrote the script with Schneider while they were in school. Starring Schneider as Paul, a ladies' man who falls for his best friend's younger sister (played by Zooey Deschanel), the film was well-received by critics and received nominations at various film festivals. However, “All the Real Girls” was not a financial success at the box office. For his writing contribution, Schneider jointly nabbed a Chlotrudis nomination for Best Screenplay - Original.

After moving to New York City in 2003, Schneider landed a supporting role in the award winning drama “Crude” (2003), directed by Paxton Winters and starring David Connolly. He also had the recurring role of a serial rapist, Thomas Warner, on three episodes of the NBC series “Third Watch” (2003). In 2004, Schneider cemented his status as a film lead with Jordan Hawley's “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” a comedy that premiered at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival.

Thanks to his notable performance in “All the Real Girls,” Schneider was chosen by director/writer Cameron Crowe to portray Jessie Baylor in Crowe's romantic comedy “Elizabethtown” (2005), which starred Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Later that same year, he portrayed the love interest of Rachel McAdams on the holiday hit “The Family Stone” (2005), directed and written by Thomas Bezucha.

Schneider costarred with Aaron Stanford and Michael Rapaport and was reunited with “All the Real Girls” costar Zooey Deschanel in “Live Free or Die” (2006), which won awards at the SXSW Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival, before supporting Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in the Oscar nominated drama “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (2007), which was directed by Andrew Dominik. In the film, Schneider gave a strong performance as Dick Liddil, a member of the outlaw Jesse James Gang. Also in 2007, Schneider worked with Ryan Gosling and Emily Mortimer in “Lars and the Real Girl,” a comedy nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.

In 2008, Schneider made his debut as director/writer with “Pretty Bird,” an independent film starring Billy Crudup, Paul Giamatti, Kristen Wiig, David Hornsby, Garret Dillahunt and Denis O'Hare. The film was chosen to compete in the Dramatic Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and ended up receiving a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize.

Back in front of the cameras, Schneider took on the role of Charles Armitage Brown in Jane Campion's “Bright Star” (2009), a drama based on the three year love story between 19th century poet John Keats (played by Ben Whishaw) and Fanny Brawne (played by Abbie Cornish), which was cut short by Keats' untimely death at age 25. Following its U.K. premiere in 2009, the film played at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2009. He was also seen as Courtney Farlander in Sam Mendes' drama, “Away We Go,” which was released in the United States on June 26, 2009. On the small screen, he played Mark Brendanawicz, Amy Poehler's colleague and love interest, in the NBC comedy series “Parks and Recreation” (2009).


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