John Cusack Then and Now

By / June 1, 2024

John Cusack Then

John Cusack was born on June 28, 1966, in Evanston, Illinois, USA, into a vibrant and culturally rich Irish Catholic family.

His father, Richard J. “Dick” Cusack, was a multifaceted figure in the entertainment industry, known for his work as a writer, actor, producer, and documentary filmmaker. 

Originally hailing from New York City, Dick Cusack’s diverse talents influenced the artistic environment in which John and his siblings were raised. 

John’s mother, Ann Paula “Nancy” Cusack, originally from Massachusetts, contributed to the family’s intellectual and political environment as a former mathematics teacher and political activist.

John Cusack’s family was deeply embedded in the arts and activism, creating a nurturing backdrop for his development. 

His older sisters, Ann and Joan Cusack, followed the family tradition and became successful actors. 

john cusack young
via john cusack instagram

The Cusack family also includes two other siblings, Bill and Susie, who shared the rich, creative atmosphere of their upbringing. 

The family’s move from Manhattan, New York, to Illinois brought them into close association with notable figures such as activist Philip Berrigan, highlighting their engagement with social and political causes.

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Cusack attended Evanston Township High School, graduating in 1984. 

It was during these formative years that he forged a significant friendship with Jeremy Piven, who would also go on to achieve success in the entertainment industry. 

This period was crucial in shaping Cusack’s early interests and ambitions. 

After high school, he briefly attended New York University, where he experienced the bustling cultural and intellectual environment of the city. 

However, Cusack chose to leave the university after a year, driven by a fervent passion and a desire to pursue his career in acting. 

He later described this decision as having “too much fire in his belly,” reflecting his intense drive and determination to succeed in his chosen field.

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John Cusack Acting Career

John Cusack’s journey in the film industry began in the early 1980s with minor roles that paved the way for his subsequent success. 

His first on-screen appearance was in “Class” (1983), followed by a role in John Hughes’ directorial debut film “Sixteen Candles” (1984). On the set of “Grandview, U.S.A.” 

(1984), Cusack received a unique gift from his co-star Jamie Lee Curtis: his first car, a 1974 Chevrolet Impala named ‘La Bamba’. 

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Cusack’s breakthrough came at 16 with Rob Reiner’s teen comedy “The Sure Thing” (1985). Although critically acclaimed, it remains an underrated film today.

Cusack then starred in “Better Off Dead” (1985), a small-town teen dark comedy. 

Initially embarrassed by the film, he later described it as the “worst thing he had ever seen” upon his first viewing. 

Despite a modest budget of $3 million, the film grossed $10.3 million at the box office, but the studio still deemed it a failure. 

john cusack actor
via john cusack instagram

He continued working with director Savage Steve Holland in “One Crazy Summer” (1986). 

Cusack also had a brief but memorable appearance in Rob Reiner’s “Stand by Me” (1986), based on Stephen King’s novella “The Body”. 

Co-star Kiefer Sutherland admired Cusack’s performance, noting him as an actor to emulate.

In 1988, Cusack starred in the independent film “Eight Men Out,” which depicted the infamous Black Sox Scandal of the 1919 World Series. 

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That same year, he appeared in the cult comedy “Tapeheads,” produced by Michael Nesmith. 

Cusack’s career gained further traction with Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut “Say Anything…” (1989), where he played Lloyd Dobler, a character now iconic for the boombox scene in which he holds a cassette player above his head, blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”

Entering the 1990s, Cusack showcased his versatility by playing a con artist in Stephen Frears’ neo-noir film “The Grifters” (1990) and appearing in several independent films like “True Colors” (1991) and “Money for Nothing” (1993). 

Although Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” (1994) had originally considered Cusack for the role of Lance, the part ultimately went to Eric Stoltz. 

Cusack co-wrote and starred in “Grosse Pointe Blank” (1997), a crime film about an assassin attending his high school reunion. 

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He also appeared in blockbuster films such as “Con Air” (1997) and Clint Eastwood’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” (1997).

Cusack’s role in Spike Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich” (1999) brought critical acclaim, with the film earning three Academy Award nominations. 

He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in “High Fidelity” (2000), a film adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel. 

The early 2000s saw Cusack in romantic comedies like “America’s Sweethearts” (2001), “Serendipity” (2001), and “Must Love Dogs” (2005).

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Transitioning to thrillers, Cusack starred in films such as “Identity” (2003), “Runaway Jury” (2003), “The Contract” (2006), and “1408” (2007), an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story. 

His work in “1408” has since gained recognition as an underrated horror film. Cusack also featured in action comedies like “The Ice Harvest” (2005) and “War, Inc.” (2008), as well as the drama “Grace Is Gone” (2007).

In 2009, Cusack starred in the disaster film “2012,” directed by Roland Emmerich, portraying a struggling novelist trying to save his family during a global cataclysm. 

Throughout his career, Cusack has often been typecast as writers, seen in films like “Martian Child” (2007) and “1408” (2007).

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The 2010s saw Cusack produce and star in “Hot Tub Time Machine” (2010), although he did not appear in its sequel. 

He portrayed Edgar Allan Poe in “The Raven” (2012), immersing himself deeply in the role by studying Poe’s letters and writings. 

Cusack also played Richard Nixon in “The Butler” (2013), with director Lee Daniels praising his intense and electrifying presence on set.

Cusack continued his foray into biographical films with “Love & Mercy” (2014), playing an older Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, working closely with Wilson during production.

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That same year, he appeared in David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars,” earning a Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor. 

Despite this peak, Cusack criticized Hollywood for its corporate dominance and franchise-driven focus, describing it as a “whorehouse” where people go mad.

In recent years, Cusack has starred in various video-on-demand films, including “The Factory” (2012), “The Numbers Station” (2013), “The Frozen Ground” (2013), “Grand Piano” (2013), “Drive Hard” (2014), “The Prince” (2014), “Reclaim” (2014), “Cell” (2016), “Arsenal” (2017), “Blood Money” (2017), and “Singularity” (2017), continuing to showcase his adaptability and enduring presence in the film industry.

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John Cusack Movies

john cusack movie list
via john cusack instagram
  • Class (1983)
  • Sixteen Candles (1984)
  • Grandview, U.S.A. (1984)
  • The Sure Thing (1985)
  • Better Off Dead (1985)
  • Stand by Me (1986)
  • One Crazy Summer (1986)
  • Hot Pursuit (1987)
  • Broadcast News (1987) – cameo
  • Tapeheads (1988)
  • Eight Men Out (1988)
  • Say Anything… (1989)
  • Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)
  • The Grifters (1990)
  • True Colors (1991)
  • Shadows and Fog (1991)
  • Roadside Prophets (1992)
  • Bob Roberts (1992) – cameo
  • Map of the Human Heart (1992)
  • Money for Nothing (1993)
  • Bullets over Broadway (1994)
  • The Road to Wellville (1994)
  • City Hall (1996)
  • Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
  • Con Air (1997)
  • Anastasia (1997) – voice
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
  • This Is My Father (1998)
  • Pushing Tin (1999)
  • Cradle Will Rock (1999)
  • Being John Malkovich (1999)
  • High Fidelity (2000)
  • America’s Sweethearts (2001)
  • Serendipity (2001)
  • Max (2002)
  • Adaptation (2002) – uncredited
  • Identity (2003)
  • Runaway Jury (2003)
  • The Cooler (2003) – cameo
  • Twisted (2004)
  • Must Love Dogs (2005)
  • The Ice Harvest (2005)
  • Grace Is Gone (2007)
  • 1408 (2007)
  • Martian Child (2007)
  • War, Inc. (2008)
  • Igor (2008) – voice
  • 2012 (2009)
  • Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
  • Shanghai (2010)
  • The Factory (2012)
  • The Raven (2012)
  • The Paperboy (2012)
  • The Numbers Station (2013)
  • The Frozen Ground (2013)
  • Adult World (2013)
  • Grand Piano (2013)
  • The Bag Man (2014)
  • Drive Hard (2014)
  • The Prince (2014)
  • Love & Mercy (2014)
  • Maps to the Stars (2014)
  • Reclaim (2014)
  • Dragon Blade (2015)
  • Cell (2016)
  • Blood Money (2017)
  • Arsenal (2017)
  • Singularity (2017)
  • Never Grow Old (2019)
  • Distorted (2018)
  • River Runs Red (2018)
  • Gotti (2018)
  • Pursuit (2022)

John Cusack Now

john cusack age
via john cusack instagram

John Cusack, now 57 years old, is an established American actor and writer with a net worth of $50 million. 

He has had a diverse and prolific career in Hollywood, known for his roles in iconic films like “Say Anything…”, “High Fidelity,” and “Being John Malkovich.” 

In addition to his work on the big screen, Cusack starred in the 2020 TV series “Utopia.”

However, in a 2020 interview with The Guardian, he acknowledged a decline in his acting career, citing difficulties in securing financing for projects, which he attributed to either aging or losing relevance in the industry.

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Despite the challenges in his acting career, Cusack has remained active and engaged in various other pursuits. 

Recently, he starred in the movie “Pursuit” (2022), continuing to contribute to the film industry. 

Alongside his acting, Cusack has become increasingly involved in political activism, particularly focusing on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. 

He has used his Twitter platform to voice his opinions and advocate for his beliefs, drawing significant attention.

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Since the outbreak of the Israel–Hamas war in Gaza in October 2023, Cusack has been particularly outspoken about what he perceives as the genocide of Palestinians. 

His vocal stance has sparked controversy, culminating in him being labeled “Antisemite of the Week” by the organization StopAntisemitism in January 2024, a designation he firmly rejected. 

Despite the controversies, Cusack continues to use his public presence to address political and humanitarian issues, demonstrating his commitment to the causes he believes in.

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