Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Every Disney Hero Has a Voice ~ Chicken Little

Every Disney Hero Has a Voice
Chicken Little
Zachary I. “Zach” Braff
April 6th, 1975

Zachary I. "Zach" Braff (born April 6, 1975) is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, comedian, and director. Braff first became known in 2001 for his role as Dr. John Dorian on the television series Scrubs, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award and three Golden Globe Awards.
In 2004, Braff made his directorial debut with Garden State. Braff returned to his home state New Jersey to shoot the film, which was produced for $2.5 million. The film made over $35 million at the box office and was praised by critics. Braff wrote the film, starred in it, and compiled the soundtrack record. He won numerous awards for his directing work, and also won the Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack Album in 2005.

Early life

Braff was born in South Orange, New Jersey. His father, Harold Irwin "Hal" Braff, is a trial attorney and sociology professor, and his mother, Anne Brodzinsky (born Anne Hutchinson Maynard), is a clinical psychologist. His parents divorced and re-married others during Braff's childhood. One of his siblings, Joshua, is an author. Braff's father was born into a Jewish family, and Braff's mother, originally a Protestant, converted to Judaism before marrying his father. Braff was raised in Conservative Judaism, and has said that he is "not a huge organized religion guy". Through his mother's New England ancestors, Braff is a distant cousin of politician Mitt Romney.
He has wanted to be a filmmaker since his early childhood, and has described it as his "life dream".
Braff was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder at age ten. He graduated from Columbia High School, in Maplewood, New Jersey, where he worked in the school's television station along with classmate and singer/actress Lauryn Hill.
As a child, Zach Braff also attended Stagedoor Manor, a performing arts "training center" for youth actors and Triple Threats ages 10–18. He fondly remembers his time there, as it was where he won an acting award and had his first kiss. Stagedoor is also where Braff met Josh Charles, with whom he is still friends, and he knows many other SDM alums, including Natalie Portman, Mandy Moore, and Joshua Radin.


Braff began his career doing Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Macbeth (as Malcolm) at New York City's Public Theater, and also appeared in Woody Allen's 1993 film Manhattan Murder Mystery. Braff was briefly on the Disney program The Baby-sitters Club in an episode, "Dawn Saves the Trees".

Breakthrough role

Braff played John "J.D." Dorian on the medical comedy TV series Scrubs which debuted in 2001. The role was Braff's first major role in a television show. Braff was nominated for three Golden Globes and an Emmy for his work on the show. Braff directed several episodes of Scrubs, including its one-hundredth, "My Way Home". For the show's ninth season, Braff was a cast member for the first six episodes and also served as one of the executive producers.

As director

Braff directed several episodes of Scrubs. Braff wrote, directed, produced, and starred in 2004's Garden State, which was filmed in his home state New Jersey, in various towns such as South Orange, Cranford, Maplewood and Tenafly. Producers were initially reluctant to finance the film, which Braff wrote in six months. In February 2005, he won a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for a Motion Picture for the Garden State soundtrack, on which he also served as the compilation producer.
Braff has directed several music videos: Gavin DeGraw's "Chariot", Joshua Radin's "Closer" and "I'd Rather Be With You", Cary Brothers' "Ride", and Lazlo Bane's "Superman", the theme song from Scrubs. His music production has resulted in newfound success for some of the artists featured on his film soundtracks, such as The Shins, who were prominently featured on the Garden State soundtrack and the Scrubs soundtrack, resulting in the expression the "Zach Braff effect".

Other roles

Along with many Scrubs cast members, Braff has a small role playing himself in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.
Braff has done voice acting, providing the voice of the title character in Disney's animated film Chicken Little (2005), a role he reprised in the video game Kingdom Hearts II. Braff has also done voice overs for commercials, including a PUR water campaign, Wendy's TV commercials in 2007 and 2008, and Cottonelle commercials, in which he portrayed a puppy.
In 2005, Braff was featured on Punk'd when he was tricked into chasing a supposed vandal who appeared to be spray-painting his brand new Porsche. He then proceeded to hurl expletives at the young boy, and at one point physically assaulted the 12 year old until Ashton Kutcher, the show's host, appeared. The episode aired March 20, 2005.
Braff was in talks to star in the film Fletch Won and had signed on to play the role eventually played by Dane Cook in Mr. Brooks, but dropped out of both roles to work on Open Hearts, which he adapted from a Danish film and will direct. He has also co-written a film version of Andrew Henry's Meadow, a children's book, with his brother, and was scheduled to direct one of the segments for the film New York, I Love You.
In July 2009, he signed on as an executive producer for the documentary Heart of Stone to "help spread the word about it".
Braff starred in the romantic drama The Last Kiss, which opened on September 15, 2006. Braff tweaked several parts of Paul Haggis' script for the film, as he wanted the script to be as "real as possible" and "really courageous" regarding its subject matter. As with Garden State, Braff was involved with the film's soundtrack, serving as executive producer. The film's director, Tony Goldwyn, compared Braff to a younger version of Tim Allen, describing Braff as "incredibly accessible to an audience... a real guy, an everyman."
In 2007, Braff starred in the film The Ex (2007), which he has described as a "silly comedy".
Braff stars in the Canadian indie film The High Cost of Living with Quebec actress Isabelle Blais in 2010. Directed by Deborah Chow, the film was shot in Montreal and principal photography wrapped on March 9, 2010. Braff stated he enjoyed filming in the country in which The Last Kiss was also shot. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was also shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.


Braff has spoken of his love of theater and his desire to return to stage acting in New York City, eight years after playing Sebastian in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night. In mid-2010, Braff took a lead role in Trust, at the Second Stage Theatre, a contemporary Off-Broadway theater company. The play ran from July 23 to September 12, extending its scheduled run by one week. Braff wrote on Facebook that he was "Having so much fun doing Trust". The play co-starred Sutton Foster, Ari Graynor and Bobby Cannavale, was written by Paul Weitz and directed by Peter DuBois. Braff played Henry, a wealthy married man who "looks to find something real in the most unlikely of places".
In early 2011, Braff announced that he had written a play to be performed at the Second Stage Theatre in mid-2011. The play, All New People, is set on Long Beach Island and centers on Charlie, a 35-year-old from Braff's home state New Jersey. The play was directed by Peter DuBois, who directed Braff in Trust the previous year. When announcing the play on Facebook, Braff wrote that 'one of my dreams comes true'. In 2012, Braff moved the play on tour to the UK, playing in Manchester at the Manchester Opera House between 8–11 February, Glasgow at the King's Theatre between 14–18 February, and finally in London for 10 weeks at the Duke of York's Theatre from 22 February.
In June 2012, he announced via Twitter there were plans to create a movie adaptation of the production

Future plans

Braff's next work as director is on the upcoming film Open Hearts, a remake of a 2002 Danish film Elsker dig for evigt (Love You Forever), which was directed by Susanne Bier. The film will focus on a woman who, shocked by her fiance's paralysis in a car crash, has an affair with her husband's doctor, whose wife caused the accident. The original film starred Mads Mikkelsen, Sonja Richter, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Paprika Steen. The cast-members for Braff's remake have not yet been announced. It was first revealed that Braff was planning to remake Open Hearts in 2006, at the same time Braff's film The Last Kiss was being released. The film will be produced by Paramount Pictures.
In July 2009, Braff announced via Facebook that he is working on the script of a film to be called Swingles, which he will direct and star in alongside Cameron Diaz.

Other pursuits

In 2009, Zach Braff opened up the restaurant Mermaid Oyster Bar in New York City with chef and high school friend, Laurence Edelman.

Personal life

Braff's brother is author Joshua Braff; his stepsister is Jessica Kirson, a New York stand-up comedian.
Braff is currently dating model Taylor Bagley whom he has been in a relationship with since 2009. Braff is best friends with his former Scrubs co-star Donald Faison.
In November 2008, Braff earned his pilot's license flying a Cirrus SR20.
Braff was spotted attending the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.



Film credits
Manhattan Murder Mystery
Nick Lipton
Getting to Know You
Blue Moon
The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
Himself/John "J.D." Dorian
TV film
Garden State
Andrew Largeman
Central Ohio Film Critics Association for Breakthrough Film Artist (also for writing and directing)
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
(shared with Natalie Portman)
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Male Performance
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Drama Actor
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Blush Scene
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Breakout Performance - Male
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Liplock
(shared with Natalie Portman)
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Love Scene
Chicken Little
Chicken Little
Voice only
The Last Kiss
The Ex
Tom Reilly
The High Cost of Living
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Frank and Finley
Dual role
Open Hearts

Television credits
The Baby-Sitters Club
David Cummings
1 episode
CBS Schoolbreak Special
Tony / Tammy
1 episode
John "J.D." Dorian
Main character and narrator (175 episodes)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
(2005, 2006, 2007)
Nominated—Hollywood Foreign Press Association Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
(2005, 2006)
Nominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Television Star
Nominated—People's Choice Award for Best Leading Star
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Comedy Actor
(2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)
Clone High
Paul Revere / X-Stream Mike
2 episodes (voice only)
Arrested Development
Phillip Litt
2 episodes
Scrubs: Interns
John "J.D." Dorian
1 webisode
Cougar Town
Himself/Phone App/Pizza delivery guy
2 episodes
The Exes
Chuck Feeney
1 episode
Do You Heard What I Said?
Nall Mansen
1 episodes


Film and television director
Lionel on a Sunday
Short film. Also writer
Garden State
Also writer and actor
Central Ohio Film Critics Association for Breakthrough Film Artist
(also for acting)
Central Ohio Film Critics Association for Best New Director
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Filmmaker
Crystal Image Award
Florida Film Critics Circle's Pauline Kael Breakout Award
Hollywood Breakthrough Award for Breakthrough Directing
Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature
(shared with producers Pamela Abdy, Gary Gilbert, Dan Halsted and Richard Klubeck)
National Board of Review Award for Best Directorial Debut
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Breakthrough Filmmaker
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Breakout of the Year - Behind the Camera
Nominated—Empire Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated—Humanitas Prize for Sundance Film
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated—Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize
Nominated—Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
7 episodes
Night Life
TV film


Garden State
Compilation producer
Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media

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