Intensity is the word that best summarizes an Edward Norton movie performance.
From his Academy Award-nominated performance in Primal Fear to his critically acclaimed turn in Fight Club, Edward Norton movie are recognized by psychologically demanding roles, earning him comparisons to Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.
Norton was born in Boston in 1969 and grew up in Columbia, Maryland. His father was a lawyer and environmental advocate, his mother a teacher. A trip to a local musical at age five sparked an interest in acting and led to his taking classes and performing in grade school. He seemed to lose interest in acting, but as Norton told Vanity Fair in 1999, his passion was reawakened when he saw a one-man show by Ian McKellen.
After graduating from Yale, Norton moved to New York to act. Off-Broadway theater followed and a fortunate turn of events occurred when Star Trek’s Wil Wheaton and Leonardo DiCaprio turned down the role of Aaron Stampler in 1996’s Primal Fear. Aaron was Norton’s movie breakthrough. Like Johnny Depp, Norton embraced off-beat movie roles, notably as The Hulk, a reformed neo-Nazi in American History X and a disturbed, disillusioned young executive in Fight Club.
Norton has directed one film to date, the romantic comedy Keeping the Faith, and produced several of his most recent films. An environmental advocate like his father, Norton narrated the 2005 PBS series Strange Days on Planet Earth and supports solar energy research as well as other charities.
photo by David Shankbone