Minnie Driver

Last updated

Minnie Driver
MinnieDriverJan2011 cropped.jpg
Driver in 2011
Born
Amelia Fiona Jessica Driver

(1970-01-31) 31 January 1970 (age 51)
London, England, United Kingdom
NationalityBritish
American
Alma mater Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
OccupationActress, singer, songwriter
Years active1991–present
Children1
Website www.minniedriver.com

Amelia Fiona Jessica "Minnie" Driver (born 31 January 1970) is a British-American [1] actress, singer and songwriter. For her role as Skylar in Gus Van Sant's Good Will Hunting , she was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Her other films include Grosse Pointe Blank ; The Phantom of the Opera ; and her breakout role in 1995, Circle of Friends .

Contents

In television, Driver starred with Eddie Izzard in the cult classic The Riches on FX for which she was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe. She has starred in the ABC sitcom Speechless ; the NBC sitcom About a Boy ; and in a recurring role in the NBC series Will & Grace . She has also starred in several miniseries in the UK including The Deep for BBC One.

Predating her work as an actress, Driver started as a recording artist and has released three full solo albums over the span of her career. She has also lent her voice to a variety of animated series and films including SuperMansion , Tarzan ; and Princess Mononoke as well as video games including Jurassic Park: Trespasser for DreamWorks Interactive and Electronic Arts.

Early life and education

Amelia Fiona Jessica Driver was born in London. [2] [3] The nickname Minnie was given to her by her older sister Kate Driver. [4] [5] Her mother, Gaynor Churchward (née Millington), was a fabric designer and former couture model. Her father, Charles Ronald Driver, was born in Swansea, Wales, of English and Scottish descent; [6] he earned the Distinguished Flying Medal for his role in the Battle of Heligoland Bight [7] and was a director of London United Investments. [6] [8] [9]

Her parents never married, [7] as her father was married to another woman throughout his relationship with Minnie's mother. Her parents separated when Minnie was six years old. [5] She was sent to Bedales School in Hampshire as a boarder soon after. [5] Ronald Driver moved to Barbados where Minnie spent her school holidays. She later attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, [10] and Collingham College, an independent college in Kensington. [11] Minnie's older sister Kate is a film producer and manager. She also has two younger half-brothers: Charlie Driver from her father's subsequent marriage, and Ed Churchward from her mother's subsequent marriage. [5]

Career

Acting

Driver at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival Minnie Driver 2010.jpg
Driver at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival

Driver's television debut was in a 1991 TV advertisement for Right Guard deodorant. [12] Driver also made her stage debut in 1991, supplementing her income by performing as a jazz vocalist and guitarist. [13] She appeared on British television with comedians Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci, and had small parts in Casualty , The House of Eliott , Lovejoy and Peak Practice . Driver gained broader public attention when she played the lead role in Circle of Friends in 1995. She followed this with supporting roles in GoldenEye (1995), Sleepers (1996), Big Night (1996) and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997). She played opposite Matt Damon as Skylar in the drama Good Will Hunting (1997), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

In 1998, Driver starred in Sandra Goldbacher's film The Governess. [14] That same year, she co-starred opposite Christian Slater and Morgan Freeman in the action thriller Hard Rain . Driver has also worked on several animated features, voicing Jane in Disney's 1999 version of Tarzan and Lady Eboshi in the 1999 English-dubbed release of the Japanese film Princess Mononoke . In 2003 and 2004, she had a recurring role on Will & Grace as Lorraine Finster, the nemesis of Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) and daughter of Karen's lover, Lyle Finster (John Cleese).

In March 2007, Driver made her return to television in the FX Network show The Riches . She was nominated for an Emmy Award [15] and a Golden Globe Award as Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2007 and 2008, respectively. [16] She was scheduled to appear in The Simpsons Movie , although her appearance was cut from the final version. Driver appeared in the January 2010 episode of Modern Family entitled "Moon Landing". [17] She also starred in the television series The Deep [18] and appeared in Conviction , in the comedy-drama Barney's Version , winning a Genie Award for Best Supporting Actress. [19]

In October 2013, Driver started filming for The Crash , [20] released 13 January 2017. [21]

Driver landed the lead role in the ABC sitcom Speechless , playing the mother of three children, one of whom has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. The series debuted in the 2016–17 TV season. It was cancelled in May 2019 after three seasons. [22]

Music

Driver began making music at boarding school. [23] She collaborated on Bomb the Bass's album Clear , in 1994, as part of the outfit River. She was part of the Milo Roth Band, which received a recording contract when she was 19. [23] In 2001 she signed with EMI and Rounder Records and performed at the SXSW music festival. [24] The title song of Everything I've Got in My Pocket , her first album, reached No. 34 [25] in the UK, and the song "Invisible Girl" peaked at No. 68. Driver wrote 10 of the 11 songs on the album. In 2004, Driver was the supporting act for the Finn Brothers on the UK portion of their world tour. [26]

In 2004, Driver played Carlotta Giudicelli in Joel Schumacher's film The Phantom of the Opera , based on the musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Driver sang "Learn to be Lonely", an original song written for the film by Lloyd Webber. However, because of her lack of opera experience, all her songs as Carlotta were dubbed by opera singer Margaret Preece. Driver released her second album, Seastories , in July 2007, featuring guest appearances by Ryan Adams, the Cardinals and Liz Phair. [27] Driver released a third album in October 2014 called Ask Me to Dance that includes songs by Elliott Smith, Neil Young and The Killers. [28]

Personal life

In 2001, Driver was briefly engaged to Josh Brolin. [29] She has a son, Henry (born 5 September 2008), [30] [31] from a brief relationship with television writer and producer Timothy J. Lea. [32] She has been in a relationship with Addison O'Dea since 2019. [33] [34]

In 2016, Driver revealed that she had been sexually assaulted at the age of 17 while on holiday in Greece. [35] [36]

On 21 December 2017, Driver became an American citizen. [37] [38] [39] [40]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1992The Zebra ManEmily AshdownShort
1994That SundayRachelShort
1995 Circle of Friends Bernadette "Benny" Hogan
1995 GoldenEye Irina
1996 Big Night Phyllis
1996 Sleepers Carol Martinez
1997 Grosse Pointe Blank Debi Newberry
1997 Good Will Hunting Skylar Satenstein
1998 Hard Rain Karen
1998 The Governess Rosina da Silva
1998 At Sachem Farm Kendal
1999 An Ideal Husband Miss Mabel Chiltern
1999 Princess Mononoke Lady Eboshi (voice)English dub
1999 Tarzan Jane Porter (voice)
1999 South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Brooke Shields (voice)
2000 Return to Me Grace Briggs
2000 Beautiful Mona Hiburd
2000 Slow Burn Trina McTeague
2000The UpgradeConstance LevineShort
2001 High Heels and Low Lifes Shannon
2001D.C. SmallsWaitressShort
2003 Owning Mahowny Belinda
2003 Hope Springs Vera Edwards
2004 Ella Enchanted Mandy
2004PortraitDonnaShort
2004 The Phantom of the Opera Carlotta
2006The Virgin of JuarezKarina Danes
2007 Take Ana Nichols
2007 Ripple Effect Kitty
2009 Motherhood Sheila
2010 Conviction Abra
2010 Barney's Version Mrs. P
2011 Hunky Dory Vivienne Mae
2012 Goats ShamanUncredited
2013 I Give It a Year Naomi
2014 Return to Zero Maggie Royal
2014 Stage Fright Kylie Swanson
2014 Beyond the Lights Macy Jean
2015 Unity Narrator (voice)Documentary
2017 The Crash Shannon Clifton
2017 The Wilde Wedding Priscilla Jones
2017Laboratory ConditionsMarjorie CaneShort
2018 Spinning Man Ellen Birch
2021 Cinderella Queen BeatricePost-production

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1990God on the RocksLydiaTV Movie
1991 The House of Eliott MaryEpisode #1.4
1991 Casualty Zena MitchellEpisode: "The Last Word"
1992 Lovejoy SarahEpisode: "Kids"
1992 Kinsey Louise Kinsey3 episodes
1993 Maigret ArletteEpisode: "Maigret and the Night Club Dancer"
1993 Mr Wroe's Virgins Leah4 episodes
1993 Screen One SallyEpisode: "Royal Celebration"
1994 The Day Today Mila Milandrovicz/Lally Sampson2 episodes
1994 Peak Practice Sue KeelEpisode: "Enemy Within"
1994 Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge Daniella ForrestEpisode #1.2
1995 My Good Friend Ellie7 episodes
1995 The Politician's Wife Jennifer Caird3 episodes
1996 Cruel Train Flora MussellTV Movie
1996 Murder Most Horrid Sgt. ColeEpisode: "Confess"
2000 The X-Files Cinema AudienceUncredited; episode: "Hollywood A.D."
2003–2020 Will & Grace Lorraine FinsterRecurring Role; 9 episodes
2003 Absolutely Fabulous HerselfEpisode: "Panickin'"
2007–2008 The Riches Dahlia MalloyLead Role
2010 Modern Family ValerieEpisode: "Moon Landing"
2010 The Deep Frances KellyLead Role, miniseries
2011Hail MaryMary Beth BakerTV Movie
2012Lady FriendsJennifer RensenTV Movie
2012QuickBitesEllenEpisode: "Food for Thought"
2012 Web Therapy Allegra Favreau5 episodes
2013 Hollywood Game Night HerselfEpisode: "The Office Party"
2014 Hell's Kitchen HerselfEpisode: "7 Chefs Again"
2014 The Red Tent LeahLead Role, miniseries
2014–2015 About a Boy Fiona BowaLead Role
2014 Peter Pan Live! Narrator / Adult Wendy DarlingTV special
2015 Undateable Ally's FriendEpisode: "A Live Show Walks Into a Bar: Part 1"
2016–2019 Speechless Maya DiMeoLead role
2018–2019 SuperMansion Debby Devizo (voice)5 episodes

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
1995 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Most Promising Actress
Circle of Friends
Won
1996 London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year
Big Night
Nominated
Sleepers
Nominated
1997 Academy Award Best Supporting Actress
Good Will Hunting
Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Won
Satellite Award Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
1998 MTV Movie Award Best Kiss (shared with Matt Damon)Nominated
1999 Annie Award Voice Acting in a Feature Production
Tarzan
Nominated
2004 Satellite Award Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
The Phantom of the Opera
Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Nominated
2007 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama
The Riches
Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
California Independent Film Festival AwardBest Actress
Take
Won
Phoenix Film FestivalBest Acting EnsembleWon
Tiburon International Film Festival AwardBest ActressWon
2010 Genie Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Barney's Version
Won
London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award Best Supporting Actress in a Canadian Film Nominated
2015 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries
Return to Zero
Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Actress in a New TV Series
Speechless
Nominated
2018FilmQuestBest Supporting Actress
Laboratory Conditions
Won
Best Supporting Actress - ShortWon

Other media

Web

YearTitleRoleNotes
2007 Revisioned: Tomb Raider Lara Croft (voice)9 episodes

Video games

YearTitleVoice roleNotes
1998 Jurassic Park: Trespasser Anne
2003 Quest for the Code Smokita

Discography

Albums

YearAlbum US Heat Label
2004 Everything I've Got in My Pocket 43Zoë
2007 Seastories 25
2014 Ask Me to Dance 11Rounder

Singles

YearSingleAlbum
2004"Invisible Girl"Everything I've Got in My Pocket
2005"Everything I've Got in My Pocket"

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References

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