Adrien Brody, born in 1973, is an American actor and producer who in The Pianist, magnificently portrays the role of Władysław Szpilman.
Brody was born in Queens, New York, to a photographer mother and retired history professor father – both of his parents have some partial Jewish background, which made him even more ideal for the role of Szpilman. He has a Polish-born grandmother, a father who lost family members in the Holocaust and a mother with some Jewish heritage who had to flee Communist Hungary as a child.
While growing up, his parents wanted to distance their child from friends with bad influence, and they had him signed up for acting classes. Brody has made several on-screen appearances in movies such as Restaurant, Summer of Sam and The Thin Red Line and even though he didn’t receive much worldwide fame, he was praised for his acting.
International recognition came only after Polanski cast him to play the role of Władysław Szpilman in The Pianist. In order to fully prepare for the role, Brody withdrew for months – he gave up his apartment and car and even broke up with his then-girlfriend. He started taking piano lessons, tried learning how to play Chopin and managed to lose a whopping 13 kilos (29lbs.).
His efforts didn’t go unnoticed – his main role in The Pianist brought him an Academy Award for Best actor at the mere age of 29, making him the youngest actor ever to win that award. Apart from that, he also won the César Award for the same category.
Other successful roles of Brady include movies like The Village, Predators and King Kong, a huge box office success. Brody is known for his cooperation with Wes Anderson and has starred in three of his movies: The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Apart from on screen roles, he has also appeared in various TV commercials and ads and even made his debut as a runway model for Prada in the Men Fall/Winter 2012 fashion show. In 2017, it was announced that he would join the cast of Peaky Blinders, a BBC crime drama.
As far as his personal life is concerned, Brody lives in New York and he’s been dating model Lara Lieto since 2013.