Jay Baruchel

Jay Baruchel Headshot

Actor

Birth Name: Jonathan Adam Saunders Baruchel

Birth Date: April 9, 1982

Age: 42 years old

Birth Place: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Partners: Alison Pill

In an era when edgy male comedic talent had the potential to evolve into leading men, Jay Baruchel parlayed his memorable nerdy best friend turns in television and film into starring roles in major Hollywood productions. The razor sharp Baruchel started acting in his teens, leaving his native Canada just long enough to establish himself in the States as one of the new faces of comedy alongside Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and Jonah Hill.

With lightening quick humor, a knack for making misfits seem cool, and the ability to steal focus when he appeared on screen - American audiences first took note of Baruchel in a memorable bit in "Almost Famous" (2000) and on television in Judd Apatow's "Undeclared" (FOX, 2001-02). Baruchel packed a wallop as a wannabe boxer in "Million Dollar Baby" (2004), reeled in awards for "I'm Reed Fish" (2006), and rejoined Apatow for "Knocked Up" (2007). After the comedy "Fanboys" (2008), Baruchel made some noise with "Tropic Thunder" (2008) and as the lead in the animated hit "How to Train Your Dragon" (2010) and the romantic comedy "She's Out of My League" (2010).

On doing both independents and big action, the actor was happily able to amass a résumé that reflected his tastes in both comedy and human interest stories.

Jonathan Adam Saunders Baruchel was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on April 9, 1982, to Serge Baruchel, an antiques dealer, and Robyne, a writer. Baruchel came from mixed descent - his father was an Italian Sephardic Jew and his mother an Irish Catholic. The family - which grew to include a younger sister, Taylor - moved to Montreal, Quebec when he was a still a child. Baruchel - who became fluent in French, and whose parents exposed him to both of their religions so that he could effectively choose his own spiritual path - deemed himself an "attention hungry mouthy kid."

He attended the Fine Arts Core Educational School in Montreal, and began to study acting at age 12 when his father sought out a class for him to attend. It was a quick leap to work, when only a year later, Baruchel made his first of several recurring appearances on the Canadian children's spook-fest series, "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" (Nickelodeon/YTV, 1991-96/1999-2000).

In between those appearances, Baruchel moved into "My Hometown" (YTV, 1996), another children's show which chronicled the adventures of a group of Canadian teens. The young actor joined in as host of the young person's guide to science and technology with "Popular Mechanics for Kids" (syndicated, 1997-2001). Making one of the most important career choices then to date, Baruchel gravitated toward Hollywood, quickly making his mark with a small, but key scene in Cameron Crowe's Oscar-winning retrospective of the director's former life as a young Rolling Stone music chronicler in "Almost Famous" (2000), in which Baruchel stole scenes as a Led Zeppelin disciple.

As fate would have it, Baruchel landed in the brilliant Judd Apatow college sitcom, "Undeclared" (FOX, 2001-03), starring as Steven Karp, the awkward but charming misfit who wants to make better of his college years. Though the critics and fans rallied, the show was short-lived, but it did provide Baruchel a brief spotlight and even more importantly, a friendship with the notoriously loyal Apatow who would not forget his young TV cohorts during his later film success.

After the poorly received comic-horror movie "Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher" (2002), Baruchel joined Roger Avary's critically acclaimed "The Rules of Attraction" (2002), a satire about wealthy, pleasure-seeking college students. Also in 2002, Baruchel - whose life goal had always been to write and direct, despite utilizing his acting chops as a foot in the door - penned, directed, shot and edited his own film, "Edgar and Jane" (2002), an action-horror romance. About to hit the big time, Baruchel made quite an impression with his poignant comedic and dramatic turn in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning "Million Dollar Baby" (2004), appearing as Danger Barch, a mentally fragile boxer with aspirations that outweighed his talent. When the picture won the Oscar for Best Picture, Eastwood thanked Baruchel for his skilled work in his acceptance speech. Baruchel was next cast as the lead in the independent comedy-romance, "I'm Reed Fish" (2006), and subsequently picked up two Best Actor Awards for his work in this film at the 2007 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

Like many former Apatow coworkers, Baruchel reunited with the newly minted director, old buddy Seth Rogen and Jason Segel in "Knocked Up" (2007), the comedy gold-mine in which Baruchel portrayed one of Rogen's core slacker friends - or as the actor put it: "essentially a crazier version of myself." In the dark comedy "Just Buried" (2007) along with Rose Byrne, Baruchel took over the family business - a destitute funeral home - by finding an unusual way to keep a stream of 'new customers. In the "Star Wars"- obsessed "Fanboys" (2008), Baruchel's character made good on a years-long promise to road trip to George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch to steal a copy of a not-yet-released film, all for a dying friend. In the Ben Stiller and Robert Downey, Jr. action comedy "Tropic Thunder" (2008), Baruchel was the "new talent" in a crew of spoiled actors hired to shoot a Vietnam war film, all of whom then find themselves actually under siege during their guerrilla-style filming. The film was a massive hit, further adding notches to Baruchel's comedic resume. After a quick bit in the Ben Stiller film "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (2009), Baruchel top-lined the low-budget comedy "The Trotsky" (2009), as a teenager who believed he is the reincarnation of the legendary revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, so attempts to unionize the public school he was banished to.

In his first lead in a big studio film, Baruchel starred in the romantic comedy "She's Out of My League" (2010), about an average, awkward guy who meets and wins over a beautiful girl (Alice Eve). Though happy to star in the picture, Baruchel joked at a Dreamworks press conference that he was mildly insulted that they thought he was "perfect" for the unattractive, hapless role. The same year, Baruchel voiced the lead character of Hiccup in the animated adventure "How to Train Your Dragon" (2010), and then starred as the trainee of Nicolas Cage's master sorcerer in the Jon Turteltaub-directed action-fantasy movie, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (2010), based on the legendary "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment in Disney's animated film, "Fantasia" (1940).

With Evan Goldberg, the newly minted Baruchel also co-wrote the screenplay for "Goon" (2011), a hockey comedy about a bouncer who leads a black sheep team of hockey players to victory, and he also portrayed Hiccup in numerous "How to Train Your Dragon" spin-offs, including the TV series "Dragons: Riders of Berk" (Cartoon Network, 2012- ). After a brief appearance in David Cronenberg's art-house drama "Cosmopolis" (2012), Baruchel played a fictional version of himself in the apocalyptic comedy "This Is the End" (2013), co-written and directed by Goldberg and Rogen and starring various other Apatow-alum buddies, such as James Franco and Jonah Hill.

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