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Jake Johnson  

Actor; Currently Stars as Nick in the Fox comedy "New Girl;" Stars in "Jurassic World"

Jake Johnson was born in the Chicago, IL suburb of Evanston, and raised by a single mother. He grew up a unwavering fan of the Cubs, as well as another Chicago institution, the Second City Improv, which boasted talents such as John Belushi, Tina Fey and Chris Farley.

Johnson started his post-secondary education at the University of Iowa. While in Iowa City, he wrote a play, which wound up earning him admission to NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, buoyed by the 2002 John Golden Playwriting Prize and the Sloan Fellowship for Screenwriting. The New York off-Broadway group, The Ensemble Studio Theater, produced the play titled "Cousins."

While in New York, Johnson and fellow Midwest transplants started the sketch comedy troupe The Midwesterners, modeling their material and approach after HBO's goofy sketch comedy "Mr. Show with Bob and David" (1995-98), and took their shows to comedy festivals around the U.S. Johnson also worked with the innovative guerrilla comedy company the Upright Citizens Brigade, and continued to participate in UCB's Los Angeles company after moving there, additionally performing at Second City's L.A. venue.

For a time, Johnson supported himself as a waiter and a production assistant, as well as scoring a series of bit feature and guest TV roles. In 2007, he landed a more semi-regular gig with the quirky TBS mini-show "Derek and Simon: The Show," produced by "Mr. Show" creator-star Bob Odenkirk. In 2009, he appeared in writer-director team Nick Jasenovec and Charlene Yi's meta mockumentary comedy "Paper Heart" in which Johnson actually played a funny onscreen version of Jasenovec as he filmed Yi's investigative ruminations about coupling. He would curiously reprise Jasenovec in another inside-showbiz meta film, Kevin Hamedani's "Junk" (2011).

In 2010, Johnson was noticed by Judd Apatow, who made him a loopy denizen of the Sean Combs' record label in the Jonah Hill/Russell Brand odyssey comedy "Get Him to the Greek" (2010). He found himself in increasingly bigger company, showing up alongside Uma Thurman in the romantic comedy "Ceremony" and as the buddy counseling Ashton Kutcher in "No Strings Attached."

Up to this point Johnson was in primarily supporting roles. That all changed when he was cast as Nick Miller in the Zooey Deschanel led Fox comedy, “New Girl.” Johnson initially played the sort of straight man of the bunch but his character revealed a distinct weird side as the first season progressed, along the way developing a will-they-or-won't-they vibe with Deschanel. The show became Fox's best-rated new show in a decade and continues to have a strong fan base.

Capitalizing off of “New Girl’s” success, Johnson made a string of films that showed off his comedic chops and leading man status including, “Safety Not Guaranteed,” “Drinking Buddies” and “Let’s Be Cops.”

Next he will try his hand at a summer blockbuster with a role in the next “Jurassic Park” film, “Jurassic World” slated for release in summer 2015.


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