Joshua Leonard

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Joshua Leonard
Born Joshua Granville Leonard
(1975-06-17) June 17, 1975 (age 43)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Actor, writer, director
Years active 1999–present
Spouse(s) Alison Pill (m. 2015)

Joshua Granville Leonard (born June 17, 1975) is an American actor, writer and director, known primarily for his role in The Blair Witch Project (1999). He has since starred in films such as Higher Ground (2011), If I Stay (2014), and The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014).

Early life

Leonard was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Joann, an author, and Robert Leonard, a theater professor.[1] He was raised in central Pennsylvania. When he was six, he was convinced by his father to appear in plays like Life With Father. However, when he reached his teens, he decided he did not want to act. He pushed to obtain his GED at age 16 and underwent survival training with Outward Bound as preparation for a year and a half stay in Mexico where he volunteered with a youth services organization. Leonard returned to the United States and spent a year at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He then left school again, and decided to head to Manhattan and try his luck as a filmmaker and photographer. Leonard learned his trade on the job, working as a darkroom tech at The New School for Social Research, and in the equipment room at the New York Film Academy.[citation needed]

In New York, Leonard found work taking portraits of musicians, and eventually landed a job as the first staff photographer for BlackBook Magazine. His career in film began soon after, when he went to work for the outré experimental and documentary film company, Mystic Fire Video. There, Leonard was involved with films with subjects ranging from famed beat poet Allen Ginsberg, to the Dalai Lama and comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell.

Acting career

In 1997, he auditioned for and landed one of the three principal roles in The Blair Witch Project.[2] Although he reportedly only earned an initial salary of $500, the experience proved rewarding in other ways as the film combined acting and photography. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Leonard has since appeared in numerous films and television shows as an actor, including HBO's Live From Baghdad, Allison Anders' Things Behind the Sun, In the Weeds, starring Eric Bogosian and Molly Ringwald, Men of Honor with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert De Niro, and the thriller Bitter Feast.[2] He starred in the Independent Spirit Award winning 2009 film Humpday, for which he won Best Actor at the Gijón International Film Festival. Leonard has also appeared on the acclaimed HBO series Hung and the Showtime series United States of Tara.

Leonard directed the short film The Youth in Us, which was shown at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Art documentary Beautiful Losers followed, winning the Grand Jury Prize at CineVegas in 2008. He has also directed music videos for many popular acts, such as Morcheeba, Harper Simon, and Fitz and the Tantrums, as well as teaching directing and acting at The New York Film Academy, UC Irvine, and Academia Internacional De Cinema in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Leonard had two Sundance favorites released in 2012. As an actor, he starred in Vera Farmiga's directorial debut Higher Ground, playing a man at odds with his wife (Farmiga). He also co-wrote, directed and starred in The Lie, a devilish morality tale adapted from the story by acclaimed author T.C. Boyle. The project, co-starred independent actors Mark Webber, Jess Weixler, and Jane Adams, and was warmly received by audiences and critics alike.

In 2014, Leonard co-starred in the drama film If I Stay, directed by R. J. Cutler and based on the novel of the same name by Gayle Forman.[3] The film was released on August 22, 2014, by Warner Bros.[4] In December 2014, Leonard was cast in the third season of Bates Motel as James Finnigan, a psychology professor and a love interest for Vera Farmiga's Norma Louise Bates.[5] in 2015, Leonard then appeared in the film 6 Years, directed by Hannah Fidell, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 14, 2015.[6]

Personal life

Leonard became engaged to actress Alison Pill in January 2015.[7] They were married on May 24, 2015 following a four month engagement.[8]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 The Blair Witch Project Josh Leonard Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award
1999 The Blur of Insanity Staley
2000 In the Weeds Adam
2000 Men of Honor Timothy Douglas Isert
2001 Things Behind the Sun Todd
2001 Cubbyhouse Danny Graham
2002 Deuces Wild Punches
2003 Down with the Joneses Pete Jones
2003 Two Days Bill Buehl
2003 Scorched Rick
2004 Madhouse Clark Stevens
2004 Larceny Nick
2005 Shooting Livien Robby Love
2005 A Year and a Day Malcolm
2006 The Death and Life of Bobby Z Partygoer
2006 Hatchet Ainsley Dunston
2007 Simple Things Darryl
2007 The Shaggy Dog Justin Forrseter
2008 Quid Pro Quo Isaac's Dad
2008 Prom Night Bellhop
2008 Expecting Love Ian Everson
2008 20 Years After Michael
2009 Humpday Andrew Won – Best Actor Gijón International Film Festival
2009 Dead in Love Pothead
2010 Bitter Feast JT Franks
2010 The Freebie Dinner Party Guest
2010 Bold Native Wyatt
2011 Higher Ground Ethan Miller
2011 Shark Night 3D Red
2011 The Lie Lonnie Also writer and director
2011 Treatment Leonard
2012 The Motel Life Tommy
2012 Sunset Stories Chaz
2013 Clutter Charlie Bradford
2013 Snake and Mongoose Thomas Greer
2014 God Gives Notice Son Short film
2014 9 Minutes John Short film
2014 The Ever After Christian
2014 Among Ravens Ellis Conifer
2014 If I Stay Denny Hall
2014 The Town That Dreaded Sundown Deputy Foster
2014 Wildlike Ted
2015 6 Years Mark
2015 The Ghost Experiment 3D The Professor In post-production
2015 Teenage Cocktail Tom Fenton In post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Sacrifice Jason Television movie
2000 The Outer Limits Andy Episode: "Gettysburg"
2002 Live from Baghdad Mark Biello Television movie
2004 NYPD Blue Todd Garvin Episode: "Divorce, Detective Style"
2004 CSI: NY Matt Paulson Episode: "A Man a Mile"
2005 CSI: Miami Jim Markham 3 episodes
2006 Numb3rs Roy Mitchell Episode: "Guns and Roses"
2006 Bones Nate Gibbons Episode: "The Headless Witch in the Woods"
2009 Hung Pierce 3 episodes
2010 United States of Tara Ricky Episode: "The Truth Hurts"
2011 Criminal Minds Lyle Donaldson Episode: "Today I Do"
2012 The Finder Derek Towers Episode: "The Great Escape"
2012 Touch King Roadie Episode: "Kite Strings"
2012–13 The Mob Doctor Scott Parker 2 episodes
2014 True Detective Mitch Episode: "Who Goes There"
2014 Scorpion Mark Collins Episode: "Plutonium Is Forever"
2015 Down Dog Young Jimmy Wood Television movie
2015 Togetherness Director 3 episodes
2015 Bates Motel James Finnigan 6 episodes
2016 Heartbeat Max Main role; upcoming series


  1. Joshua Leonard Biography (1975-)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "AFM: First Image from Bitter Feast". Dread Central. November 7, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Joshua Leonard Checks Into 'Bates Motel'; Gbenga Akinnagbe Books 'The Following'". Deadline. December 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Alison Pill Engaged to Actor Joshua Leonard: See Her Engagement Ring!". Us Magazine. January 3, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Alison Pill Marries Joshua Leonard in Yellow Wedding Dress: See Photos From the Newsroom Star's Nuptials". Us Weekly. May 25, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links