• Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2022: Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”

Golden Globe Nominee Billy Crudup started his career as a theatre actor in New York and, after earning a master’s degree from NYU’s Tish School of the Arts, made his debut on Broadway in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. This was almost 30 years ago.
An extraordinary film acting trajectory soon followed. In 1998 he was a cowboy who returned from the war in Stephen FrearsThe Hi-Lo Country. That same year he portrayed long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine in Without Limits, by Robert Towne. Golden Globe two-time winner Donald Sutherland, a cinema veteran, played his coach.
In 2000 he could be seen as the lead guitarist of fictional rock band Stillwater in the hit Almost Famous, written and directed by Cameron Crowe. When the journalists of the Hollywood Foreign Press interviewed the actor, he stated that his biggest influence in playing this character was Bruce Springsteen. Praising Crowe, he shared this: “Cameron was relentless about this material, insofar as maintaining the sense of energy and the integrity of what was for him a very personal story. When he treated me as a collaborator it was thrilling to be able to work as an artist.”
The new century allowed Crudup a wide variety of movie roles. He was the leader of the French Resistance in Charlotte Grey (2001), a story directed by Gillian Armstrong and led by Cate Blanchett. In Big Fish, the 2003 movie helmed by Golden Globe nominee Tim Burton, Crudup played the hesitant son of 3-time Golden Globe winner Albert Finney.
One year later he could be seen in Stage Beauty, by Richard Eyre, as a 17th-century stage actor famous for playing female characters like Ophelia in Hamlet or Desdemona in Othello. His costume dresser in the film, Maria (Golden Globe winner Claire Danes), must teach him how to act like a conventional male when King Charles II (Golden Globe nominee Rupert Everett) changes the law that prevented women from working in the theater. “There’s an interesting question for us as a modern audience. We’re so busy defining people as homosexual or heterosexual that we’re very confused by this idea of bisexuality, but human sexual relationships are much more complicated and more fluid than that. So, we would do a better job as people by accepting that complexity, rather than reducing it out of fear.”
More recently, Crudup played a journalist interviewing Jacqueline Kennedy (Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman) in Jackie (2016) by Pablo Larraín. That same year he could be seen in 20th Century Women as the friendly tenant in a Santa Barbara boarding house full of women. The ensemble cast included Golden Globe nominees Annette Bening and Greta Gerwig. One year later, Crudup presented to us a cold corporate boss in Alien: Covenant, directed by five-time Golden Globe winner Sir Ridley Scott. In 2019 he appeared as Cate Blanchett’s understanding husband in Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Having been directed by Bart Freundlich twice before, in World Traveler (2001) and Trust the Man (2005), Billy Crudup seemed the logical choice to play Julianne Moore’s husband in After the Wedding (2019) in a role reversal from the original 2006 Danish film by Susanne Bier.
This accomplished actor brings all his experience to the role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actor in the television series The Morning Show, as the CEO of the television network responsible for hiring a local TV journalist (Golden Globe winner Reese Witherspoon) to replace a disgraced news anchor (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell) who has been accused of sexual misconduct.
In the second season, set at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the executive chose his corporate duties over his personal friendships by leaking an intimate relationship in order to distract the press from a pending lawsuit. He explained to the HFPA: “From his point of view, what do you want from a corporation? To make money or to parent you? That can be an effect of the capitalist system that we live under. What do we need to do, as a society, to make our own rules for it when it starts to go astray? He is a great example of somebody who is doing the best he can to exploit the opportunity of a corporate-owned news company. Which, to me personally, seems like a terrible idea.” As for him, he confesses that watching TV news shows is not part of his morning routine. “I grew up on them but now I have a different routine in the morning. I usually read the paper or something old-timey, because I’m old…”