Issac Liev Schreiber is an American actor, director and producer who was born in San Francisco, California, on October 4th, 1967. He had a tumultuous upbringing, as his mother, a painter, and his father, an actor and a carpenter, divorced when he was five. The young Liev remained with his mother, who imposed rather unusual rules and rather eccentric and bohemian ways of living. Liev began his acting formation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and later went to the Yale School of Drama, graduating with a master’s degree in drama in 1992. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Schreiber made his big screen debut in 1994’s dark comedy film Mixed Nuts. The following year, he had roles in movies such as Denise Calls Up, Mad Love and Party Girl and continued to act in independent movies. However, his big break came when he appeared in the popular and very successful horror film, Scream, in 1997, which opened the door for Liev to get cast in big-budget movies. In 1995, Liev also made his first appearance on television, thanks to the movie Buffalo Girls. During this decade, he primarily starred in films, either for TV or the big screen.
In 1999, Schreiber played the lead in HBO’s original movie RKO 281, for which he received Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations. He later went on to appear in star-studded films such as The Hurricane (1999), Hamlet (2000), Kate & Leopold (2001), The Sum of All Fears (2002) and The Omen (2006.) Liev also reprised his role in the second and third installments of the horror franchise Scream. Schreiber had always aspired to become a screenwriter, and in 2005 he wrote and directed the movie based on a novel by the same name, Everything is Illuminated.
Ever since he began his career, Schreiber has been acting in plays as well, most notably those by Shakespeare. He has played titular characters in Macbeth, Henry V and Hamlet. In 2005, Liev even won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Glengarry Glen Ross. He returned to television in 2006, this time on the show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as a temporary replacement of one of the main characters. In 2008, Liev starred in the successful war film Defiance, and a year later made his debut in Marvel Comics films by appearing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Liev continued to act in movies and plays throughout the 2010s, with his most prolific year being 2013, premiering up to six movies, and portraying the lead character in Showtime drama Ray Donovan for seven seasons, with his performance highly praised. He has also worked as a voice actor and narrator, lending his voice to movies such as Creed (2015), My Little Pony (2017) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018.) Among his latest acting credits are the movies Human Capital (2021), The French Dispatch (2021), and, in 2022, a movie based on his drama series Ray Donovan.