Chris Eigeman

Active - 1990 - 2018  |   Born - Mar 1, 1965 in Denver, Colorado, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Comedy Drama, Romance

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Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx

His numerous collaborations with Whit Stillman making him inseparable from the director's films, Christopher Eigeman has earned a reputation as the poster boy for acerbic postmodern male angst. Making his screen debut in Stillman's Metropolitan (1990) as an officious snob, Eigeman went on to work with the director on no less than three subsequent projects, turning in performances that managed to be at once misanthropic and all too human.

A native of Denver, where he was born March 1, 1964, Eigeman first took a serious interest in acting while a student at Vermont's Putney School, and continued to nurture his aspirations during his studies at Kenyon College in Ohio. After toiling for a few years in almost complete obscurity, he answered an open casting call for Stillman's Metropolitan, the result of which was his big-screen debut. An arch comedy of manners set among a group of Manhattan trust fund brats, the film earned a substantial degree of critical approval, as well as something of a cult following. Following the film's release, Eigeman took to the stage for a time with the well-regarded Actor's Theatre Company of Louisville, Kentucky.

Eigeman and Stillman again collaborated on Barcelona, the 1994 follow-up to Metropolitan. Also starring the earlier film's Taylor Nichols, Barcelona featured Eigeman as a snotty -- and oblivious -- military man visiting his cousin (Nichols) in the eponymous city. Another droll comedy of manners, it set the stage for Eigeman's work with Noah Baumbach in both Kicking and Screaming (1995) and Mr. Jealousy (1997). The former cast the actor as a philosophical recent college graduate, while the latter netted him some of the best reviews of his career for his portrayal of a successful yet deeply conflicted novelist.

Following a starring role in a 1996 episode of Homicide: Life on the Streets directed by Stillman, Eigeman and the director teamed up once more for The Last Days of Disco (1998), the last installment in the trilogy that included Metropolitan and Barcelona. Cast in a supporting role as a morally dubious club underboss, the actor shared the screen with a cast that included Chloe Sevigny, Kate Beckinsale, Matt Keeslar, and Mackenzie Astin. Like its two predecessors, the film took a witty, shabby-genteel look into the lives of privileged urban youths, and, also like its predecessors, it earned strong reviews, which extended to the performances of its stellar ensemble cast.

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  • Began doing theater while attending a private boarding school in Vermont, where his very first show was the existentialist French play No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • Met his wife, Linda, at Kenyon College, where at his graduation he received an award for acting named after famous alumnus Paul Newman.
  • Made ends meet as a parking valet after coming to New York City as an aspiring actor.
  • Got his very first movie role, the part of acidic misanthrope Nick Smith in Metropolitan, after answering an advertisement for collage-age lookalikes in Backstage magazine.
  • Appeared as the Pacific Bell spokesman in a series of humorous TV ads that ran in the mid-1990s.
  • While working as a regular on TV shows, including Malcolm in the Middle and Gilmore Girls, would organize group dinners on Sunday nights for the cast and crew.
  • Named a beloved white German Shepherd Gulley after the main character in his favorite book, The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary.
  • Is an avid pool player.