Patrick Wilson is the kind of actor whose boyishly handsome good looks make him equally effective in roles that call for characters who are vulnerable, irresponsible, and even menacing. Many moviegoers may not realize that the actor they first caught a glimpse of in a Gap commercial (opposite Claire Danes) or in the Emmy Award-winning miniseries Angels in America had been honing his craft on the stage for years: By that point Wilson had already earned back-to-back Tony nominations with roles in the Broadway version of The Full Monty and Trevor Nunn's critically acclaimed revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!
Wilson's roots are firmly planted in Virginia, although his family moved to Florida when his father became a television news anchor in the Tampa-St. Petersburg vicinity. An early stint in his mother's choir helped Wilson realize his love of singing early on, and it wasn't long before the young performer's stage aspirations were taking precedence over his athletic obligations. Though he had been singing for years, it wasn't until Wilson entered Carnegie Mellon University that he received his first proper vocal lesson. As with many an aspiring stage star, Wilson eventually made his way to New York City, where his performance in an off-Broadway production of Bright Lights, Big City drew a Drama Desk nomination and left audiences raving. A subsequent performance in the Gershwin revue Fascinating Rhythm earned Wilson a Drama League award, and subsequent roles in The Full Monty and Oklahoma! cemented his status as a talent to watch.
Up to this point in his career, Wilson had little movie experience, but that would change when he accepted a role in the independent drama My Sister's Wedding. A virtual unknown when production began on Angels in America, Wilson had director Mike Nichols to thank for recognizing his talent and accommodating his schedule when the stage production of Oklahoma was in full swing. If subsequent roles in The Alamo and The Phantom of the Opera found rising talent Wilson overshadowed by the performances of such powerhouse actors as Billy Bob Thornton, it was his next film -- the controversial and hotly topical Hard Candy -- that truly allowed the former stage actor to step front and center on the big screen. A relentlessly tense tale of an Internet predator who becomes hopelessly ensnared by his own sickness, Hard Candy proved that Wilson was indeed willing to take the kind of career risks that could propel him to the next level. The following year, Wilson once again proved his worth as a film actor by portraying a conflicted suburban husband who embarks on a passionate extramarital affair in Todd Field's Little Children, with a supporting role in the Augusten Burroughs' biopic Running with Scissors following in short order. In 2007, Wilson could be seen in no less than four films, including Brothers Three: An American Gothic, Purple Violets, Evening, and Life in Flight. He played the title character in 2008's Barry Munday, and that same year he was in the racial thriller Lakeview Terrace. In 2009 he appeared in his first would be blockbuster, playing Nite Owl in the big-screen adaptation of The Watchmen, and the next year he appeared in The A-Team, as well as the showbiz-set rom-com Morning Glory. She was the object of Charlize Theron's obsession in Young Adult, and had a small part in 2012's Prometheus.