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People in Film | Zach Galifianakis

Posted August 31, 2010 to photo album "People in Film | Zach Galifianakis"

A profile of the alternative stand up comedian-turned-actor who plays Bobby in It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

Zach Galifianakis | A Man with a Beard
Zach Galifianakis | A Man with a Past
Zach Galifianakis | Man With a Microphone
Zach Galifianakis | A Man with a Twin
Zach Galifianakis | A Man with a Plan
Zach Galifianakis | A Man with a Past

Zach Galifianakis | A Man with a Past

Born in the small town of Wilkesboro, North Carolina to a first-generation Greek father and a mother who ran a community arts program, Zach Galifianakis always stood out as a bit different. But he turned that difference to his advantage by creating characters and situations that made people laugh. In reaction to his Southern small-town upbringing, Galifianakis created a character named Kenny Ballard, "an effeminate redneck, with a wildly exaggerated lisp" who managed to deflect conflict from all sides by his sheer absurdity. He went from high school to studying communication at North Carolina State University, where he flunked his last class by one point, a setback that convinced him to move to New York and pursue a career as a performer. But this was no rash decision. As his mother told Austin L. Ray for a 2008 interview in Paste Magazine: “My husband and I had no doubt Zach would go wherever his dream would take him…When he was three or four years old, he named his stuffed Easter bunny John Newman for John Chancellor and [Edwin] Newman, NBC [Nightly] News co-anchors. Around the same time, he pointed to the TV screen and asked, ‘How do I get in there?’ I guess we always knew he would eventually figure that out.”