Director Zach Braff’s follow-up to his indie breakout hit “Garden State” is a comedy telling the story of a thirtysomething man who finds himself at major crossroads, which forces him to examine his life, his career, and his family.
Zach Braff’s career has encompassed acting, writing, producing, and directing in and on films, television series, and stage productions.
He made his feature directorial debut with the comedy/drama Garden State, which he also wrote and starred in. The independently made and financed movie was filmed on location in his home state and world-premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Showcasing a cast that included Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard and Ian Holm, Garden State grossed over $35 million worldwide. The movie won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and was also nominated for Best First Screenplay. Mr. Braff was a Writers Guild of America Award nominee for Best Original Screenplay and received the Best Directorial Debut prize from the National Board of Review, which also honored the movie with a Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking. Its breakout soundtrack, which he produced, sold more than 1,000,000 copies and earned Mr. Braff a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album. He also received the Hollywood Award for Breakthrough Directing, among other honors.
One of the New Jersey native’s most notable characters is that of Dr. John “J.D.” Dorian on the beloved television series Scrubs. During the half-hour comedy’s nine-year run, Mr. Braff received Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations for his portrayal. He directed several episodes of the program, including the 100th episode, and was an executive producer during the final season. The show was twice Emmy Award-nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and won three Humanitas Prizes. His other television work has included a recurring role on the classic series Arrested Development.
Prior to earning his film degree from Northwestern University, he made his feature acting debut in Woody Allen’s 1993 comedy Manhattan Murder Mystery, opposite the director and Diane Keaton as their characters’ son. Mr. Braff’s other movies as actor include Greg Berlanti’s ensemble comedy/drama The Broken Hearts Club; Tony Goldwyn’s The Last Kiss; Jesse Peretz’s The Ex; Deborah Chow’s The High Cost of Living; Lisanne and Tristine Skyler’s Joyce Carol Oates adaptation Getting to Know You, adapted from works by Joyce Carol Oates; and a dual role, on-screen and in voiceover, in Sam Raimi’s blockbuster Oz the Great and Powerful. He also voiced the lead role in the hit animated feature Chicken Little, directed by Mark Dindal.
Marking his Broadway debut, he is currently starring onstage in New York City in the 1920s-set musical comedy Bullets over Broadway, adapted by Woody Allen from the latter’s own hit movie and directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman.
The Broadway run follows Mr. Braff’s West End debut starring in his own original play, All New People. The latter was previously staged at the Second Stage Theatre in New York City in 2011, which followed his having starred at Second Stage in Paul Weitz’s drama Trust in 2010. His other theater credits include the Public Theater staging of Macbeth and its New York Shakespeare Festival production, at Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre, of Twelfth Night. Following college, he had worked at the renowned Public.