Nat Faxon earned valuable professional experience as a member of Los Angeles's famous improv troupe The Groundlings. He made his screen acting debut in an episode of "Rude Awakening" (Showtime, 1998-2001) and went on to land a series regular role as Kevin the production assistant on Darren Star's behind-the-scenes teen drama parody "Grosse Pointe" (The WB, 2000-01) and to book supporting turns in the films "Orange County" (2002), "Slackers" (2002) and "Club Dread" (2004). He recurred on "Reno 911!" (Comedy Central, 2003-09) in a variety of roles, most memorably as a man in a giant milkshake costume, and appeared in the made-for-TV movie "Romy and Michele: In the Beginning" (ABC Family, 2005). Faxon recurred on "Joey" (NBC, 2004-06) and continued to work steadily in TV and film with small roles in the movies "Beerfest" (2006), "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" (2007) and "Hamlet 2" (2008), as on shows like "NCIS" (CBS, 2003-) and "Reba" (The WB, 2001-06; The CW, 2006-07). He landed another series regular role on the sitcom "Happy Hour" (Fox, 2006), but found better luck as a journeyman actor, notching roles in "The Slammin' Salmon" (2009), "Bad Teacher" (2011) and "Zookeeper" (2011) as well as on the shows "American Dad!" (Fox, 2005-), "Happy Endings" (ABC, 2011-13) and "The Cleveland Show" (Fox, 2009-13). Continuing his lengthy collaboration with the comedy troupe Broken Lizard, he also appeared in their "Freeloaders" (2011) and "The Babymakers" (2012). After a series regular role as one of the two gay dads of Jonah Hill's animated "Allen Gregory" (Fox, 2011), he landed his most successful live-action role on "Ben and Kate" (Fox, 2012-13). As Ben, the free-spirited brother who inspires and exasperates his single mom sister Kate (Dakota Johnson), Faxon charmed audiences and critics alike, showcasing his masterful ability to play comedy as well as to connect beautifully with the childlike vulnerability of his character. His surprising depth was perhaps not that surprising: Faxon also had an impressive side career as a writer with Jim Rash, whom he met while in The Groundlings. The two penned a failed pilot, "Adopted" (ABC, 2005), but enjoyed stratospheric success when they co-wrote "The Descendants" (2011), directed by Alexander Payne.The story of a middle-aged man (George Clooney) in Hawaii who discovers his comatose wife was cheating on him, the film became a major critical success and won Faxon, Rash and Payne Oscars for their screenplay and spawned the memorable showbiz moment when, while accepting the award, Rash imitated presenter Angelina Jolie's one-leg-forward pose. Nominated for a Golden Globe as well as a slew of additional awards around the world for their script, Faxon, Rash and Payne won awards from the Independent Spirit Award, the Writers Guild of American and the National Board of Review.By Jonathan Riggs
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