William Emerson "Will" Arnett, born May 4, 1970 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is the son of Alexandra and E. James Arnett, who was a corporate lawyer, and brewer as well as entertaining numerous other occupations. A Canadian actor, Arnett attended French-speaking schools, however while he still speaks French, he has stated that he is no longer fluent in the language. Since his success on "Arrested Development," Arnett has been able to land some major film roles. He recently played supporting roles in the comedy films "Hot Rod," "Blades of Glory," and "Semi-Pro," as well as starring in 2006's "Let's Go to Prison" and 2007's "The Brothers Solomon."
After several years struggling with failed series pilots, Will finally found success in television when he was cast in the role of George Oscar "G.O.B." Bluth II in the Fox comedy series "Arrested Development." Arnett's character was one of the show's most popular and he was nominated for an Emmy for his role. His character's "I've made a huge mistake" line was ranked 33rd out of 50 on TV's top catch phrases. The show was unjustly canceled due to low ratings, despite its critical acclaim and cult following. His personal favorite episodes of the show are "Pier Pressure" and "Afternoon Delight."
After the show's cancellation, Arnett used his newly gained popularity to land a number of large roles in feature films. Although he had worked largely as a dramatic actor in films before "Arrested Development," the he has taken mostly comic roles even since, often playing smug antagonists. Occasionally Arnett did play small dramatic roles in television after Arrested Development, such as when he portrayed an FBI agent on several episodes of "The Sopranos." Despite the fact that Arnett has emerged as a comic actor, Arnett "never considered himself a comic" and considers himself a serious actor first.
Arnett's first major starring film role was in the 2006 comedy "Let's Go to Prison." The film was made on a relatively small $4 million budget, and made over $4 million at the box office as well as over $13 million in DVD sales, making it a minor success. The next year, Arnett appeared in "Blades of Glory," an ice skating comedy in which Arnett and his wife Amy Poehler played supporting roles to Will Ferrell. In an ironic twist they played a brother/sister skating duo whose relationship crossed a few moral lines more often than not. The film was number one at the box office during its first two weeks and grossed roughly $118 million domestically and $36 million from DVD rentals.
Arnett has appeared as a guest star on "King of the Hill," and on "30 Rock" where he played Devon Banks, a scheming network executive who plays a rival to Alec Baldwin's character Jack Donaghy. His role as Devon Banks earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series. Arnett has also played supporting roles in the films "Spring Breakdown," "Hot Rod," "The Comebacks," and "On Broadway."
Arnett's next starring role was in the 2007 comedy "The Brothers Solomon," in which he starred opposite Saturday Night Live's Will Forte. In 2008 he appeared in a major supporting role in the basketball comedy "Semi-Pro," his second film with Will Ferrell. In it, he plays Lou Redwood, "a former player, a bit of a womanizer, and a boozer" who is the commentator of the team. He was cast in a supporting role in "Ye Olde Times," along with Jack Black, but the project ended up falling through.
Arnett is currently signed on to many new projects in which he will play starring roles. He is signed on as the lead in "Jeff the Demon" for New Line Cinema, in which he will play a demon who is summoned by a pair of high school outcasts. He is also signed on to "The Ambassador" from DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures as the lead role in which he will play "a former U.S. vice president's privileged son, who is assigned an ambassadorship in Europe, where he quickly becomes the quintessential ugly American." Arnett is also signed as the lead in Fox Atomic's "Space Invader," which will center on a love triangle set on a space station. He is also up for lead roles in "Dad Can't Lose," "Get 'Em Wet," and "Most Likely to Succeed." Arnett was originally slated for the lead role of David Miller in the film "We're the Millers," but he was unable to go forward with the project due to scheduling conflicts. (the part then went to Steve Buscemi) Arnett has mentioned that he's "working with Mitch [Hurwitz] on something right now," but declined to reveal the details of the project. Arnett has said in interviews that he is not sure he would return to television for another series anytime in the near future.
|Ed's Next Move||Weather Video Guy|
|1998||The Broken Giant||Ezra Caton|
|The Waiting Game||Lenny|
|2000||The Acting Class||Will Bennett|
|2001||Series 7: The Contenders||Narrator|
|2006||Ice Age: The Meltdown||Lone Gunslinger Vulture|
|The Great New Wonderful||Danny|
|Let's Go to Prison||Nelson Biederman IV|
|2007||Blades of Glory||Stranz Van Waldenberg|
|Wristcutters: A Love Story||Messiah|
|The Brothers Solomon||John Solomon|
|Horton Hears a Who!||Vlad Vladikoff|
|2009||Monsters vs. Aliens||The Missing Link|
|Brief Interviews with Hideous Men||Subject #11|
|2010||Eva Adams||Adam Evenston|
|When in Rome||Antonio|
|Jonah Hex||Union soldier|
|Despicable Me||Mr. Perkins|