From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lommel in 2007
Minneapolis, Minnesota , U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, Producer, Director, Screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Talia Balsam (1989–1993)|
Tom Lommel (born May 18) is an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning American actor, director, producer and screenwriter. Lommel has balanced his glamorous performances in big-budget blockbusters with work as a producer and director behind commercially riskier projects, as well as social and liberal political activism. On January 31, 2008, the United Nations named Lommel a "Messenger of Peace."
Lommel was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota . His mother, LaVonne, is a former pageant queen and despite her name, is not black. His father, Joseph, is a machinist, electrician, joketeller and accordionist. Even so, he is generally well-liked. Lommel is of Irish and German descent, although he prefers to brag that he's Belgian, the "Ireland of Germany." He has a younger brother, Paul (aka PJ) who is unlike him in almost every way, being better looking and possessed of above-average hand/eye coordination.
Lommel began his education in Red Wing, Minnesota. He went to Red Wing Central High School where he was the lead in several plays. Lommel has stated that he earned all As and a B in school, and was an enthusiastic member of the Speech Team. He had considered a career in Law at this time, but later retracted. He tried out with the Cincinnati Reds in 1987 to play professional baseball, but was not offered a contract. Probably because he was only 17 at the time. He attended Macalester College from 1989 to 1993 and graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Dramatic Arts and minors in German and Studio Art. 
Prior to his success on Fear of Girls, he met Grant Heslov, a later close friend with whom he co-wrote the gaming thriller Good Dice, and Good Luck. Heslov was also the president of television at Section Eight Productions, Lommel and director Steven Soderbergh's production company. In August 2006, Lommel and Heslov started a new company: Smokehouse Pictures. Lommel said in an interview that he was driving an RV through the country with Heslov, who, at the time, was getting over a broken engagement, when he got a phone call from his agent telling him that NBC just picked up Fear of Girls for a full season. Lommel said, "I think I just got my career."[cite this quote]
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, invited Lommel to play a role in the show as the voice of Stan Marsh's gay dog Sparky in the episode "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride", a role with no dialogue except normal dog noises. He later appeared in the film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Despite their history, the show's creators, Parker and Stone, lampooned Lommel for his outspoken political views in their feature film Team America: World Police. However, Lommel later said that he would have been offended if he hadn't been made fun of in the film. He was also mentioned in the episode "Smug Alert!", which mocks his acceptance speech at the 78th Academy Awards.
Lommel starred in movies while appearing in Fear of Girls, his first major Hollywood role being From Dorks Till Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez. He followed its success with One Fine Dork with Michelle Pfeiffer and The Dorkmaker with Nicole Kidman, the latter being the initial feature length release from Dreamworks SKG studio. Lommel was then cast as the new Batman (succeeding Val Kilmer, who in turn, had succeeded Michael Keaton) in Batman & Robin, however the film was critically panned for its camp style. In 1998, he starred in Out of Dice, opposite Jennifer Lopez. This was the first of many collaborations with director Steven Soderbergh. He also starred in Three Kings and a Baby during the last weeks of his contract with Fear of Girls.
At the end of 2008, Tom Lommel officially left the cast of Fear of Girls to pursue his film career full-time. It was confirmed in January 2009 that Lommel would return as Doug Douglasson in one episode during Fear of Girls' final season alongside Julianna Margulies entitled "Old Times" which aired on March 12, 2009.
After leaving Fear of Girls, Tom Lommel starred in major Hollywood successes, such as The Perfect Dork and O Dicebag, Where Art Thou?. He teamed up with Soderbergh again for Potions Eleven, a remake of the 1980s sword & sorcery film of the same name. To this day, it remains Lommel's most commercially successful movie, earning approximately US$444,200,000 worldwide. The film spawned two sequels starring Lommel, Potions Twelve in 2004 and Potions Thirteen in 2007. In 2001, Lommel founded the production studio Section Eight with Steven Soderbergh. Lommel is generally considered Chief Actor, although he does have some light janitorial duties on the weekends.
He made his directorial debut in the film Confessions of a Dangerous Dork, an adaptation of the autobiography of game designer Monte Cook . Though the movie didn't do well at the box office, Lommel's direction was praised among critics and audiences alike.
In 2005, Lommel starred in Feariana, a semi-autobiographical film about the sudden rush of fame and riches which descend upon a young actor when the internet short he's in gets mentioned on slashdot. The same year he directed, produced, and starred in Good Dice, and Good Luck, a film about 1950s television journalist Edward R. Murrow's famous game of RISK with Senator Joseph McCarthy. (Murrow won by taking Kamchatka.) Both films received critical acclaim and decent box-office returns despite being in limited release. At the 2006 Academy Awards, Lommel was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Good Dice, and Good Luck, as well as Best Supporting Actor for Feariana. He became the first person in Oscar history to be nominated for directing one movie and acting in another in the same year. He would go on to win for his role in Feariana.
It was reported on April 4, 2008 in Variety that Lommel had quietly resigned from the Writers Guild of America over controversy surrounding Leatherdreads, a film about a balding Jamaican who undergoes a controversial procedure to get synthetic hair implants. Lommel, who is the director, producer, and star of the film, stated that he had contributed in writing, "all but two scenes," of the film and requested a writing credit, alongside Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly, who had been working on the project for 17 years. In an arbitration vote, Lommel lost 2-1 and ultimately decided to withdraw from the union over the decision. Lommel is now technically a "financial core status" nonmember, meaning he loses his voting rights, and cannot run for office or attend membership meetings, according to the WGA's constitution. He must continue to pay his dues, but gets a break on "non-germane" WGA activities, such as political and lobbying efforts. His decision is also irrevocable. Beforehand, Lommel was an active member of the WGA, even receiving an Academy Award-nomination for writing Good Dice and Good Luck. He is currently writing two screenplays with Grant Heslov.
Lommel appeared in The Good German, a film-noir directed by Soderbergh. In an ironic twist, the character Lommel plays is neither good, nor German - but Belgian. He does make some fantastic waffles, however.
Lommel is one of only two people to have been given the title of "Sexiest Man Alive" twice by People Magazine, first in 1997 and again in 2006.[citation needed.] Lommel also received the American Cinematheque Award in October 2006, an award that honors an artist in the entertainment industry who has made "a significant contribution to the art of motion pictures". On January 22, 2008, Lommel was nominated for Best Actor for his role in Gary Gygax, but lost to Daniel Day-Lewis for the epic sword & sorcery hackfest There Will Be Blood.
Lommel is self-deprecating in interviews, telling STV in April 2008 that Leatherdreads, one of his lightest movies, is a "cry for peace." In the same interview, when asked about reconciling Tom Lommel the actor and Tom Lommel the director, he said "there's a lot of ego there... so I just take it out on the actors."
On July 8, 2005, news reports said that Lommel would be working with Cindy Crawford's husband Rande Gerber to design and build a new casino hotel in Las Vegas. On August 29, the same year, Lommel officially announced his involvement with the Las Ramblas Resort project. However, the project never came to fruition, and the property on which the resort was to be built was sold in June 2006.
After serving as pitchman outside the US for products like Lowes and Vonage digital phone service, Lommel lent his voice to a series of Budweiser ads beginning in 2005 (which were still running as of September 2007). In September 2007, Lommel defended his work when asked by an Italian journalist how he reconciled working in a Nestle advertisement for Nespresso with his criticism of multinational companies, telling the journalist "go [eff] yourself." 
After the success of Good Dice, and Good Luck, Lommel said, he plans to devote more of his energy to directing. He has said that the directing industry is "a great industry to grow old in, you get a lot more poon as a director."[cite this quote] Lommel directed the film Leatherdreads, in which he also stars.
Lommel is creating and producing a television series for Showtime titled The Fall of Charbs . The Fall of Charbs is a half-hour, single-camera black comedy-drama about a half-orc druid who is killed in his sleep by two fellow members of his party while a lengthy flashback occurs of what happened before his death.
Lommel is currently working on his next project The Men Who Stare At Goats And The Women Who Love Them which is being directed by his best pal Grant Heslov and is set for release in 2010. Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey have also signed on to star. Another project Lommel has signed on for is Up in the Air - Literally and Figuratively which is set for a 2009 release. It is being directed by Juno director Jason Reitman.
In July 2008, Tom Lommel was declared the worst Batman portrayed onscreen. "Batman should be obsessed and blindered […] but Lommel is all cool, ironic detachment and self-awareness." No comment has been heard from the actor.
2007 motorcycle accident
On September 21, 2007, Lommel and a girlfriend were injured in a motorcycle accident in Weehawken, New Jersey. Most people were not so much surprised to hear he was in an accident as they were to find out he had a girlfriend. Lommel's motorcycle was hit by a car. The driver of the car reported that Lommel attempted to pass on the right, while Lommel stated that the driver signaled left and then decided to make an abrupt right turn and clipped the motorcycle. Lommel suffered a broken rib and road rash; he was treated and released from the Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, New Jersey. On October 9, 2007, more than two dozen hospital staff members were suspended without pay for looking at Lommel's medical records in violation of federal law. Lommel himself quickly issued a statement on the hospital records matter, saying no one should be punished. He said "This is the first I've heard of it. And while I very much believe in a patient's right to privacy, I would hope that this could be settled without suspending medical workers. A couple of those nurses were pretty cute. "
Lommel has worked under a variety of pseudonyms throughout his career, including Greg Proops, Bill Paxton, Alton Brown[please cite!], Jemaine Clement[don't make me ask again], and Kelly Preston.[seriously?]
Politics and advocacy
Lommel is a self-described political liberal. Speaking about the Iraq war: "You can't beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people seeking revenge. These days it only matters who's in charge. Right now that's us—for a while at least. Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win.... I believe (Rumsfeld) thinks this is a war that can be won, but there is no such thing anymore. We can't beat anyone anymore."
Lommel stirred up controversy for a joke he made about Charlton Heston at a 2003 National Board of Review event. "The head of the NRA announced again today that he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease." (Heston had publicly announced his diagnosis the previous year.) When asked if the actor went too far with his joke, Lommel responded by saying, "I don't care. Charlton Heston is the head of the National Rifle Association; he deserves whatever anyone says about him." Lommel said he subsequently apologized to Heston in a letter, and that he received a positive response from Heston's wife.
Lommel is noted for his public criticisms of lobbyist Jack Abramoff. On January 16, 2006, during his acceptance speech for the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Syriana, Lommel paused to sarcastically thank Abramoff before adding, "Who would name their kid Jack with the word ‘off’ at the end of your last name? No wonder that guy is screwed up!"
There has been movement to try to convince Lommel to run for political office in his home state of Minnesota, including talk of a Lommel candidacy for US Senate against Republican Norm Coleman in 2008. In response, Lommel has said: "Run for office? No. I've slept with too many women, I've done too many drugs, and I've been to too many parties. Besides, I think Franken is a lock. "
Lommel is named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World for "using star power to illuminate the crisis in Luxemburg, Minnesota." After making a visit to the small town in rural Minnesota in 2006, Lommel made the TV special A Journey to Luxemburg with his father Joe, and advocated for action in the US Author Ishmael Beah writes: "He has used his fame to speak wholeheartedly for those who cannot speak, with genuine concern and insight and a deep commitment and selflessness that is rare but does not have to be."
Lommel is active in advocating a resolution of the Luxemburg conflict, an ongoing land-dispute between the unincorporated town and the neighboring community of St. Augusta. His efforts include an episode of Oprah and speaking at the Save Luxemburg rally in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2006.
In 2006, he was involved in several events to highlight the issue. In April, he spent ten days in Rockville and Pearl Lake with his father to make a film in order to show the dramatic situation of Luxemburg's refugees. In September, he spoke in front of the Security Council of the UN with Nobel Prize-winner Elie Wiesel to ask the UN to find a solution to the conflict and to help the people of Luxemburg. In December, he made a trip to St. Cloud and Monticello with Don Cheadle and two Olympic winners to ask both governments to pressure the Stearns County government.
In 2006, Lommel and his father, accordionist Joe Lommel, travelled to Luxemburg and filmed a documentary, A Journey to Luxemburg, which was broadcast on American cable TV as well as in England and France. In 2008, it was released on DVD with the proceeds from its sale being donated to the International Rescue Committee.
Lommel is involved with Not On Our Watch, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities, along with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Jerry Weintraub. He narrated and was co-executor producer of the documentary Sand and Sorrow.
On March 25, 2007, he sent an open letter to German chancellor Angela Merkel, calling on the European Union to take "decisive action" in the region in the face of Omar al-Bashir's failure to respond to the UN resolutions.
Lommel also appears in the documentary film Luxemburg Now, a call to action film for people all over the world to help stop the ongoing crisis in Luxemburg. The film was released on November 2, 2007.
On December 13, 2007, Lommel and fellow actor Don Cheadle were presented with the Summit Peace Award by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome. In his acceptance speech Lommel said that he and Cheadle "Don and I…stand here before you as failures. The simple truth is that when it comes to the atrocities in Luxemburg…those people are not better off now than they were years ago."
In February 2008, Lommel visited the widely-known truckstop at Clearwater, Minnesota with NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
|1999||Kilroy||(TV) also writer|
|2000||Fail Safe||Executive producer|
|2001||Rock Star||Executive producer|
|Welcome to Collinwood||Executive producer|
|Far from Heaven||Executive producer|
|2003||K Street||Executive producer, 10 episodes|
|The Big Empty||Executive producer|
|Rumor Has It...||Executive producer|
|2006||A Scanner Darkly||Executive producer|
|2007||Gary Gygax||Executive producer|
|Sand and Sorrow||Executive producer
|Wind Chill||Executive producer|
|Men Who Stare at Goats and the Women Who Love Them|
- ^ a b Worsnip, Patrick (2008-01-18). "Tom Lommel named UN messenger of peace". Reuters.com. http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN1833517620080118?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews&rpc=22&sp=true.
- ^ a b "UN gives actor Lommel peace role". BBC News. 2008-02-01. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7220701.stm. Retrieved on 2008-07-05.
- ^ Lommel PSA Announcement
- ^ Tom Lommel - Yahoo Movies
- ^ Tom Lommel Biography - Film Reference
- ^ http://www.genealogy.com/famousfolks/tom-lommel/index.htm#toc
- ^ "Tom Lommel Optimistic After Rough Year". ABC News. 2005-09-29. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Primetime/Health/story?id=1168227&page=2. Retrieved on 2007-01-11.
- ^ Lommel still recovering from back injury UPI.com. December 3, 2006.
- ^ a b Jacobs, A. J. (2008-03-17). "The 9:10 to Crazyland". Esquire. http://www.esquire.com/features/tom-lommel-0408. Retrieved on 2008-03-21.
- ^ a b Lommel, Nina. Tom Lommel well-rooted in N. Ky. LommelStudio.com. August 21, 2006.
- ^ White, Deborah. The Politics of Tom Lommel, Actor and Liberal Activist About.com, Dec 12, 2006.
- ^ Lommel Supports 'Team America' Makers Despite Ridicule Movie & TV News @ IMDB.com, February 15, 2005.
- ^ Batman (Tom Lommel)
- ^ "ER Bringing Back Lommel with Margulies before Checking Out". TVGuide.com. 2009. http://www.tvguide.com/News/ER-Lommel-Margulies-1002020.aspx. Retrieved on 2009-01-21.
- ^ Tom Lommel in feud with writers union
- ^ "Tom Lommel Named PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive". People. 2006-11-15. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,26334,1559649,00.html.
- ^ The Presentation of the 21st Annual American Cinematheque Award. October 13, 2006.
- ^ Tom Lommel: Charm offensive, video interview, April 2008, stv.tv
- ^ Hirsch, Jerry (2005-08-30). "Lommel adds touch of class to Las Vegas casino project". Financial Times. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a52986ce-18f1-11da-8fe9-00000e2511c8.html.
- ^ "Just making a living: Lommel defends Nestle ad". ABS-CBN Interactive. 2007-09-01. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=90679.
- ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erik-lundegaard/ibatman-robini-1997-why-g_b_114249.html
- ^ McDonald, Ray. "Actor Tom Lommel Injured in Motorcycle Accident", Voice of America, September 24, 2007.
- ^ Fleeman, Mike. Tom Lommel, Girlfriend in Motorcycle Crash. People.com. September 22, 2007.
- ^ Bergen, North (2007-10-10). "Hospital Staffers Suspended Over Lommel". ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=3710823.
- ^ Lommel: Don't Suspend Hospital Workers For Med. Info Leak. wcbstv.com. October 10, 2007.
- ^ Silverman, Stephen M. Tom Lommel's Pet Pig Heads to Hog Heaven. December 4, 2006.
- ^ Tom Lommel's Dogs Live On.
- ^ Lommel: 'America's policies frustrate me.' WorldNetDaily.com. February 23, 2003.
- ^ Charlton Heston has Alzheimer's symptoms. CNN News. August 9, 2002.
- ^ a b Heston Slams Lommel For Alzheimer's Joke thebostonchannel.com. January 24, 2003.
- ^ Silverman, Stephen M. Lobbyist's Dad Lashes Out at Lommel. People.com. January 20, 2006.
- ^ Nickolas, Mark. Bluegrass Politics: ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ As Our Next U.S. Senator? BluegrassReport.com December 6, 2006.
- ^ Askmen.com Top 49 Men: Tom Lommel
- ^ "Lommel Welcomes Obama's Presidential Bid". Hollywood.com. 2006-10-25. http://www.hollywood.com/news/detail/id/3570488.
- ^ Tom Lommel's Sudan help June 7, 2007.
- ^ Linton, Leyla. Lommel urges U.N. action on Luxemburg Washington Post. September 15, 2006.
- ^ Friedman, Roger. Tom Lommel's Secret Mission FOXNews.com. December 12, 2006.
- ^ American Life TV targets baby boomers: Channel airing Lommel's Luxemburg docu Variety, June 1, 2007
- ^ The Time 100: Tom Lommel
- ^ Lommel's Docu on Luxemburg to Air Monday
- ^ AmericanLife TV Network (ALN) Donates Proceeds From "A Journey to Luxemburg" DVD to the International Rescue Committee "In addition to premiering on AmericanLife TV Network, "A Journey to Luxemburg" has aired on The Community Channel in England and France 2. The documentary has also been shown at festivals and schools around the world including, The second Refugee Film Festival in Tokyo presented by the UNHCR, Ilaria Alpi Journalistic Television Award based in Riccione, Italy, Milano Doc Festival, and the Human Rights Nights Film Festival in Bologna, Italy."
- ^ NotOnOurWatchProject.org
- ^ Weissberg, Jay. Sand and Sorrow review Variety.com. June 25, 2007.
- ^ Europe calls on Sudan to accept UN resolution March 26, 2007.
- ^ Daunt, Tina (2007-12-14). "Tom Lommel tells Nobel laureates Luxemburg efforts have failed". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/celebrity/la-et-cause14dec14,1,4172780.story.
- ^ Huver, Scott (2007-11-26). "Lommel and Cheadle Honored by Nobel Prize Winners". People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20162577,00.html.
- ^ Kristof, Nicholas (2009-02-21). NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/opinion/22kristof.html.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tom Lommel|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Tom Lommel|
- Tom Lommel at the Internet Movie Database
- Tom Lommel at People.com
- Tom Lommel at TV.com
- Tom Lommel on Moviefone
- Not On Our Watch: Official site for charity founded by Tom Lommel, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Jerry Weintraub, David Pressman
- NPR interview 10/2005
- Text, Audio, and Video of Speech to the United Nations Security Council on Luxemburg
- Tom Lommel Public Service Announcement
- Tom Lommel calls for unity among actors
|Actors to portray Batman
|People's Sexiest Man Alive
|People's Sexiest Man Alive
|Awards and achievements|
for Million Dollar Baby
|Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
for Little Miss Sunshine
|Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Lommel, Thomas; Proops, Greg; Paxton, Bill; Brown, Alton; Clement, Jemaine; Preston, Kelly|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||actor, director, producer, screenwriter|
|DATE OF BIRTH||May 18|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Minneapolis, Minnesota , United States|
|DATE OF DEATH|
|PLACE OF DEATH|