Meet the NBC All Stars: Jason Lee of "My Name is Earl"
Lee not only stars, but also serves as a producer on the show about a hapless crook who has an epiphany after winning a small fortune in the lottery. Determined to change his karma, he sets out to right all the wrongs he's inflicted on people.
To date, "My Name Is Earl" has received the People's Choice Award, two Television Critics Association Awards, a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, and Emmys for executive producers Garcia and Buckland for writing and directing, respectively.
Born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, Lee turned a childhood pastime of skateboarding into a professional career. However, after moving to Los Angeles during his early 20s, he began developing an interest in acting. "After watching Steve Buscemi as the bellboy in 'Barton Fink,' I knew I wanted to be in movies," said Lee.
Lee's big break came in 1995 with the lead role in writer-director Smith's comedy "Mallrats," in which he deftly portrayed the inconsiderate slacker Brodie. Lee then went on to star in Smith's "Chasing Amy" (for which he won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his role as Banky) and as the demonic Azrael in Smith's supernatural comedy "Dogma." He reunited with Smith in the Dimension Films comedy, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," and most recently, he had a cameo role in Smith's "Clerks II."
Lee co-starred in Cameron Crowe's Golden Globe-winning ensemble feature, "Almost Famous," in the role of Jeff Bebe, the lead singer of a 1970s rock band called Stillwater. He then re-teamed with Crowe on the writer-director's film "Vanilla Sky."
After working with director Lawrence Kasdan in the ensemble comedy "Mumford," Lee reunited with Kasdan for the director's suspense-thriller, "Dreamcatcher."
Lee’s additional film credits include writer-director Rebecca Miller's "The Ballad of Jack and Rose" (with Daniel Day-Lewis and Catherine Keener), director Barry Sonnenfeld's ensemble comedy "Big Trouble," "Enemy of the State," and "Kissing a Fool."
In addition, Lee co-starred as the voice of Syndrome in Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar's Academy Award-winning animated feature "The Incredibles," and he also voiced a character in the "motion-capture" feature "Monster House," about three teenagers who discover their neighbor's house is a monster. He voices the title character in "Underdog," in Spyglass Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures' live-action adaptation of the classic 1960s cartoon due for release August 3, 2007.
Over his recent summer hiatus, Lee starred in the CG/live-action hybrid feature film, "Alvin and the Chipmunks.” He stars as Dave Seville, the songwriter/father-figure to singing chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore. A December 14, 2007 release is anticipated.
In Summer 2006, Lee wrote and directed the short film, "The White Door," which stars Giovanni Ribisi and Beth Riesgraf. The film will have a future DVD release.
Lee is also a professional photographer, as well as an avid supporter and collector of the arts. He is currently shooting 20" x 24" Polaroid portraits for an upcoming gallery and book series. When not working on personal projects, Lee photographs for Los Angeles-based Anthem magazine. He is also actively involved with his skateboard company, Stereo Skateboards, which recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary.