Watching Liev Schreiber in his element as a brooding and somewhat mystical figure, it is hard not to wonder if he is acting or portraying a real-life version of himself. For the actor who was born in San Francisco, California, but then moved around as a child, there is no straightforward answer to the question. Having moved to British Columbia when he was one, he had a drama-filled childhood with constant relocation. He also had an eccentric family around him.
From his maternal grandfather, who played the Cello and owned Renoir paintings, to his mother, a lover of classical music and Russian Literature, Liev Schreiber did not have a regular upbringing. It is perhaps why he grew to become the multidimensional and talented man he is today.
Liev Schreiber Made His Name In Acting
Perhaps the occupation he is best known for, Liev Schreiber has been acting since the early nineties. He grew up watching silent, black-and-white movies because his mother forbade him from watching coloured movies. His acting journey began when he started training at the University of Massachusetts.
It led to him playing the role of Antonio in The Merchant of Venice in March 1989. He made progress with his acting craft by enrolling in the Yale School of Drama and later on, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
After appearing in multiple independent movies as a supporting actor, his big break finally arrived in 1996. He was selected to play the role of suspected murderer Cotton Weary in the horror trilogy, Scream. The success of the movie opened numerous opportunities for Liev Schreiber, and work became more frequent.
He earned critical acclaim when he starred in the HBO original, RKO 281. He was subsequently nominated for the best actor and outstanding lead actor at the Golden Globes and Emmys respectively.
Liev continued to appear in more movies, and some of the more notable ones include Ransom, The Hurricane, A Walk on the Moon, and the movie version of Hamlet. He, along with Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, sparked controversy when they appeared in The Manchurian Candidate.
The movie garnered criticism following its release during a tensed and passionate presidential election cycle. Schreiber also starred alongside Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman in the film, Kate & Leopold.
He joined the X-men franchise when he played the supervillain Victor Creed/Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He also appeared alongside Angelina Jolie in the action thriller Salt in 2010.
Other notable works in recent times include Spotlight, for which he won the Detroit Film Critics Society Awards for Best Supporting Actor. His other onscreen works include The Butler and A Rainy Day in New York.
Highlights Of The Career Endeavours That Made Liev Schreiber A Popular Figure
Liev Schreiber, as an actor, is not limited to our TV screens. He has also a forged strong acting reputation in other fields, particular when it comes to the stage. After appearing in the Shakespeare play, Cymbeline in 1998, he earned praise from the New York Times, who called his performance “revelatory“.
In 1999, the venue of his next classical performance was The Public Theatre in New York. He played the titular role in Hamlet and once again received rave reviews. His next performance in 2003 as Henry V in Henry V prompted John Lahr of the New Yorker to drop effusive praise in his honour.
He then went on to play the titular role of Macbeth for a month, ranging from June to July 2006. His last stage performance was in 2016. He starred as Le Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Booth Theatre.
Liev Schreiber is also an active television actor who has starred in numerous series on various networks. His first role as a television actor was as Ogden in the television movies, Buffalo Girls in 1995. He has subsequently appeared in numerous other efforts such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Nature, Sesame Street, and Bojack Horseman.
His most notable television role to date is as Ray Donavan in the series Ray Donavan. He played this character for seven years (2013-2020). His role as Ray Donavan won him multiple acclaims from fans and critics. It also earned him five Golden Globe and three primetime Emmy nominations.
He Is Also A Voice Actor
Liev Schreiber has been making a living as a voice actor for years. He has been the voice behind numerous animated projects so far in his career. His first voice work was in 1998 when he played the character, Mickey Monday in the film, Desert Blue. His voice has been behind several characters in projects like Chicago 10, Creed, Isle of Dogs, My Little Pony: The Movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.
Live Schreiber As A Narrator
One of the most striking features possessed by Liev Schreiber, asides his commanding 6′ 3″ frame, is his deep, baritone voice. Recognizing the earning potential of his voice, he has been working as a narrator and voiceover artist for numerous clients.
His catalogue of narrated works makes for eclectic viewing. He has been the voice behind television commercials for Infiniti. Also, he narrated the 1994 world cup official film, Two Billion Hearts. He is also the voice behind HBO’s Sports of the 20th Century documentaries and HBO Boxing’s Countdown and 24/7 documentary series.
Other notable narrations and voiceover projects include Magic & Bird: Courtship of Rivals, History Channel’s Ape to Man and America: The Story of Us, HBO’s Hard Knocks, Hitler’s G.I Death Camp on National Geographic Channel. He also provided voiceover work for the Kia Stinger GT commercial in 2018.
Liev Has A Career Working Behind the Scenes Too
Liev Schreiber had always expressed reservations about wanting to be just an actor all his life. He knew he wanted more and sought to explore the directing side of things. At the start of his career, Liev pursued the screenwriting side of things before eventually settling for acting.
That part of him came to fore again when he began writing a screenplay about his relationship with his maternal grandfather. He abandoned this project though when he came across Jonathan Foer’s novel, Everything is Illuminated and conceded that it was better than his screenplay.
He, instead, decided to make a film adaptation of the novel. Schrieber proceeded to write the adapted screenplay for the film and also directed the entire project. The movie marked his directorial debut, and it was released in 2005.
Starring Elijah Wood, the movie came out to slightly positive reviews, and Schreiber’s directorial work received praise. The film was a box office failure though, making $3.6 million against a budget of $7 million. So far, it remains the only movie that Liev Schreiber has directed. It also remains his only screenplay credit to date.
A Diversified Career Has Made Live Schrieber A Rich Man
With over 28 years of experience in entertainment and media, Liev Schreiber has proven himself to be the king of versatility. Refusing to be pigeonholed into being just an actor, he has expanded his horizon. Schrieber is also a narrator, producer, director, and screenwriter.
As a result of this versatility, he has built himself a tidy fortune. As of 2020, his net worth stands at an impressive $25 million. Not bad at all from someone who once stayed in abandoned buildings with no electricity or hot water as a child.
We do not know much about how Schreiber enjoys his wealth. In 2016, he and then partner, Naomi Watts purchased a stunning 3500-square-foot property in Montauk, New York. The cottage-style house came with four bedrooms, four-and-half bathrooms, a large dining area, a huge gourmet kitchen, and a fully equipped media room. The couple shelled out an eye-watering $5.4 million for the property.
The Actor Was With Naomi Watts for Eleven Years
Liev Schreiber first met British actress Naomi Watts at the 2005 MET Gala. According to Schreiber, she invited him out dancing after the event. She gave him her number, and they eventually began a relationship. Although the couple was together for eleven years, they never got married. They were all set to do so in 2008 but had a last-minute change of heart. Naomi Watts declared that they would not be pressured into marriage. She cited the fact that she and Liev both came from backgrounds where being divorced was prominent. She did reveal, though that he gave her a beautiful ring.
The partnership produced two sons. The first, Alexander Pete Schreiber, was born in 2007 at around 3:59 pm. He weighed a healthy 8 lbs, 4 oz. The couple had thrown a baby shower a week earlier in anticipation of his birth. The second child, Samuel Kai Schreiber, arrived only a year later. He weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz.
After 11 years together, Schreiber and Watts released a joint statement announcing their separation. The couple expressed it was essential to separate as a couple to continue being a family. They did not share any reason for the breakup, and the couple remains friends and co-parents to their two kids.
He Is 20 Years Older Than His Girlfriend, Taylor Niesen
In 2017, reports emerged that Liev Schreiber was dating a 25-year old former beauty queen, Taylor Niesen. News of this potential relationship raised eyebrows as Schreiber was over 20 years older than her. The rumours were soon confirmed as the couple began making public appearances together.
Taylor Niesen is a former beauty queen who won Miss South Dakota in 2012. She currently earns her living as a model and was featured on the Hello magazine.
The couple recently moved from New York to Los Angeles and bought a condo in Venice Beach. Schreiber took this decision to be closer to his sons due to the coronavirus pandemic. The couple has been spotted jogging together in public and appears to be very much into each other.