Jake Johnson: Actor, Comedian, and Voice of Spider-Man's Peter Parker
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Jake Johnson, born Mark Jake Johnson Weinberger on May 28, 1978, is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker best known for his role as Nick Miller in the Fox sitcom "New Girl" and for voicing Peter B. Parker in the animated "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" films.

 

Johnson's Evanston Roots and Family

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Jake Johnson was born on May 28, 1978, in Evanston, Illinois, with the birth name Mark Jake Johnson Weinberger. He was raised by a single mother, Eve Johnson, and took her last name during high school. Johnson's diverse heritage includes an Ashkenazi Jewish father with roots in Hungary, Poland, and Russia, while his mother's ancestry is English, Irish, and Polish Catholic. Named after his uncle Mark Johnson, who tragically died at age 26 in a motorcycle accident in 1977, Jake has two siblings: a brother, Dan Johnson, and a sister, Rachel Johnson. Despite dropping out of high school during his sophomore year, Johnson returned to complete his education, demonstrating the resilience that would later characterize his career in entertainment.
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Johnson's Early Career in Improv Comedy

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Jake Johnson's early career was deeply rooted in improv comedy, reflecting his Chicago upbringing and admiration for the Second City improv theater. While studying at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Johnson co-founded the sketch comedy troupe The Midwesterners, which toured the country. He further honed his comedic skills by working with the Upright Citizens Brigade and performing at Second City's Los Angeles venue. This background in improv proved invaluable, as Johnson later revealed that his first time performing improv caused him "early improv jitters," an experience he shared with fellow comedian Rob Riggle. Johnson's improv roots have continued to influence his career, with fans noting his improvisational skills and calling for his return to shows like Comedy Bang Bang.
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Breakout Role as Nick Miller in New Girl

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Jake Johnson's breakout role came as Nick Miller in the Fox sitcom "New Girl" (2011-2018), a character that evolved significantly through collaboration with the show's creators. Initially conceived as a quiet, insecure lawyer, Nick's character transformed as Johnson brought his own comedic flair to the role. The show's creator, Liz Meriwether, allowed Johnson to experiment and improvise, leading to the development of Nick's distinctive personality. This collaborative approach resulted in Johnson receiving critical acclaim, including a nomination for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series in 2013. The character of Nick Miller has since developed a cult following, surprising even Johnson himself, who admitted he was shocked by the enduring popularity of the character long after the show ended.
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Jake Johnson: Actor-Filmmaker (Photos)

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Jake's Film and TV Roles

Jake Johnson has built an impressive filmography spanning both television and film, showcasing his versatility as an actor. Here's a concise overview of some of his notable works:
YearTitleRole
2009Paper HeartNicholas Jasenovec
2011-2018New GirlNick Miller
2012Safety Not GuaranteedJeff
201221 Jump StreetPrincipal Dadier
2015Jurassic WorldLowery
2017The MummyChris Vail
2018Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VersePeter B. Parker (voice)
2022MinxDoug Renetti
2023Self RelianceTommy (also director)
Johnson's career highlights include his breakout role in "New Girl" and his voice work in the critically acclaimed "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse". His filmography demonstrates his range across comedy, action, and drama genres, as well as his transition into directing with "Self Reliance" in 2023.
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Jake's Awards and Accolades

Jake Johnson has received several award nominations and wins throughout his career, primarily for his work in television and voice acting. Here's a summary of his notable accolades:
AwardCategoryWorkResultYear
Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Actor in a Comedy SeriesNew GirlNominated2013
Television Critics Association AwardIndividual Achievement in ComedyNew GirlNominated2013
Gold Derby TV AwardComedy Lead ActorNew GirlWon2013
Satellite AwardBest Actor in a Series, Comedy or MusicalNew GirlNominated2014
Teen Choice AwardChoice TV Actor: ComedyNew GirlNominated2013
Odyssey AwardVoice ActingSpider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseWon2018
Johnson's performance in "New Girl" garnered him several nominations, including recognition from the Critics' Choice Television Awards and the Television Critics Association. His voice work in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" also earned him an Odyssey Award for Voice Acting in 2018.
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Versatile Hollywood Talent (Interviews)

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Voice Acting in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Jake Johnson on the joys of voicing Peter Parker and the ... - YouTube
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Jake Johnson voiced Peter B. Parker/Spider-Man in the critically acclaimed animated films "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" and "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse". His portrayal of an older, jaded version of Spider-Man resonated strongly with audiences, bringing humor and depth to the character. Johnson's Peter B. Parker served as a mentor to Miles Morales in the first film, evolving from a disillusioned hero to a reinvigorated one. The actor has expressed a deep connection to the character, stating, "I love Peter B. Parker. I feel really attached to that character." Despite his enthusiasm, Johnson's involvement in the upcoming "Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse" remains uncertain, highlighting the secretive nature of the project's development.
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Jake Johnson's Family and Football Passion

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Jake Johnson has been married to artist Erin Payne since 2005, maintaining a low-profile relationship for nearly two decades. The couple met when Payne was working as a bartender, with Johnson becoming a regular customer before eventually striking up a conversation. They are parents to twin daughters, Elizabeth and Olivia, born in 2014. Johnson is known to be a devoted fan of the Chicago Bears NFL team, though he keeps most details of his personal life private. Payne, an accomplished artist with an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University, has collaborated with Johnson on various projects, including contributing artwork to his show "New Girl" and helping improve the script for his 2015 film "Digging for Fire".
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Closing Thoughts on Johnson

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Jake Johnson's career exemplifies the versatility and dedication of 21st-century American male actors. From his early days in improv comedy to his breakout role in "New Girl" and his acclaimed voice work in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," Johnson has consistently demonstrated his talent across various genres and mediums. His ability to bring depth and humor to his characters has earned him numerous accolades and a dedicated fan base. As he continues to explore new avenues in filmmaking, including his directorial debut with "Self Reliance," Johnson's contributions to the film industry remain significant and influential.
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