Birthdate: August 26, 2003
Birthplace: Long Island, New York
Jake Ryan has had an unusual career as a young actor, having worked with filmmaker Wes Anderson on numerous projects since he was eight years old, as well as other leading American indie filmmakers including the Coen Brothers and Josh and Benny Safdie. But it was horror-indie filmmaker Ti West who discovered Ryan, casting him in his feature debut in the horror movie, The Innkeepers (2011), opposite Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, and Kelly McGillis.
Ryan was then cast in a supporting role in director/writer/producer David Wexler’s comedy-drama, The Stand Up (2011), with Jonathan Sollis and Aidan Quinn, which premiered at the Austin Film Festival. In Ryan’s first movie with Anderson, he made a major impression on the filmmaker playing a Boy Scout in Moonrise Kingdom (2012), with Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban, with the movie earning a hefty $68 million after its Cannes film festival premiere.
In only his fourth movie and as a nine-year-old actor, Ryan worked with Joel and Ethan Coen on their caustic New York folk scene-set comedy-drama, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake, and which premiered at the Cannes film festival followed by a worldwide gross of $33 million.
Jake Ryan continued his busy run as a child actor in such indie movies as director/writer/producer/editor Jonathan D. Bucari’s drama, No Letting Go (2015), with Richard Burgi, Kathy Najimy, and Noah Fleiss. Ryan had his biggest supporting role to date in filmmaker Bo Burnham’s hit coming-of-age comedy-drama, Eighth Grade (2018), with Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, and Emily Robinson, with the film’s triumphant run after its Sundance premiere including awards from the DGA and WGA, the Gotham Awards, and honors from the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute.
Jake Ryan reunited with Wes Anderson—now a veteran actor of 14 years of age!—with a voice role in the stop-motion-animated Isle of Dogs (2018), with a sprawling cast including Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Norton, Murray, Balaban, Swinton, McDormand, Harvey Keitel, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Kunichi Nomura, Ken Watanabe, and Greta Gerwig, taking in over $64 million globally after a Berlin film festival premiere.
Ryan had his first major role in writer-director Bill Kiely’s indie teen drama-comedy, Age of Summer (2018), with Percy Hynes White, Charlotte Sabina, Diarmaid Murtagh, and Peter Stormare. Jake Ryan earned a supporting slot in the cast of the Safdie Brothers’ stunning drama, Uncut Gems (2019), which starred Adam Sandler, LaKeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, Kavin Garnett, Idina Menzel, The Weeknd, and Eric Bogosian, and grossed a solid $50 million worldwide after its Telluride film festival premiere.
Ryan had his first co-starring role in writer-director Nat Wolff’s indie drama, Youngest (2020), with Michael Gandolfini, Austin Abrams, Olivia Boreham-Wing, and June Van Patten. Ryan’s third movie with Wes Anderson marked his biggest role yet with the filmmaker in Asteroid City (2023), which starred Schwartzman, Johansson, and Tom Hanks, and opened wide via Focus Features following a successful launch in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.
Jake Ryan was born in 2003, and raised in the suburbs of New York’s Long Island. At age five, he began acting for fun, but by 2011, he found himself cast in feature films. From the second grade onward, Ryan was homeschooled by his parents. At age 15, he studied comedy improv in workshops organized by the Upright Citizens Brigade.
A Loyal Comrade: Jake Ryan has been a close and loyal part of the wider Wes Anderson troupe of actors, not only acting in three of his features, but Anderson directing a 2012 stop-motion animated for Sony which Ryan wrote, but also joining Anderson on the commentary tracks for some of the Criterion Collection’s curated Anderson movies.