A charismatic and versatile young actor, WILL ROTHHAAR is already an accomplished Hollywood veteran, having worked steadily in the industry since the age of 4 and amassing over 70 TV and film credits.
This fall, Rothhaar will star in the highly anticipated National Geographic Channel’s television movie “Killing Kennedy” opposite Rob Lowe, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Michelle Trachtenberg. Based on the best-selling book of the same name by political pundit Bill O’Reilly, Rothhaar plays JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in the factual account of the lives of the two men whose fates were inexorably tied on that tragic day in 1963. Trachtenberg plays Oswald’s Russian wife Marina, while Lowe plays President Kennedy and Goodwin stars as Jackie O.
“I was raised on the subject of JFK and the assassination from a very early age. My parents were huge advocates of his, and I was always fascinated by this story,” Rothhaar shares. “History has portrayed Lee as a two-dimensional villain, and director Nelson McCormick and I talked about playing the human side of the man. It’s easy to just see him as a monster. To me, that is not who he is. He is a man who did a monstrous thing. There’s a big difference, and that was sort of what motivated me throughout this entire [filming] process.”
“Killing Kennedy” (trailer can be viewed here) is set to air on November 10th, timed to the 50th anniversary of the tragic event.
Rothhaar recently wrapped shooting a recurring role on the forthcoming CBS series “Reckless.” Starring Cam Gigandet and Anna Wood, the steamy courtroom drama set in Charleston, South Carolina is set to debut in early 2014. Rothhaar can currently be seen starring in the indie film MISSION PARK, about four childhood friends who find themselves on opposite sides of the law when two FBI agents must infiltrate and take down their drug kingpin former friends. The film is currently in theaters and also stars Will Estes, Vivica A. Fox and Sean Patrick Flanery.
Born in New York City to actor parents, Rothhaar made his acting debut at the age of 4 playing ‘Sonny’ in “Cat in a Hot Tin Roof.” Since then, he’s enjoyed a successful career with extensive work in film, television, and theater.
In 1999, at the age of 12, Rothhaar receivedThe Hollywood Reporter’s “Young Star Award (Theater)” for his portrayal of ‘John’ in David Mamet’s “The Cryptogram” at the esteemed Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. At that point in his career, he had already had success in such films as the Farrelly Brother’s KINGPIN and the Michael Keaton Christmas comedy JACK FROST, in addition to a recurring role on TV series “JAG” and guest spots on “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” and “Mad About You” among others.
After more guest-starring roles on shows such as “ER,” “Judging Amy,” and “The Guardian” and film work in HEARTS IN ATLANTIS (opposite Anthony Hopkins), MUST LOVE DOGS (with Diane Lane and John Cusack), and the lead role in the indie KART RACER with Randy Quaid, Rothhaar became a series regular playing Jason Alexander’s son in the sitcom “Listen Up!” He went on to star in several more indie films as well as TV credits that included “Criminal Minds,” “Cold Case,” all three of the “CSI” franchises, “Without a Trace,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “The Mentalist.”
In 2010, Rothhaar starred opposite Aaron Eckhart in the action film BATTLE: LOS ANGELES and continued to do solid TV work on shows such as “Fringe” and “Perception” before recurring on ABC’s naval drama “Last Resort” from creator Shawn Ryan. His other film credits include PRINT, RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH, 16 TO LIFE, and KING OF CALIFORNIA. He is currently attached to the Sony TV/Graham Yost/Michael Dinner aircraft carrier drama “Wild Blue” for FOX.
Named after The Bard himself, acting runs in Rothhaar’s family, as both of his parents are actor/directors. His mother, Nancy Linehan Charles, created a theatre company called “Salty Shakesepeare” that he and his father (Michael Rothhaar) are members of that put on flash mob-style Shakespeare scene productions all over Los Angeles. Last summer, they also did a full production of “Hamlet.” Rothhaar’s other theater credits include “Waiting for Godot” at the Matrix Theater, and Pacific Resident Theater runs of “Macbeth,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Ardele,” “The Visit,” “A Christmas Carol,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He also starred in productions of “The Time of Your Life” and “Wild Boy,” from “Ugly Betty” creator Oliver Goldstick.
Rothhaar attended the prestigious Hamilton Academy of Music in Los Angeles, which counts such actors as Emile Hirsch and Shia LeBeouf as fellow alumni. While in high school, he and some friends formed an Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and West African percussion group and they still play clubs and venues in and around LA. Rothhaar was also a competitive gymnast as a kid, currently practices parkour, is fluent in Spanish, and has been writing poetry since he was young.