MICHAEL GOORJIAN is an American actor, filmmaker, and writer. Michael won the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the television movie David’s Mother with Kirstie Alley. He is also well known for his role as Justin, Neve Campbell’s love interest, on the Golden Globe winning series Party of Five, as well as Heroin Bob in the film SLC Punk. He recently starred alongside Robert De Niro in HBO’s Wizard of Lies. As a director, Michael achieved widespread recognition for his first major independent film, Illusion, a film he wrote, directed, and starred in alongside Hollywood-legend Kirk Douglas. As a writer, he has work on dozens of screenplays, and his debut novel What Lies Beyond the Star was recently released worldwide.
Michael’s acting career began at the age of 14 when he audition for a local theatre company thinking it was a “cool way” to skip class. After landing the lead in A “not-so-cool” play called Computer Crazy, Michael soon learned that the rest of the cast were all senior citizens and that he would have to perform the play at his own junior high. Despite this rather humiliating experience, Michael stuck with acting and after four intense years studying theatre at Bishop O’Dowd High School, headed south to study at UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television. Michael’s first big Hollywood break came as a dancer in 1992 when he was cast as Skittery in the Disney film, Newsies, starring Christian Bale and Robert Duvall.
What followed was starring roles in numerous films including Chaplin with Robert Downey Jr., Forever Young with Mel Gibson, Oscar nominated Leaving Las Vegas, Hard Rain with Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater, SLC Punk, The Invisibles with Portia DeRossi , Broken with Heather Graham, and Conversations with God.
Michael has also guest starred in countless television series including Lucifer, Code Black, Covert Affairs, Lie to Me, House, Alias, Monk, CSI, Without a Trace as well as regular roles on Life Goes On as Ray Nelson and Party of Five as Justin Thompson. Never straying far from the stage, Michael is a founding member of the Los Angeles based theater group, Buffalo Nights and starred in Dennis McIntyre’s powerful drama, Modigliani, which won him a L.A. Weekly Theater Award nomination for Best Lead Actor. With the ‘Nights’, Michael also received tremendous critical acclaim for playing title roles in both productions of The Apollo of Bellac by Jean Giraudoux and J.B. by Archibald MacLeish. Michael won an LA Critics Choice and a Garland Backstage West award for his original choreography for the L.A. production of the musical Reefer Madness.
After a short hiatus from Acting, Michael can soon be seen opposite Robert Deniro in HBO’s Wizard of Lies. Michael will also be returning to the stage in Berkeley Repertory Theater’s World premiere of Imaginary Comforts by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket)
With a passion to create thought-provoking films, Michael made his first real foray into directing with the mock-documentary Oakland Underground, a comedy about an underground occult music scene in Oakland, California. From there, Michael made Illusion with Kirk Douglas, which was released theatrically in 2006 after racking up over a dozen festival awards, including Best Screenplay at The Hamptons International Film Festival, Best Feature at the Lake Tahoe International Film Festival and The Audience Award at the Sonoma International Film Festival. With Illusion Michael was critically lauded for his ability to blend great filmmaking with philosophical depth.
Soon after Illusion, Michael began collaborating with the publishing company Hay House to produce and direct a number of films including the documentary You Can Heal Your Life, starring internationally renowned metaphysical author and teacher, Louise L. Hay and The Shift, starring internationally best-selling author Dr. Wayne Dyer, along with Michael Deluise and Portia de Rossi. His most recent work with Hay House is an original film anthology called Tales of Everyday Magic, which explores meaningful philosophical ideas through intimate and intense, character-driven stories. Additional directing credits include the short film Players’ Club which swept the 2006 Elevate Film Festival in Los Angeles, including Best Director, and The War Prayer, an adaptation of Mark Twain’s short story by the same title starring Jeremy Sisto. From time to time, Michael moonlights as a director at a circus/cabaret show in Eastern Europe called Palazzo.
Michael collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola for several years developing, writing and rewriting scripts for the iconic director’s company, American Zoetrope. Michael has also authored the screenplays for nearly all of his own films, including Oakland Underground, Illusion, Tales of Everyday Magic. He wrote the original screenplay for The Mesmerist, starring Neil Patrick Harris, based on the short story, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, by Edgar Allan Poe. As a novelist, his debut work, What Lies Beyond the Star is the first part of a trilogy he was commissioned to write for Hay House Publishing. The second book in the series, Beyond the Fractured Sky is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2018.