Coming off the recent casting news regarding Bryan Greenberg’s directorial debut Junction — Griffin Dunne, Dascha Polanco, and Ashley Madekwe have joined the cast — it’s about time we take a look at the journey that led up to the actor-turned-filmmaker sitting in the director’s chair for the first time.
Greenberg was born in Omaha, Nebraska before his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he graduated from high school. The Midwest native then moved to New York to attend the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and his first TV credit came with a small role on Law & Order. He continued appearing in other well-known shows, such as The Sopranos, before landing a recurring role on the Warner Bros. series One Tree Hill as Jake Jaglieski. Greenberg worked on the popular teen drama for three seasons, during which he also picked up some film credits. The actor starred in Brian Robbins’ 2004 SAT crime caper The Perfect Score opposite a young Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. Then there was Ben Youngers’ 2005 romantic comedy Prime, in which Greenberg portrayed Uma Thurman’s love interest and Meryl Streep’s son.
The actor kept growing his film resume, playing supporting roles next to Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars and opposite Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in Friends with Benefits. He also starred with Alexis Bledel and Scott Porter in Julio DePietro’s 2009 romantic comedy The Good Guy. Soon after came his breakthrough role as Ben Epstein in HBO’s How to Make It in America, which gained a strong following in its two seasons. After the series wrapped, Greenberg’s TV work continued and was marked by performances as Ben on Hulu’s The Mindy Project and Derek on Prime Video’s The Tick.
As for features, Greenberg began collaborating with his partner in business and in life, Jamie Chung. They appeared together in films such as Stephen Suettinger’s A Year and Change, Emily Ting’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, and Bob Castrone’s Flock of Dudes. The two are working together again on the big screen for Greenberg’s upcoming directorial debut, whose castlist also includes names like Ryan Eggold and fellow One Tree Hill alumnus Sophia Bush. The film will reportedly address the modern-day opioid crisis in the U.S. from the various perspectives of a doctor, a CEO of a pharmaceutical company, and a patient.
Filming on Junction just began on May 1, with Greenberg marking the occasion on his Instagram page, referencing all the firsts that came with filming the inaugural take of the first film he’d ever directed. The new filmmaker is also making his feature writing debut with the project, and Greenberg revealed in another Instagram post that he has been working on it for four years in total. Time will tell how his inaugural writing/directing effort fairs, but in the meantime, we think the perseverance that got Junction off the ground and Greenberg finally into the director’s chair has certainly earned him a place in this filmmaker spotlight.