To say that Jon Favreau is “successful” is like saying that the Pacific is “a little wet.”
Favreau has a long and complex history in Hollywood that has seen him direct and produce many of today’s top hits. In fact, Favreau’s producer credits with Marvel Cinematic Universe have made him one of the brains behind many of the decade’s most lucrative films.
Today, Favreau’s fame is mostly associated with his MCU experience as well as work with Mandalorianen.
With these action-adventure projects to his name, it’s easy to connect Favreau with the genre.
However, Favreau’s success started much less mainstream and also has its roots embedded in comedy, not action.
Jon Favreau started in front of the cameras
These days, Favreau is best known for his work behind the cameras as a writer, producer and director. But when he first started in Hollywood, it was as an actor.
In the early 1990s, Favreau had some small unnamed parts in movies such as Hoffa and People!, but his breakthrough role was in the 1993s Rudy. From there, he moved on to a guest position Seinfeld as Eric the clown before he saw small but stable roles in the mid-1990s.
In 1996, Favreau got another big break. This time it was both actor and author of the 1996 film Swingers. Favreau played the main character Mike, a hopeful movie star who went through a difficult breakdown. Cast included a young Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingston, who played friends ready to swing in and help him return to the social scene.
The comedy helped propel Favreau to greater fame and also showed his talents beyond just acting. In the late 1990s, there were several acting roles for Favreau including a recurring guest appearance. Friends and the title part of the TV movie Rocky Marciano.
Jon Favreau jumped from comedy to action with MCU
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Before Favreau took over MCU, Favreau had great success leading the 2003 – and now classic – Christmas hit Pixie. While the long-awaited successor was never realized, the gain gave a huge boost to Favreau’s directorial reputation, and he was able to leverage this success for even more projects. In 2008, he got a chance to serve as executive producer and director for Iron Man, one of MCU’s earliest projects.
At the time, no one could have predicted what a juggernaut MCU would become, and Favreau made some experimental risk-taking by bringing in Robert Downey Jr. on and create the franchise for the huge success it would eventually become.
With his reputation and skills growing, Favreau was given even more options, including managing the live-action version of The Jungle Book and then the incredibly beloved adaptation of Lions King.
Education in the Chicago comedy circuit gave Jon Favreau a foundation
Jon Favreau, who is easily one of the most famous and successful directors and producers today, got his start where many Hollywood elites did: in the Comedy Circuit in Chicago.
According to BoomsBeat, Favreau first went to college after his high school diploma in 1984 with a technical focus, but he dropped out as the plan did not go well. He worked as a talk show host on the Independent Film Channel before deciding to move to Chicago and try his hand at comedy in 1988.
Once there, he became involved in several improvisational theaters, including the ImprovOlympic and the Improv Institute. These experiences eventually led him to commercial work and then into his film career.
Chicago has long been known for its rich history of improvisational acting and has served as the launch pad for many Hollywood careers. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert and Joan Rivers can all thank Windy City for their start in the industry, so Jon Favreau joins a great club of fun people who grew their success from humble – and fun – beginnings.