Brian Geraghty was born in 1975 (some sources cite 1974) and raised in the coastal town of Toms River, NJ. While growing up, he was intensely interested in surfing, though acting held a secret appeal to him. After high school graduation in 1993, he stuck around town waiting tables and doing odd jobs until his calling came to him in the form of "Dead Man Walking" (1995). After watching the film, Geraghty decided to follow in the footsteps of fellow surfer and Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn. He enrolled in the two-year conservatory program at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, making his acting debut on "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007) as a lackey who gets shot in the foot by Michael Imperioli (a reference to Imperioli's memorable scene in Martin Scorsese's 1990 classic "Goodfellas"). It was just the nudge Geraghty needed to land more spots on shows like "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010) and commercials for FedEx and Pizza Hut.
Commercial work continued to keep the aspiring actor onscreen when he moved to Los Angeles. He auditioned for film roles while working as a surf instructor, and managed to rack up a few small parts in independent films but did not get the chance to shine until Sam Mendes' "Jarhead." Playing a Marine-in-training alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Jamie Foxx, Geraghty shared a memorable onscreen fight scene with Gyllenhaal, during which Geraghty inadvertently knocked out of one Gyllenhaal's teeth, causing some tension for the duration of the shooting. His phone began ringing off the hook after "Jarhead," and within a year, he had landed roles in a number of high-profile projects. Terry Zwigoff's comic book-based "Art School Confidential" (2006) was a critical hit and a solid earner in indie film houses, while Bobby (2006), Emilio Estevez's ensemble film about the hours leading up to RFK's assassination at the Ambassador Hotel , featured Geraghty playing a young Kennedy campaign worker. While not a box office success, "Bobby" went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Film.
After a small role in the remake of the 1979 horror film When a Stranger Calls (2006), Geraghty put all those years spent in the ocean to good use alongside Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner with his role as a Coast Guard rescuer in the critical dud, "The Guardian." Geraghty rounded out the fruitful year playing one of the few college football players who survive a plane crash that all but wipes out their team in "We Are Marshall," which was based on a true story, though Geraghty's character was made up. A supporting role in the multiple Raspberry Award-winning horror film I Know Who Killed Me (2007), starring Lindsay Lohan, did little to advance Geraghty's career, nor did his co-starring role in the straight-to-video thriller Love Lies Bleeding (), starring Christian Slater.
The following year, however, Geraghty caught a break when he was cast in a starring role in The Hurt Locker (2009), Kathryn Bigelow's highly acclaimed Iraq War drama based on the true story of an elite U.S. Army bomb squad stationed in Baghdad. The same time that film - which would go on to win the 2010 Academy Award for Best Picture - was wowing international film festival audiences, Geraghty was also on festival screens starring in the character-based drama Easier with Practice (2010), about a young novelist on a road trip.
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