Amanda Peet (born January 11, 1972) is an American actress, who has appeared on film, stage, and television. After studying with Uta Hagen at Columbia University, Peet began her career in television commercials, and progressed to small roles on television, before making her film debut in 1995. Featured roles in films such as the 2000 comedy film The Whole Nine Yards brought her to a much wider recognition.She has appeared in a variety of films, including the 2003 horror film Identity, the 2005 action-thriller Syriana, the 2006 comedy-drama Griffin & Phoenix, the 2007 romantic comedy The Ex, the 2008 science fiction film The X-Files: I Want to Believe and the 2009 disaster adventure drama 2012. She has also appeared in the 1999 drama series Jack & Jill and the 2006 drama series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Amanda Peet was born in New York City, the daughter of Penny (née Levy), a social worker, and Charles Peet, a corporate lawyer. The two are now divorced. Her father is a Quaker and her mother is Jewish. Peet attended Friends Seminary, then studied history at and graduated from Columbia University,where she auditioned for acting teacher Uta Hagen and decided to become an actress after taking Hagen's class. During her four-year period of study with Hagen, Peet appeared in the off-Broadway revival of Clifford Odets's Awake and Sing with Stephen Lang.Peet's first screen performance was in a television commercial for Skittles. Her early roles included a guest role on the television series Law & Order episode "Hot Pursuit",playing a character similar to Patty Hearst. She made her film debut in the drama film Animal Room (1995), which was starring Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Lillard. For much of the late 1990s, Peet maintained a steady acting career in relatively obscure independent films. Her next feature film was One Fine Day. The film was released in late 1996, and she co-appeared with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer. Also that year, she portrayed a supporting role in the romantic comedy film She's the One, opposite Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz.
After several small and supporting roles in 1998's Origin of the Species, Southie and Playing by Heart, Peet had her first major role as "Jack" in the 1999 WB network series Jack & Jill (which aired for two seasons). Her character was played by Amelia Heinle in the pilot. However, Heinle was replaced by Peet after the series was picked up. She also appeared in the eighth-season finale of Seinfeld ("The Summer of George") as a waitress whom Jerry Seinfeld meets. In 1999, Peet was cast opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in the fantasy romantic comedy Simply Irresistible. Her character in the film was Chris, the former girlfriend of Sean Patrick Flanery's character, Tom.Peet had a supporting role in the biographical film Isn't She Great, in which she appeared with Bette Midler and Nathan Lane. The film was released in January 2000. Peet's first role in a widely-released feature film came in 2000, with the mafia comedy film The Whole Nine Yards, starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry. She portrayed the character of Jill St. Claire, who had a nude scene in the film. The film received several favorable reviews from critics and was a big hit at the worldwide box office, with a $106,371,651 gross. Critic Roger Ebert called Peet's performance "Perfect" because "it exactly matches what is required, and then adds a level of heedless glee." She received a nomination for the "Favorite Supporting Actress: Comedy" award at the 2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards and for the "Choice Film Liar" award at the 2000 Teen Choice Awards. That same year, landed the starring role, Mia, in the independent film Whipped, won the Young Hollywood Award at the category of "Best New Style Maker", and was voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine.Peet appeared, playing a psychologist and romantic interest of Jason Biggs's character in the American comedy Saving Silverman (2001). The film was largely panned by critics,but had a minor box office success grossing over $26 million worldwide. Jack Black and Steve Zahn also co-starred in the film. Later, she appeared as Rachel in the 2002 American comedy-drama film Igby Goes Down. In an interview, she explained her character in the film: "She's not very successful at it and she certainly doesn't seduce the right things" and "She seduces all the wrong things and is seduced by all the wrong things, as well."Peet portrayed a supporting role in the thriller film Changing Lanes (2002) as Ben Affleck's wife. In 2003, Peet co-starred with Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Keanu Reeves in the romantic comedy Something's Gotta Give, directed by Nancy Meyers. Her role was Marin Barry, the daughter of Keaton's character, who is a 29-year-old auctioneer, working for Christie's. The film was a commercial and critical success and was nominated for and won several awards. Peet appeared in the 2003 horror and psychological thriller film Identity. She played the role of Paris Nevada, a Las Vegas prostitute who is killed by Timmy (played by Bret Loehr) at the end of the movie. Identity afforded her the chance to work with such actors as John Cusack, Ray Liotta and John Hawkes. The film was a modest box office success worldwide however received much critical acclaim. The following year, she starred in The Whole Ten Yards, the sequel to The Whole Nine Yards. The film was not well received by critics and audience.