Amanda Peet (born January 11, 1972) is an American actress.
After studying with Uta Hagen, Peet began her career in television commercials, and progressed to small roles in television and indie movies. Featured roles in films such as The Whole Nine Yards (2000) brought her recognition and she was named one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World". Her subsequent film roles were more prominent, and included Something's Gotta Give (2003) and Syriana (2005).
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. She has one older sister, Alisa Peet, who is a doctor of internal medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. 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.
Peet's first screen performance was a television commercial for Skittles. Her early roles included a guest role on the television series Law & Order. She made her film debut in Animal Room (1995). Peet maintained a steady acting career in relatively obscure indie movies.
Her first major role was as "Jack" in the 1999 WB network series Jack & Jill (which aired for two seasons). She also appeared in the eighth-season finale of Seinfeld ("The Summer of George") as a waitress whom Jerry Seinfeld meets. Peet's first role in a widely-released feature film came in 2000, with The Whole Nine Yards, starring with Bruce Willis. That same year, she was voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine. Peet was also in the movie Saving Silverman with Jason Biggs, Jack Black and Steve Zahn, where she portrayed psychologist Judith. She also starred in Something's Gotta Give in 2003, playing Diane Keaton's daughter, and, at one point, Jack Nicholson's girlfriend.
In 2005, Peet appeared in the play This Is How It Goes, filling in for Marisa Tomei at the last minute after six days of rehearsal. In the same year, she also co-starred in the films Syriana alongside Matt Damon and George Clooney, and A Lot Like Love, with Ashton Kutcher. In February 2006, she was performing in Neil Simon's Broadway production of Barefoot in the Park.
Peet was a member of the cast of the television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which premiered on NBC on September 18, 2006. She starred with Matthew Perry, with whom she worked in The Whole Nine Yards and The Whole Ten Yards, and Sarah Paulson, with whom she co-starred in Jack & Jill. In Studio 60, Peet's character Jordan McDeere was the newly-appointed president of the National Broadcasting System (NBS). In 2006, she also starred along with Dermot Mulroney in Griffin and Phoenix, where she played a terminally-ill woman living life to the fullest.
In 2007's The Ex, a comedy co-starring Zach Braff, Peet played an attorney who stays home to raise a new baby. In 2008, Peet went on to play an FBI agent in The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
In 2009, Peet will star as Kate in 2012, a disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich set for release on November 13.
Peet married screenwriter David Benioff on September 30, 2006, in New York City and gave birth to a daughter, Frances Pen, on February 20, 2007. The three live in Manhattan and Los Angeles. She was also maid of honor at Lauren Holly's marriage in 2001 with Francis Greco.
In 2008 Peet volunteered to be a spokeswoman for Every Child By Two (ECBT), a non-profit organization which advocates childhood vaccination. Peet began working with the group after becoming concerned by the "amount of misinformation floating around [about vaccines], particularly in Hollywood." In an interview with Cookie, Peet stated: "Frankly, I feel that parents who don't vaccinate their children are parasites," referring to the benefit unvaccinated children derive from herd immunity and the concern that dropping vaccination rates may put all children at increased risk of preventable disease. Peet's comments stirred controversy; in response, she apologized for using the term "parasites", but affirmed her position on the importance and safety of vaccination.