Nick Cassavetes was born in New York City, the son of actress Gena Rowlands and Greek-American actor and film director John Cassavetes. As a child, he appeared in two of his father’s films: Husbands (1970) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). After spending so much of his youth surrounded by the film industry, Cassavetes initially decided he did not want to go into the field. He instead attended Syracuse University on a basketball scholarship. His athletic career was effectively ended by an injury, and he decided to rethink his aspirations, ultimately deciding to attend his parents’ alma mater, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. He has appeared in the films, Face/Off (1997), The Wraith (1986), Life (1999), Class of 1999 II: The Substitute (1994), Backstreet Dreams (1990) and The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), among others. He has directed several films, including John Q (2002), Alpha Dog (2006), She’s So Lovely (1997), Unhook the Stars (1996), The Notebook (2004), and My Sister’s Keeper (2009). He also adapted the screenplay for Blow (2001) and wrote the dialogue for the Justin Timberlake music video, “What Goes Around… Comes Around”. In 1985, Cassavetes married Isabelle Rafalovich. They had two daughters together, Virginia Cassavetes (Virginia Sara Cassavetes) (born in 1986) and Sasha Cassavetes (born in 1988), before divorcing. He then married Heather Wahlquist (Heather “Queenie” Wahlquist), who has appeared in several of his films, including a small role in The Notebook (2004) as Sara, a secondary character and best friend to the female lead Allie Hamilton, portrayed by Rachel McAdams. The movie is effectively a family project, as Cassavetes’s own mother, Gena Rowlands, appears as the older, married Allie Calhoun.
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