The Transformation Of Zach Braff From 26 To 46 Years Old

Zach Braff, 2020 photo of Oscars party, half smiling

While actor Zach Braff has been out of the spotlight these days, he still remains a favorite of early 2000s fans. That’s because the New Jersey native starred in the long-running comedy “Scrubs,” which ran from 2001 to 2010. The show still resonates with fans today, so much so that during 2020’s COVID-19 lockdown, Braff created a podcast about “Scrubs” with his former costar and current best friend, Donald Faison.

Braff spoke about the podcast and the huge following the TV show has to The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Really, the podcast is the greatest thing that’s happened. We got approached about doing it months before the quarantine. Really, about doing anything ‘Scrubs’ because the fan base is amazing and international.” He also discussed how his friendship with Faison helped inspire the podcast. “I thought, ‘If Donald and I just do it the way we talk on the phone, where we’re sharing anecdotes and we’re laughing and we use the episodes of “Scrubs” as a rough spine to dance around and then just kind of riff, it could work.'”

Apparently, it did work, and fans love reminiscing with the two actors. Braff even shared, “The fact that so many people are enjoying it, it’s given Donald and I both a dose of serotonin. People write these comments like, ‘Oh, this bit of nostalgia is the thing that’s cheering me up.'” Yet Braff is more than just a podcaster. The actor, writer, and director has had a long career in Hollywood, so let’s break it down.

Zach Braff got his big break at age 26 in ‘Scrubs’

Sarah Chalke, smiling, Zach Braff, smiling, 2002 red carpet,

It’s safe to say that Zach Braff is best known for his role as “J.D.” in the medical comedy “Scrubs.” Braff landed the role in the TV series in 2001 when he was around 26-years-old. While Braff had landed roles before, including in the movie “The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy,” it was really “Scrubs” that launched Braff into stardom.

Braff revealed he had to audition for the show twice. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “I wasn’t prepared at all. They sent it out to the producers but I didn’t get a call back and thought that was that. Then I came back to Los Angeles and my agent told me they still hadn’t found the right guy.” He continued, “I assumed hadn’t even noticed me before because I’d done such a bad job. So, why not go in and try again because they won’t even know. This time around, though, I actually read the script and memorized my lines.”

However, “Scrubs” creator Bill Lawrence knew Braff was right for the role. He divulged, “He was instinctively funny and perfect for the role of a young, caring doctor in way over his head because Zach was a young, sensitive actor in way over his head when it came to being the lead of a show.” Braff went on to be nominated for an Emmy award and three Golden Globes awards for his work on the show, which lasted nine seasons.

Zach Braff released ‘Garden State’ at age 29

Zach Braff, promoting

Zach Braff became more than just a lovable TV doctor in 2004, when he starred in, wrote, and directed the hit movie “Garden State.” Braff not only became an indie heartthrob but proved that he could be more than just a sitcom star. According to The Washington Post, the film went on to gross $26.7 million domestically, sold countless DVDs (when those were a thing), and even earned an Independent Spirit Award, as well as a Grammy for its soundtrack. Braff said to the Post in 2014, “I didn’t know that ‘Garden State’ would be this astronomical hit.”

Braff recalled what it was like when his film premiered at Sundance, saying to Bustle in 2016, “I went to the back of the house as the movie started, and I just started crying.” He added, “The word of mouth for ‘Garden State’ was so rampant in that it was the thing everyone was talking about.”

Yet these days, “Garden State” has received some criticism for being “emo” and perpetuating the “manic pixie dream girl” trope. Braff responded to the judgment, saying to Bustle, “I think that manic pixie dream girl has obviously gotten some snark to it, and I understand the critique. But all I can say is I was a 25-year-old guy who was writing what he dreamed would happen: a woman would come along and save him from himself.” He added, “It inspired a trend of certain movies, and people got sick of those types of movies.”

Zach Braff broke up with Mandy Moore at age 31

Zach Braff, at a 2006 red carpet event, smiling, wearing a sweater, hands in his pocket

Between 2004 and 2006, actor Zach Braff was in a high-profile relationship with Hollywood star Mandy Moore. The couple went public with their relationship at the 2006 Golden Globes. At the time, Moore told Cosmopolitan, “I thought people knew we were dating and just knew we were quiet about it. We’d been photographed together before.”

The “This Is Us” star also gushed about her then-boyfriend, saying, “It’s just nice to be with anyone who’s supportive of what you do and proud of you and respects you and respects your work. I feel lucky to be with someone who’s like that.” Unfortunately, the relationship didn’t last through that year, and the two split in late 2006. According to InStyle, Moore called her breakup Braff “icing on a “really bad cake. The burned cake.”

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As for Braff, he remained mum on his love life in 2006, but years later in 2014, he didn’t hold back when discussing that time with Moore. When asked about dating other celebrities, Braff revealed to Howard Stern, “Remember, I did that once before when I dated Mandy Moore and it was not a good — I didn’t like it.” He added, “When you date another famous person, that’s when they really hound you. That’s when the paparazzi are outside your house, and that’s when you can’t ride your bike through Manhattan because they follow you.” Braff apparently changed his mind about dating celebrities, though, as he’s now with another young star, Florence Pugh.

Zach Braff wrote and directed another movie at age 39

Zach Braff, smirking, promoting

About a decade after the success of “Garden State,” Zach Braff wrote and directed another film in which he starred, “Wish I Was Here.” He explained why he waited so long in between movies, telling The Aquarian, “It was just so hard. I tried my best, but I didn’t want to put out a picture that I wouldn’t want to put my name on.” He added, “I didn’t want to let my fans down.”

Braff also explained to Time in 2009 that it was hard to make time for writing films while he was starring on “Scrubs.” He added that it ended up being a reason why he left the show. He revealed, “I really wanted to write and make more films, and I hadn’t had a chance to do that. And also meeting on certain films to direct things I haven’t necessarily written.” He continued, “What I’d really like to do is make another movie because I really enjoyed it.”

While “Wish I Was Here” wasn’t as popular as “Garden State,” it did make headlines for how Braff chose to fund the movie: through a Kickstarter campaign. In fact, Braff received criticism for this method, and he told Screen Daily in 2014 that the backlash was “unfair and uninformed.” He added that he was “completely taken aback” and that it “was not an attempt to make a lot of money,” but “was always meant to be a really fun art experiment.”

At age 45, Zach Braff cared for Nick Cordero’s family

Zach Braff, smirking, stubbly facial hair, longer hair, standing next to Nick Cordero, who's also smiling, 2019 photo

Besides being a respected actor, director and writer, Zach Braff is also an incredible friend. In 2020, he helped support Broadway star Nick Cordero and his family, as Cordero fought COVID-19 in the hospital. At the time, Braff told The Hollywood Reporter, “One of my best friends in the world, Nick Cordero, and his wife and baby have been living in my guest house for seven months as they were house-shopping in L.A. to make the move out here.”

Cordero died from COVID-19 complications that same year, but Braff will always stay true to a promise he made him. He revealed to People, “He said, ‘Please look out for Amanda [Kloots] and Elvis. And I promised that I’m going to do that for the rest of my life.” Kloots praised Braff on her Instagram, writing in a post, “During Nicks hospital battle he even welcomed my family into that home so Elvis and I weren’t alone. The love and friendship runs deep between us.”

These days, Braff is making headlines for his relationship with “Little Women” star Florence Pugh, who is 21 years younger than him. In 2020, Pugh posted an Instagram video defending their relationship where she said, “I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love.” As for Braff, his fans appear to love him as well and have stayed loyal to him by continuing to watch his indie films and, of course, reruns of “Scrubs.”

The Transformation Of Zach Braff From 26 To 46 Years Old

Zach Braff, 2020 photo of Oscars party, half smiling

While actor Zach Braff has been out of the spotlight these days, he still remains a favorite of early 2000s fans. That’s because the New Jersey native starred in the long-running comedy “Scrubs,” which ran from 2001 to 2010. The show still resonates with fans today, so much so that during 2020’s COVID-19 lockdown, Braff created a podcast about “Scrubs” with his former costar and current best friend, Donald Faison.

Braff spoke about the podcast and the huge following the TV show has to The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Really, the podcast is the greatest thing that’s happened. We got approached about doing it months before the quarantine. Really, about doing anything ‘Scrubs’ because the fan base is amazing and international.” He also discussed how his friendship with Faison helped inspire the podcast. “I thought, ‘If Donald and I just do it the way we talk on the phone, where we’re sharing anecdotes and we’re laughing and we use the episodes of “Scrubs” as a rough spine to dance around and then just kind of riff, it could work.'”

Apparently, it did work, and fans love reminiscing with the two actors. Braff even shared, “The fact that so many people are enjoying it, it’s given Donald and I both a dose of serotonin. People write these comments like, ‘Oh, this bit of nostalgia is the thing that’s cheering me up.'” Yet Braff is more than just a podcaster. The actor, writer, and director has had a long career in Hollywood, so let’s break it down.

Zach Braff got his big break at age 26 in ‘Scrubs’

Sarah Chalke, smiling, Zach Braff, smiling, 2002 red carpet,

It’s safe to say that Zach Braff is best known for his role as “J.D.” in the medical comedy “Scrubs.” Braff landed the role in the TV series in 2001 when he was around 26-years-old. While Braff had landed roles before, including in the movie “The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy,” it was really “Scrubs” that launched Braff into stardom.

Braff revealed he had to audition for the show twice. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “I wasn’t prepared at all. They sent it out to the producers but I didn’t get a call back and thought that was that. Then I came back to Los Angeles and my agent told me they still hadn’t found the right guy.” He continued, “I assumed hadn’t even noticed me before because I’d done such a bad job. So, why not go in and try again because they won’t even know. This time around, though, I actually read the script and memorized my lines.”

However, “Scrubs” creator Bill Lawrence knew Braff was right for the role. He divulged, “He was instinctively funny and perfect for the role of a young, caring doctor in way over his head because Zach was a young, sensitive actor in way over his head when it came to being the lead of a show.” Braff went on to be nominated for an Emmy award and three Golden Globes awards for his work on the show, which lasted nine seasons.

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Zach Braff released ‘Garden State’ at age 29

Zach Braff, promoting

Zach Braff became more than just a lovable TV doctor in 2004, when he starred in, wrote, and directed the hit movie “Garden State.” Braff not only became an indie heartthrob but proved that he could be more than just a sitcom star. According to The Washington Post, the film went on to gross $26.7 million domestically, sold countless DVDs (when those were a thing), and even earned an Independent Spirit Award, as well as a Grammy for its soundtrack. Braff said to the Post in 2014, “I didn’t know that ‘Garden State’ would be this astronomical hit.”

Braff recalled what it was like when his film premiered at Sundance, saying to Bustle in 2016, “I went to the back of the house as the movie started, and I just started crying.” He added, “The word of mouth for ‘Garden State’ was so rampant in that it was the thing everyone was talking about.”

Yet these days, “Garden State” has received some criticism for being “emo” and perpetuating the “manic pixie dream girl” trope. Braff responded to the judgment, saying to Bustle, “I think that manic pixie dream girl has obviously gotten some snark to it, and I understand the critique. But all I can say is I was a 25-year-old guy who was writing what he dreamed would happen: a woman would come along and save him from himself.” He added, “It inspired a trend of certain movies, and people got sick of those types of movies.”

Zach Braff broke up with Mandy Moore at age 31

Zach Braff, at a 2006 red carpet event, smiling, wearing a sweater, hands in his pocket

Between 2004 and 2006, actor Zach Braff was in a high-profile relationship with Hollywood star Mandy Moore. The couple went public with their relationship at the 2006 Golden Globes. At the time, Moore told Cosmopolitan, “I thought people knew we were dating and just knew we were quiet about it. We’d been photographed together before.”

The “This Is Us” star also gushed about her then-boyfriend, saying, “It’s just nice to be with anyone who’s supportive of what you do and proud of you and respects you and respects your work. I feel lucky to be with someone who’s like that.” Unfortunately, the relationship didn’t last through that year, and the two split in late 2006. According to InStyle, Moore called her breakup Braff “icing on a “really bad cake. The burned cake.”

As for Braff, he remained mum on his love life in 2006, but years later in 2014, he didn’t hold back when discussing that time with Moore. When asked about dating other celebrities, Braff revealed to Howard Stern, “Remember, I did that once before when I dated Mandy Moore and it was not a good — I didn’t like it.” He added, “When you date another famous person, that’s when they really hound you. That’s when the paparazzi are outside your house, and that’s when you can’t ride your bike through Manhattan because they follow you.” Braff apparently changed his mind about dating celebrities, though, as he’s now with another young star, Florence Pugh.

Zach Braff wrote and directed another movie at age 39

Zach Braff, smirking, promoting

About a decade after the success of “Garden State,” Zach Braff wrote and directed another film in which he starred, “Wish I Was Here.” He explained why he waited so long in between movies, telling The Aquarian, “It was just so hard. I tried my best, but I didn’t want to put out a picture that I wouldn’t want to put my name on.” He added, “I didn’t want to let my fans down.”

Braff also explained to Time in 2009 that it was hard to make time for writing films while he was starring on “Scrubs.” He added that it ended up being a reason why he left the show. He revealed, “I really wanted to write and make more films, and I hadn’t had a chance to do that. And also meeting on certain films to direct things I haven’t necessarily written.” He continued, “What I’d really like to do is make another movie because I really enjoyed it.”

While “Wish I Was Here” wasn’t as popular as “Garden State,” it did make headlines for how Braff chose to fund the movie: through a Kickstarter campaign. In fact, Braff received criticism for this method, and he told Screen Daily in 2014 that the backlash was “unfair and uninformed.” He added that he was “completely taken aback” and that it “was not an attempt to make a lot of money,” but “was always meant to be a really fun art experiment.”

At age 45, Zach Braff cared for Nick Cordero’s family

Zach Braff, smirking, stubbly facial hair, longer hair, standing next to Nick Cordero, who's also smiling, 2019 photo

Besides being a respected actor, director and writer, Zach Braff is also an incredible friend. In 2020, he helped support Broadway star Nick Cordero and his family, as Cordero fought COVID-19 in the hospital. At the time, Braff told The Hollywood Reporter, “One of my best friends in the world, Nick Cordero, and his wife and baby have been living in my guest house for seven months as they were house-shopping in L.A. to make the move out here.”

Cordero died from COVID-19 complications that same year, but Braff will always stay true to a promise he made him. He revealed to People, “He said, ‘Please look out for Amanda [Kloots] and Elvis. And I promised that I’m going to do that for the rest of my life.” Kloots praised Braff on her Instagram, writing in a post, “During Nicks hospital battle he even welcomed my family into that home so Elvis and I weren’t alone. The love and friendship runs deep between us.”

These days, Braff is making headlines for his relationship with “Little Women” star Florence Pugh, who is 21 years younger than him. In 2020, Pugh posted an Instagram video defending their relationship where she said, “I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love.” As for Braff, his fans appear to love him as well and have stayed loyal to him by continuing to watch his indie films and, of course, reruns of “Scrubs.”

Why Hollywood Won’t Cast Zach Braff Anymore

Braff was one of the most successful—and definitive—stars of the 2000s. From 2001 to 2009 he starred on NBC’s acclaimed comedy/drama Scrubs as young doctor John Dorian, for which he earned an Emmy nomination. In 2004, Braff made a big splash as a writer-director with the drama Garden State. (He also selected its popular indie-rock soundtrack.) Braff has kept working ever since Scrubs left the air, on both TV and in movies, but we still don’t see him as much as we used to. Here’s why Braff hasn’t been gracing screens as often as he once did.

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His leading man roles haven’t been in financially successful films

While actors like George Clooney (ER) or John Travolta (Welcome Back, Kotter) jump from a hit TV show to silver screen success, that path wasn’t in the cards for Braff. During Scrubs‘ long run, Braff starred in two major motion pictures. The first was The Last Kiss in 2006, which Braff picked because DreamWorks supposedly promised him he could rewrite the script, which he says never happened. It didn’t recoup production costs. A year later, Braff starred in the comedy The Ex, which made only $3 million domestically. Braff’s next big starring role was in the dark indie drama The High Cost of Living, which was released straight-to-VOD.

His movies keep falling apart

Braff isn’t ready to give up movies. In 2009, it was reported that Braff would star with Cameron Diaz in Paramount’s romantic comedy Swingles. Braff was also going to direct the movie, in which he plays a newly single guy who recruits a wingwoman (Diaz) rather than a wingman. (Presumably, they fall in love.) Two years later, the movie hadn’t been made and Braff was shopping the idea around to other producers. Another Braff movie-to-be is an English-language remake of the 2002 Danish film Elsker dig for evigt, or Open Hearts. At one point, Sean Penn agreed to star, but then the lead actress withdrew while Braff was scouting filming locations. And then the whole thing fell through.

He’s been doing a lot of theater

Braff may not be on that many screens anymore, but maybe that’s because he’s busy writing and acting on stage. In 2011, his play All New People premiered in New York. About a man (Justin Bartha) trying to commit suicide only to be repeatedly interrupted by his friends (Anna Camp, Krysten Ritter) stopping by, the New York Times called it “slick and slight but lively” and said it boasted “a bleak comic panache.” After New York, All New People was staged in Scotland and on London’s West End. In 2014, Braff starred for four months in the Broadway musical adaptation of Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway.

The huge mess of ‘Wish I Was Here’

To follow up Garden State, Braff went to . Kickstarter. He’d initially gone through the standard channels to get the sensitive family dramedy Wish I Was Here made, but financiers wouldn’t give him final cut on the movie. So in 2013 he asked for $2 million on Kickstarter and received a thrashing in the court of public opinion for not using his own money. Still, more than 46,000 backers put money into the project, raising a whopping $3.1 million. Screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Wish I Was Here landed a $2.75 million distribution deal with Focus Features. Soon thereafter, Braff vowed to never use crowdfunding again.

He’s busy helping other people make their movies

Braff is credited as an executive producer on the 2014 Kickstarter-funded hacktivism documentary The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, simply because he donated so much money to the project—which launched on Kickstarter the same day as Wish I Was Here. Braff also donated enough to be an executive producer on the Kickstarter-funded Video Games: The Movie. And about a decade ago, Braff set up a grant for filmmakers at his alma mater, Northwestern University. Recipients of the $5,000 Braff Grants are awarded to film students to make their own five- to eight-minute movies, along with some consultation time with Braff himself. (He even helps read screenplay submissions to decide which students get the grants.)

He doesn’t need to work

Braff was earning $350,000 an episode for Scrubs toward the end of its run, making him one of the highest paid actors on primetime TV at the time. (Which is to say nothing of his cut of the fortune generated by Scrubs reruns on networks and streaming services.) In other words, Scrubs made Braff very rich. So rich that he really doesn’t have to work on movies or TV shows if he doesn’t want to. “Scrubs put me in a position where I could say no,” he says.

He’s doing for-hire director work now

In 2017, Braff returned to the director’s chair on a major motion picture. Only this time, it was as a hired gun—he didn’t write this one. Going in Style, penned by Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures screenwriter Theodore Melfi, is a heist comedy about a group of cash-strapped senior citizens who rob the bank that stole their money through financial malfeasance. A remake of a 1979 movie, it stars Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin. While the trailer and all-star cast suggested a lot of potential, it was met with mixed reviews.

He’s staging a comeback

Braff has been working to get back on TV, but it hasn’t been an easy road. In 2008, he directed a potential drama called Night Life, written by his brother Adam. Four years later, he sold a concept to ABC called Garage Bar, a comedy about what happens to a group of old friends when one becomes a successful musician. In 2015, MTV ultimately passed on the Braff-directed darkly comic murder mystery Self Promotion. Still, Braff kept digging.

In early 2017, ABC ordered a pilot for the comedy Start-Up, in which Braff stars as a guy who starts his own business. Now retitled Alex, Inc., ABC has picked up the pilot with a series order. With this return to television (and ABC), this will be Braff’s first steady TV gig since leaving Scrubs in 2009.

Early reactions to the trailer suggest Alex, Inc. could be “another winning formula” for Braff, while others suggest that the series’ biggest hurdle is Braff himself. TV Line‘s Kimberly Roots’ reaction to the trailer was, “Holy Garden State, this looks right up my alley.” Ryan Schwartz, on the other hand, isn’t quite sold. “Looks charming enough, but I’m confused: Is this supposed to be a workplace sitcom? A family comedy with workplace elements? I’ll give Zach Braff & Co. a few episodes to figure it out.”

Only time will tell if Alex, Inc. really is the one that finally gets Braff back in the game.

Source https://www.nickiswift.com/433407/the-transformation-of-zach-braff-from-26-to-46-years-old/

Source https://www.nickiswift.com/433407/the-transformation-of-zach-braff-from-26-to-46-years-old/

Source https://www.looper.com/47695/hollywood-wont-cast-zach-braff-anymore/

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