This grandson of acclaimed Italian sculptor Constantino Nivola began his acting career while still an undergraduate at Yale, landing the plum leading role in a Seattle production of Athol Fugard's "Master Harold. .. and the Boys." After college, Alessandro Nivola became a rising stage star thanks to his work in regional theater and his 1995 Broadway debut as the young lover of Helen Mirren in "A Month in the Country." Inevitably, film and television roles were offered; the handsome, light-haired actor appeared in the 1996 NBC miniseries "Danielle Steel's 'The Ring'" and landed his first film role as Joanna Going's preppy husband in "Inventing the Abbotts" before landing his breakthrough part as Nicolas Cage's paranoid schizophrenic brother in John Woo's "Face/Off" (both 1997). Nivola adopted a flawless British accent to play a mystery man from Rachel Weisz's past in "I Want You" (1998), directed by Michael Winterbottom. The chameleonic actor continued to add to his gallery of characters appearing in the thriller "Best Laid Plans" and again as an Englishman in Patricia Rozema's screen version of yet another Jane Austen novel "Mansfield Park" (both 1999).