James Ransone

James Ransone's life reads like a more adult Lifetime movie-of-the-week, or a slightly older version of Jim Carroll's "The Basketball Diaries. " A sensitive, creative kid from Baltimore, Ransone (who goes by the ... Read more »
Born: 06/01/1979 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA


Actor (34)

In a Valley of Violence 2015 (Movie)

Gilly (Actor)

Sinister 2 2015 (Movie)

Ex-­Deputy So & So (Actor)

Tangerine 2015 (Movie)

Chester (Actor)

Mr. Right 2014 (Movie)


Broken City 2013 (Movie)

Todd Lancaster (Actor)

Low Winter Sun 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)


Oldboy 2013 (Movie)

Dr. Tom Melby (Actor)

Red Hook Summer 2012 (Movie)

Kevin (Actor)

Sinister 2012 (Movie)

Deputy (Actor)

Starlet 2012 (Movie)

Mikey (Actor)

The Man Who Came Out Only at Night 2012 (Movie)


Tremé 2011 - 2012 (Tv Show)


Hawaii Five-O 2011 (Tv Show)


How to Make it in America 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)


The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll 2011 (Movie)

Chip Genson (Actor)

The Son of No One 2011 (Movie)

Officer Thomas Prudenti (Actor)

Burn Notice 2010 (Tv Show)


The Next Three Days 2010 (Movie)

Harv (Actor)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2009 (Tv Show)


Generation Kill 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)


Prom Night 2008 (Movie)

Detective Nash (Actor)

Downtown: A Street Tale 2007 (Movie)

Billy (Actor)

Jericho 2007 (Tv Show)


Inside Man 2006 (Movie)

Steve-O (Actor)

Law & Order 2001, 2006 (Tv Show)


Love Monkey 2006 (Tv Show)


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2005 (Tv Show)


Malachance 2004 (Movie)

Mika (Actor)

The Good Humor Man 2004 (Movie)

Junebug (Actor)

The Wire 2002 - 2003 (Tv Show)


Ed 2002 (Tv Show)


Ken Park 2002 (Movie)

Tate (Actor)

Third Watch 2002 (Tv Show)


The American Astronaut 2001 (Movie)

Bodysuit (Actor)


James Ransone's life reads like a more adult Lifetime movie-of-the-week, or a slightly older version of Jim Carroll's "The Basketball Diaries. " A sensitive, creative kid from Baltimore, Ransone (who goes by the nickname PJ) played in several Fugazi-inspired punk bands and started acting with early roles in indie films such as the sci-fi musical "The American Astronaut" (2001) and Harmony Korine's controversial "Ken Park" (2002). Ransone's intense demeanor, wiry energy and native Bawl'more accent led to his casting as the hot-headed Ziggy Sobotka in the second season of "The Wire" (HBO, 2002-08). After leaving the critically-acclaimed but low-rated series, he landed supporting roles as a dirt-obsessed sex addict in John Waters' "A Dirty Shame" (2004) and a desperate criminal in Spike Lee's "Inside Man" (2006). Although Ransone's professional career was on an upward trajectory, personally his life was going down the drain; he developed a sizable heroin addiction after moving to New York City, and eventually realized the only way to quit would be to do something even crazier. So he teamed up with David Simon and Ed Burns, creator and head writer of "The Wire," respectively, and moved to Namibia for eight months to make "Generation Kill" (HBO, 2008), a mini-series based on a Rolling Stone reporter's first-hand account of the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. His next few roles were considerably less dangerous, but no less compelling; among them were a tattooed farmer/fashion designer in HBO's "How To Make It in America" (2010-2011), and a stoner NYC transplant in Simon's "Treme" (HBO, 2010- ). With back-to-back roles in the semi-autobiographical "Red Hook Summer" (2012) and "Oldboy" (2013), the no-B.S. actor officially became a member of the Spike Lee Players. Ransone is all cleaned up, dressed up, and ready to go.



Reunited with Spike Lee in "Red Hook Summer"


Appeared in a supporting role on "Treme"


Landed a supporting role on HBO's "How to Make it in America"


Featured as a Marine corporel on HBO's "Generation Kill"


Cast in Spike Lee's "Inside Man"


Portrayed Ziggy Sobotka on HBO's "The Wire"


Cast in Harmony Korine's "Ken Park"


Made his TV debut in "The American Astronaut"

Bonus Trivia


Kicked his heroin habit by joining the cast of David Simon's HBO mini-series "Generation Kill" and moving to Namibia for eight months.


"It was just good for me to not be caught up in New York City in my day-to-day life. It really helped me a lot to grow and change, being around that much nature on a daily basis, in the most Henry David Thoreau kind of way." - from The Guardian, Sep. 25, 2009


In 2006, he saved his neighbor from a rapist outside their Lower East Side apartment.


Was just 22 when he was cast as Ziggy Sobotka on "The Wire."


"Any new country I go, I realize the less I know, and the luckier I feel." - from EntertainmentWeekly.com, Nov. 5, 2012


Has appeared in three Spike Lee movies: "Inside Man," "Red Hook Summer" and "Oldboy."