The name Erica Schmidt is associated by many with actor Peter Dinklage. The two have been married for years now (since 2005), and they have kept quite a low-profile relationship. Even when they welcomed their two kids together and became a family of four, they chose to live their lives away from the spotlight.
So, most people aren’t aware that Schmidt has an impressive resume in Hollywood, just like her husband.
With that said, how about we get to know her more?
A Playwright & Director
Peter Dinklage is an actor, and she’s a playwright-director. Both of them have been very successful in their respective careers.
Born June 8, 1975, Schmidt studied at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. As per IMDb, she was a member of the comedy group “Laughing Stock,” which competed every weekend with a rival group.
After graduating in 1997, she lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and worked as a costume designer at Juilliard. A year later, she played the title role in Leigh Silverman’s Off-Broadway play Brandon Teena, produced by The Present Company. It ran from December 1, 1998, until January 16, 1999.
In 2001, she received the Robert and Gloria Hausman Theater Honor from the Princess Grace Foundation. The foundation is known for supporting emerging performers like her in the fields of theatre, dance, and film. A year later, she starred in David Pope’s “Miles from Nowhere.”
In 2019, she earned two Drama Desk nominations for her all-female adaptation of Mac Beth – outstanding direction and outstanding revival. It was also nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award.
Two years later, she wrote the screenplay for the romantic drama musical film “Cyrano” based on her 2018 stage musical of the same name. It was directed by Joe Wright and headlined by her husband – who she dished actually begged her for the role.
In an interview with CBS, Dinklage admitted that it was essentially true. He explained that as an actor, he wanted to do something that scared him, and he had never sung since he was a kid.
Additionally, it was an important role for him because handsome actors like Steve Martine, Jose Ferrer, and James Mason had always played Cyrano. However, times have changed, and the idea of a leading man is no longer boxed into a stereotype. It was time to healthily open up the idea of other actors portraying the role.
As he said, “Love life is not the domain of pretty people — everybody has a love life.”
Schmidt’s other directorial credits include The Play Company, which earned her a Callaway Award nomination; chashama, which bagged her a Best Direction award in the New York International Fringe Festival Award; Humor Abuse, which gave her a Lucille Lortel Award; and A Month in the Country, which she worked with Dinklage.
According to Dinklage, the theater is sacred to Schmidt. And she has always been very inspiring and definitely the artist of the family. Him? He was just the TV actor who paid the bills.
Schmidt and Dinklage met at a mutual friend’s house in New York City, and according to the actor, their story started out like a crazy, romantic movie. That is because a circus was in town, walking a long line of elephants in the snow through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel in Manhattan.
Two years later, on April 16, they eloped in Vegas. It was actually a spontaneous decision, as the actor shared with The New York Times in a 2016 interview that he was there for a charity event.
They just decided to do it, though it was a bit lonely. Their only memory of that day was a VHS videocassette they buried in a box so deep that no one would ever see it. They kept the rest of their marriage that way, too – private and away from the limelight.
Though that may be the case, it didn’t mean that Dinklage never talked about her or their relationship. If anything, he couldn’t stop talking and raving about her in his interviews and award acceptance speeches.
In 2018, when he won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role as Tyrion Lannister in the HBO series Game of Thrones, he thanked her for putting up with his temperamental nature. Of course, he said that he loved her. This moment of recognition was very deliberate, as he forgot to do so when he accepted his Emmy in 2015.
Since 2005, their family has grown from two to four. The couple welcomed their first child and daughter together in 2011. Then, their second one arrived six years later. They haven’t shared whether it was a daughter or a son.
All everyone knew was that Schmidt was pregnant when her play All the Fine Boys opened. However, the couple never really confirmed the pregnancy with any news outlet.
They’ve also kept their names a mystery. So, the Internet does what the Internet does, and many guessed quite a few names. One particular guess was that Dinklage named his daughter Zelig after the same name in a 1983 mockumentary by Woody Allen.
Speaking with The New York Times, the actor loved the movie. But he was rather intrigued and confused as to why anyone would name their child after that character. When The Guardian asked him if he wanted to make an on-the-record correction, he only responded, “I don’t care!”
Erica Schmidt is definitely an extraordinary woman, as his husband always described her. She’s a talented, award-winning playwright, a director, a great wife, and an amazing mom of two.