Joe Hansard's film debut was alongside Oscar winner Adolph Caesar in the feature film The Hitter (1978). Not a bad start for the teen from Baltimore, landing a speaking role as "Graveyard Redneck" and getting his SAG card to boot. The acting bug bit around age seven when Joe's mom Caroline brought him to an audition for "King Fluff" laundry detergent.
Some of Hansard's noteworthy roles include portraying "Detective Tuggle" in Steven Soderbergh's The Knick (2014), the lead role as New Jersey fugitive John Schlump in America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back (1988), harried high school teacher "Mr. Matusek" for David Letterman's Worldwide Pants in their debut feature film We Made This Movie (2012), "Joe" in episode five of HBO's Veep (2012), "Tim Womack" in the pilot episode of The Onion News Network (2011) for IFC, and sharing screen time with Kip Pardue and Chris Matthews as "Cosgrove" in Dave Fraunces Below the Beltway (2010),"
HBO tapped Hansard for the pivotal role of "Nathan Levi Boston" on the fifth and final season of David Simon's The Wire (2002) in the "React Quotes" episode. Previously, Barry Levinson cast Joe as "Jimmy Lee Shields" in Simon's sister show Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) for NBC. The "Gone For Goode" pilot episode debuted after the Superbowl and garnered the highest ratings of the series.
A favorite of indie filmmakers, Joe's credits include the Jim Jarmusch Produced feature film Explicit Ills (2008) Directed by Mark Webber, MGM thriller Hit and Run (2009) with Laura Breckenridge, and his role as bumbling ghost hunter "Joe Schmidt" in ParaAbnormal (2009) for The Blair Witch Project (1999) creator Eduardo Sanchez and company.
Equally at home in mainstream media and the independent film scene, Hansard has years of experience as both lead and supporting player. Known for an eclectic screen persona, his characters span the gamut, from hillbillies to the homeless -- a mixed bag of lovable creeps, kooks, cops, etc.
Hansard wrote and directed the award winning comedy short Lost in Transportation (2005), a buddy movie starring close friend and fellow "Wire" alum Frederick Strother. Hansard plays Fred's right hand man, Joe Schlepp, a baggage handler in the Lost and Found department of BWI International Airport. The story is based on Hansard's former real life occupation returning misplaced luggage to irate passengers for BWI and won First Place in the Comedy Category at the 2006 Mid Atlantic Film Festival. It was also featured in Kevin Smith's "Movies Askew" online Film Festival. With screenwriter Paul Freeman, Hansard co-wrote a feature length version, retitled "Lug Nuts," and is now pitching the project as a feature film or TV series to anyone who will listen.