Bill Sage landed his first movie roles during the late 1980s and early 1990s, around the same time that American independent film was becoming widely popular. Many of his earliest collaborations were with idiosyncratic auteur Hal Hartley, who like Sage was an alumnus of State University of New York at Purchase, including the films "The Unbelievable Truth" (1989), "Trust" (1990), and "Simple Men" (1992), in which he played a recent college graduate who reunites with his brother and sets out to find their father, who has unexpectedly escaped from the hospital. This indie breakthrough was followed by more roles for Hartley with other non-mainstream filmmakers including Mary Harron, Lisa Cholodenko, and Mira Nair. By the end of the '90s, Sage was guest-starring on popular television series such as "Sex and the City" (HBO 1998-2004) and "Melrose Place" (Fox 1992-99), and his film career would soon include playing an FBI agent in the drama "Boiler Room" (2000) and a small part in Harron's adaptation of "American Psycho" (2000). This led to being cast in Gregg Araki's "Mysterious Skin" (2004) as a sexually-abusive baseball coach, and a few years later in the Oscar-nominated "Precious" (2009) which also dealt with child abuse. During this time, Sage continued to alternate between film and television work. The sci-fi movie "The Scientist" (2010) offered him a rare opportunity to play a leading man, while he also enjoyed recurring roles on the series "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime 2009-2015) and "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO 2010-14). Other leading roles in the horror film "We Are What We Are" (2013) and "The Blackout" (2014) were followed by a reunion with Hartley for "Ned Rifle" (2015), the conclusion of the trilogy started by "Henry Fool" (1996). He returned to television with a co-starring role in gritty thriller "Hap and Leonard" (Sundance 2016- ).