Alexander Payne

Director, Screenwriter
Throughout his critically acclaimed career, writer-director Alexander Payne showed a remarkably poignant vision with his films, in which the often quirky set-up was merely a launching point for a seriocomic exploration ... Read more »
Born: 02/10/1961 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Filmography

Producer (12)

Wilson 2017 (Movie)

(Producer)

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter 2015 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

L Train 2014 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Thirteenth Grade 2014 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Cedar Rapids 2011 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Descendants 2011 (Movie)

(Producer)

Gray Matters 2007 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

King of California 2007 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Savages 2007 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Assassination of Richard Nixon 2004 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Willie Nelson The Big Six-O: An All-Star Birthday Celebration 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Segment Producer

The Passion of Martin 1991 (Movie)

(Producer)
Director (10)

Downsizing 2017 (Movie)

(Director)

Nebraska 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

Hung 2008 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Director

The Descendants 2011 (Movie)

(Director)

Paris, I Love You 2007 (Movie)

("14th Arrondissement") (Director)

Sideways 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

About Schmidt 2002 (Movie)

(Director)

Election 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Citizen Ruth 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

The Passion of Martin 1991 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (10)

Downsizing 2017 (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

The Descendants 2011 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry 2007 (Movie)

(current rewrite) (Screenplay)

Paris, I Love You 2007 (Movie)

("14th Arrondissement") (Screenplay)

Sideways 2004 (Movie)

(Adaptation) (Screenplay)

About Schmidt 2002 (Movie)

(Adaptation) (Screenplay)

Jurassic Park III 2001 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Election 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Citizen Ruth 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Passion of Martin 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Actor (4)

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

Turn Ben Stein On 1999 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

15th Annual IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Performer
Editor (1)

The Passion of Martin 1991 (Movie)

(Editor)
Music (1)

Citizen Ruth 1996 (Movie)

lyrics and music("The Joyful Song") (Music)
Sound (1)

The Passion of Martin 1991 (Movie)

(Sound)
Other (1)

Committed 2000 (Movie)

(Special Thanks)

Biography

Throughout his critically acclaimed career, writer-director Alexander Payne showed a remarkably poignant vision with his films, in which the often quirky set-up was merely a launching point for a seriocomic exploration into human foibles. With "Citizen Ruth" (1996), Payne examined the gravely serious issue of reproductive rights, an unlikely subject for what turned out to be an adroit satire that managed to both present and rankle both sides of the issue. For his next film, "Election" (1999), he used a seemingly inconsequential high school presidential race to plumb the darkest recesses of our mutable human nature. Then there was "About Schmidt" (2002), which used a cross country journey to depict an anchorless average man trying to make sense of his life. But Payne - alongside longtime writing partner Jim Taylor - had perhaps his greatest critical success with "Sideways" (2004), an excursion into wine country that explored the unlikely friendship of two men struggling with their perceived failures. "Sideways" earned Payne numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. His critically acclaimed drama "The Descendants" (2011) also earned rave reviews and its director another Best Screenplay Oscar, all of which helped cement his reputation as a visionary filmmaker adept at making unflinching films depicting the more uncomfortable aspects of human nature.

Relationships

Sandra Oh Actor

Wife
Married from 2003-2006 featured in Payne's critically acclaimed film, "Sideways" (2004)

EDUCATION

University of California at Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California 1990

Stanford University

Stanford , California
Double majored in Spanish literature and History; as part of his Spanish degree, he studied at the University of Salamanca in Spain

Creighton Preparatory School

Omaha , Nebraska

Milestones

2011

Directed and co-wrote "The Descendants," starring George Clooney; also produced

2009

Executive produced a Japanese feature adaptation of his film "Sideways"

2007

Executive produced the films "King of California" and "The Savages"

2007

Teamed with Taylor to write an early draft of "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry"

2004

Directed and co-scripted the critically acclaimed "Sideways"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director and was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement

2002

Directed and co-scripted (with Taylor) "About Schmidt"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director

2001

With Taylor contributed to the script of "Jurassic Park 3"

1999

Directed and co-wrote (with Taylor) his second feature "Election," a dark comedy starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon

1999

Signed a $1 million deal to write and direct "Sideways" for Artisan Entertainment

1996

Made screenwriting (co-written with Jim Taylor) and directing debut with "Citizen Ruth"; premiered at the Sundance Film Festival

1989

Screened his student film "The Passion of Martin" at the Sundance Film Festival

Completed several shorts for Propaganda Films (aired on the Playboy Channel)

Landed a job at Universal Pictures, writing several unproduced scripts

Bonus Trivia

.

Payne was an altar boy at the local Orthodox Church when he was growing up. Because of his Greek heritage, he requested that "Citizen Ruth" have its European debut at the Thessaloniki Film Festival.

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