Paul Thomas Anderson

Director, Screenwriter, Production assistant
From the debut of his short film "Coffee and Cigarettes" at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, Paul Thomas Anderson firmly established himself as an auteur to watch. An ambitious film that focused on five characters ... Read more »
Born: 06/25/1970 in Studio City, California, USA

Filmography

Director (9)

Inherent Vice 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

The Master 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

There Will Be Blood 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

Punch-Drunk Love 2002 (Movie)

(Director)

Magnolia 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Boogie Nights 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Hard Eight 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Cigarettes and Coffee 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

The Dirk Diggler Story 1987 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (8)

Inherent Vice 2014 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Master 2012 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

There Will Be Blood 2007 (Movie)

(adaptation) (Screenplay)

Punch-Drunk Love 2002 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Magnolia 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Boogie Nights 1997 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hard Eight 1997 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Cigarettes and Coffee 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (6)

Inherent Vice 2014 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Master 2012 (Movie)

(Producer)

There Will Be Blood 2007 (Movie)

(Producer)

Punch-Drunk Love 2002 (Movie)

(Producer)

Boogie Nights 1997 (Movie)

(Producer)

Sworn to Vengeance (TV Show)

Associate Producer
Actor (2)

Altman 2014 (Movie)

(Himself)

The Inside Reel: Digital Filmmaking 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

From the debut of his short film "Coffee and Cigarettes" at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, Paul Thomas Anderson firmly established himself as an auteur to watch. An ambitious film that focused on five characters interacting in a Las Vegas diner, "Coffee and Cigarettes" set the mold for his later films: multiple storylines, dazzling camerawork and a detailed emphasis on dialogue and character. Anderson was a brash and gutsy filmmaker who enjoyed tackling big themes - love, hope, family and redemption, all often combined in biblical fashion - while paradoxically allowing them to unfold intimately onscreen. Though his first feature-length movie, "Hard Eight" (1997), failed to connect with audiences and critics, Anderson planted himself on the Hollywood map for good with "Boogie Nights" (1997), a surprisingly affectionate, albeit dark, look at the porn industry, as seen through the eyes of an eager and ambitious rising star. He followed this breakthrough success with the polarizing ensemble drama, "Magnolia" (1999), and the wistful romantic drama, "Punch Drunk Love" (2002), both of which underscored the fact that Anderson was at the top of his game. But with his Oscar-nominated epic "There Will Be Blood" (2007), Anderson took a giant leap forward that planted him firmly in the company of Hollywood's most elite filmmakers.

Relationships

Ernie Anderson Actor

Father
Born Nov. 12, 1923; former partner of Tim Conway Died Feb. 6, 1997

Lucille Anderson

Daughter
Born Nov. 6, 2009; mother, Maya Rudolph

Pearl Anderson

Daughter
Born Oct. 15, 2005; mother, Maya Rudolph

Jack Anderson

Son
Born July 3, 2011; mother, Maya Rudolph

Fiona Apple Actor

Companion
Dated c. 1998 No longer together

Edwina Gough

Mother
Estranged from son

Maya Rudolph Actor

Companion
Began dating 2001

EDUCATION

Montclair College Prep

North Hollywood , California

New York University

New York , New York
Attended for only two days

Emerson College

Boston , Massachusetts
Left school before graduating

Milestones

2012

Wrote and directed "The Master," starring frequent ensemble player Philip Seymour Hoffman

2007

Helmed "There Will Be Blood," an adaptation of Upton Sinclair's novel Oil!, starring Daniel Day-Lewis; earned a DGA nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film; also received Oscar nominations for Best Director, Best Adapted

2006

Acted as standby director for Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion," presumably for insurance purposes, since Altman was 80 years old at the time; not formally credited in the film, but received a "Special Thanks"

2002

Directed "Punch-Drunk Love," starring Adam Sandler and Emily Watson; also scripted

1999

Helmed third feature, the ensemble drama "Magnolia"; received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay

1998

Directed two music videos featuring then-companion Fiona Apple, "Across the Universe" and "Fast as You Can"

1997

Directed breakout film "Boogie Nights," an expanded version of his early short "The Dirk Diggler Story"; starred Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, and Philip Baker Hall in minor role; earned Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay

1997

Made first full-length feature "Sydney" (retitled "Hard Eight"), starring Philip Baker Hall

1993

Met Philip Baker Hall while working as a production assistant on the PBS special "Campus Culture Wars"

1992

Directed short film "Coffee and Cigarettes," starring Philip Baker Hall; film premiered at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival

1990

Worked as messenger and production assistant on syndicated game show "Quiz Kid Challenge"

1988

Made first amateur short film "The Dirk Diggler Story" about a male porn star

1982

Began making movies with a Betamax video camera purchased by his father

1979

Reportedly found his father's collection of pornographic tapes at age nine

Raised in the San Fernando Valley in Studio City, CA

Began career working as a production assistant on music videos and independent films

Briefly attended Emerson College; dropped out to pursue film career

Bonus Trivia

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"As a kid, I became obsessed by pornos. I searched them out, obsessing over the humor and camp – how bad the acting was, how odd it all was. By the time I was 16, I had seen so much that it was no longer funny – it actually became quite sad. [Laughs] That's what 'Boogie Nights' should be doing: It's funny for the first part, but then it transforms."– Anderson quoted in Details, September 1997

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"One thing that impressed me about him [Anderson] was how specific he was. I've worked with much older directors who were floundering." – Don Cheadle in Premiere, September 1997

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"He's so in love with everything you do. Paul is obsessed with you while you're working with him. And it makes you free, totally confident." – Gwyneth Paltrow to The New York Times, Oct. 12, 1997

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"I count Paul among the great directors that I've worked with – Spielberg, Todd Haynes, the Coen Brothers, Louis Malle. He has a very strong sense of what he wants to accomplish as a person and there's a gravity that you don't often find in people his age." – Julianne Moore quoted in Us, February 1999

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"When Paul Thomas Anderson was 7, growing up in the San Fernando Valley, he wrote in a notebook: 'My name is Paul Anderson. I want to be a writer, producer, director, special effects man. I know how to do everything and I know everything. Please hire me.' Philip Seymour Hoffman, who, like the other members of the Anderson repertory company, is a close friend, says: 'You get the sense that Paul was always a director. He was born to the job.'" – from The New York Times magazine, Dec. 19, 1999

.

"I do feel an obligation to not be a jackass in my life only because that will infringe on the view of the movie. I remember when 'Husbands and Wives' came out and Woody Allen was going through that whole thing and it was so terrible because that was one of his best movies. But everybody would look at it and see all the mistakes he was making – it polluted the movie. I guess my goal is to do everything I can to not pollute my movie. It is a hard thing because you want to promote them. You want to have attention. You want to be interviewed and be liked. But at the same time you want to balance out, step back, and have the movie. I just want the film to survive." – Anderson quoted in IFP/West, December 1999

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"Most people don't share my moral sense, which is, I'll masturbate, but I have to clean it up very quickly afterwards." – Anderson to The New York Times magazine, Dec. 12, 1999

.

"Directing a movie doesn't mean anything. It's only 50 percent of the job. The other 50 percent is this gene of protectiveness and parenting and evil that safeguards your movie. It's not a gene I love having, but I have to use it." – Anderson quoted in The New York Times magazine, Dec. 19, 1999

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"You get criticized for being self-indulgent, but if I weren't self-indulgent, they'd be p*ssed off, because I'd be making something very slight. Aren't I supposed to try and indulge who I am, to try to put that on the screen? They're mad if you don't put enough heart in your movie, and they're REALLY mad if you put too much heart in it." – Anderson to USA Today, Jan. 7, 2000

.

"What I've come to realize is that if the script is good, the actors will just show up. I think I'm an OK director, but I think I'm a good writer. My job as a director is just to write really well, because that makes it all so much easier. They get it when they read it, so you don't have to talk about it too much." – Anderson to The Dallas Morning News, Jan. 9, 2000

.

"I think when the movie gets bigger and costs more and more, it becomes harder to be a control freak. But I'm doing a pretty good job of maintaining all the proper paranoia and control that I should. That's why movie directors wither go crazy or start making crap, because you could lose your mind if you realize that you can make it rain and you can change that sign from red to green. It's a scary thing when you finish shooting a movie and you're still driving a little too fast because you used to be able to drive that fast because you had to get on the set and 'Goddamnit, cars, get out of my way.' You kind of go to a maniacal, egotistical place in your own little mind." – Anderson quoted in Rolling Stone, Feb. 3, 2000

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"When I watch 'Magnolia' or 'Boogie Nights,' I see Paul in all the characters – the selfish Paul, the caretaking Paul, the little-kid Paul, the mature Paul – he is all those things at a given time, and I see him telling a story about all aspects of himself." – Philip Seymour Hoffman quoted in Rolling Stone, Feb. 3, 2000

.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say that every time you go to make a film, you're desperate to either do it better than you did it last time or to not repeat yourself." – Anderson to the Associated Press, Dec. 3, 2007

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He was not to be confused with either the British director Paul Anderson ("Shopping," "Mortal Kombat") or the adult film director Paul Thomas who worked for Vivid Video.

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