Jonathan Demme Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (10) | Trivia (15) | Personal Quotes (4) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 22 February 1944Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA
Birth NameRobert Jonathan Demme
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jonathan Demme was born on February 22, 1944 in Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA as Robert Jonathan Demme. He is a director and producer, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Philadelphia (1993) and The Manchurian Candidate (2004). He is married to Joanne Howard. They have three children. He was previously married to Evelyn Purcell.

Spouse (2)

Evelyn Purcell (? - ?) (divorced)
Joanne Howard (? - present) (3 children)

Trade Mark (10)

Frequently casts Charles Napier
Frequently casts Chris Isaak
Frequently casts Buzz Kilman in a cameo role
Frequently uses Tak Fujimoto, as his director of photography
Frequently casts character actors Tracey Walter and Paul Lazar
Characters looking directly into the camera
Frequently uses New Order songs in the score of his movies
Heavy use of steadicam interspersed with shots of handheld shots
Extreme close-ups on faces.
Frequently casts Jason Robards, Roger Corman, Kenneth Utt and Obba Babatundé in his films.

Trivia (15)

Awarded honorary degree by Wesleyan University (June 3, 1990).
He co-directed, with Ted Demme, Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" music video.
Uncle of Ted Demme.
Has 3 children, with wife Joanne Howard.
Directed Bruce Springsteen's "Murder Incorporated" music video (1995).
Frequently uses Pablo Ferro for his Title Sequences and montages.
Was voted the 45th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 255-258. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Father of Josephine Demme.
He frequently casts the same actors in most of his films, including Paul Lazar, Ted Levine, Harry Northup, Charles Napier, Dean Stockwell, Robert W. Castle, Denzel Washington, Jude Ciccolella, and Tracey Walter. He also tends to use non-actor friends or musicians he likes, as long as they are "interesting".
Directed 8 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Christine Lahti, Dean Stockwell, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Tom Hanks, and Anne Hathaway. Steenburgen, Hopkins, Foster and Hanks won Oscars for their performances in one of Demme's movies.
He and Michael Mann have both directed a Hannibal Lecter film and have also both been involved in a film about Howard Hughes. Mann directed Manhunter (1986) and produced The Aviator (2004), which he was originally to have directed. One of Demme's earliest films was Melvin and Howard (1980), and he later went on to direct The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000.
Uncle-in-law of Amanda Scheer-Demme.
Cousin of Robert W. Castle.

Personal Quotes (4)

I don't think it's sacrilegious to remake any movie, including a good or even great movie. I think what's sacrilegious is to make a bad movie, whether it's a remake or an original. It's what I always tell my actor friends, anybody who's in this, this [business], you've gotta try to hold out and only do the scripts, do the material that offers you the opportunity to do your best work. Because if you do stuff that doesn't give you that opportunity? Your work's not gonna be good. And you're gonna suffer in the long run from that. So I don't care if it's a remake if it's a great script with parts in it that can attract fantastic actors, God, you know, to make the movie.
I was really hooked on movies at a very young age. The Manchurian Candidate (1962), along with Seven Days in May (1964), Fail-Safe (1964) and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) were this quartet of anarchistic black-and-white American movies, each of which did things that you just didn't do in American movies, especially in the realm of irreverence toward politics and government institutions and the Army. I was what, 16, it was shocking, it was thrilling and, interestingly, it predated my exposure to the French New Wave so, in a way, this was the American, a certain kind of new wave in American movies.
[on Michelle Pfeiffer] I would love to team up with Michelle again. She's underutilized.
[on Kaili Blues (2015)] What if a brazen first-time filmmaker decided - beyond audaciously - that they didn't want to cut from one location to another (all quite distant from each other) for about oh, half their new movie, and instead chose to dare to go with one super-duper-transcendental half-hour plus single take? Answer: you wind up with Gan Bi's absolutely extraordinary "Kaili Blues". Fair warning here: you need to be a seriously open and accessible film buff / cineaste / movie lover to be right for this picture. The cinema muse-deities have inspired and blessed "Kaili Blues" with a magic and mystery that is utterly unique. This film is capable of generating giant cinema joyfulness in those who are ready to bring an open heart, mind and eye to this viewing experience. Director Bi Gan won 'Best Emerging Director' and 'Best First Feature' at the 2015 Locarno Film Festival. I had the thrill of seeing this film first at last year's Venice Film Festival, and two months later at the Lisbon and Estoril Film Festivals. The screenings I attended gave rise to audience-ecstasy in both situations. I loved it even more the second time. [2016]

Salary (1)

The Manchurian Candidate (2004) $1,000,000

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