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Edward Zwick Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 8 October 1952Chicago, Illinois, USA
Nicknames Ed
Ed Zwick
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Edward Zwick is well-known for his heroic movies that include Glory (1989), and the breathtaking works of art that include Legends of the Fall (1994). Zwick has also been known for his thoughtfulness as a director, and for his record of working with television series and other films as a producer.

Born in 1952, in the city of Chicago. After graduating from the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles, California, Zwick worked as a journalist with the magazine "Rolling Stone". He found work on television in 1976 as a producer, writer and director.

Zwick eventually moved on to higher grounds, though. He made three films released for television in two years: the fashion drama Paper Dolls (1982), the more comedic-based Having It All (1982) and Special Bulletin (1983) which is about a reporter and his cameraman held hostage by terrorists. Zwick followed up with his first theatrical release; About Last Night... (1986) starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. The film concerns a man and a woman attempting to enter a love affair with each other, despite their differences and the opinions of others. It was based on a theatrical production and was a success for Zwick's rising star. He raised the bar for himself with his second film three years later: bringing back a story of great heroism, Glory (1989) was a Civil War film about the first black regiment raised for the Northern army. It starred Matthew Broderick as the idealistic abolitionist "Colonel Shaw, Cary Elwes as his friend and second-in-command, Denzel Washington as an angry ex-slave who questions the point of the war, and Morgan Freeman as the wise father figure towards the other soldiers in the regiment.

Glory (1989) was a massive success commercially and critically. At the Academy Awards, the film did not gain any nominations for Zwick, but it won three Oscars for Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Supporting Actor (Denzel Washington). Zwick pursued television again before coming back with a light-hearted drama Leaving Normal (1992). The film was not the success that Glory (1989) had been, though, but Zwick bounced back immediately with Legends of the Fall (1994). The film was about a family of a father and his three sons as they live in the wilderness of Montana. The film starred Brad Pitt as the wayward middle son who cannot settle down, Anthony Hopkins as the stern father and former soldier, Aidan Quinn as the oldest brother who tries to be good and do the right thing, and Julia Ormond as the beautiful woman that is engaged to the youngest brother, played by Henry Thomas. The movie (which had been filmed in Canada) won an Oscar for Cinematography, showing massive landscapes and beautiful skies. Zwick drew wonderful performances from all of the actors, particularly Quinn, Pitt and Hopkins.

Zwick produced the television show Relativity (1996) starring Kimberly Williams-Paisley the same year as he directed the Gulf War film Courage Under Fire (1996) starring Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan and Lou Diamond Phillips. The film was a success, and helped advance a then-unknown Matt Damon's career forward. Zwick produced a couple of movies in 1998, winning his first Oscar for the film Shakespeare in Love (1998). He had produced this film and, while he did not direct it, he helmed the action thriller The Siege (1998) instead. The film once again starred Denzel Washington in the role of an FBI agent that must combat terrorists in New York City, who are taking hostages and threatening to set off bombs in the city. Also starring in this film is Bruce Willis who plays a military officer who takes extreme measures against the city. The film was not a major success for Zwick, and he would not direct another film for five years.

Instead, Zwick turned to producing again. He received his second (and thus far, last) Oscar nomination for producing the crime film Traffic (2000) which won an Oscar for Benicio Del Toro and director Steven Soderbergh. He also produced the emotional film I Am Sam (2001) starring Sean Penn and the thriller Abandon (2002) starring Katie Holmes. It was at this time that Zwick returned to the director's chair with the epic film The Last Samurai (2003) starring Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe. The film (which was about a U.S. military officer training soldiers in Japan how to fight against the samurai) was a success critically and commercially, earning four Oscar nominations for Acting (Watanabe), Art Direction, Sound, and Costume.

Three years after this film, Zwick filmed what is now one of his most well-known pieces of work: the powerfully emotional drama Blood Diamond (2006) starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou. The film focuses on the war in Sierra Leone, and the issues of child soldiers, diamond mining, and smuggling are discussed while the story unfolds. DiCaprio plays a mercenary-like character that becomes interested in hearing of a man (Hounsou) that has found a very large diamond and hidden it. Hounsou's character is a father who has lost his son to the rebels, and is desperately seeking for his boy in the maelstrom that Sierra Leone has become. The two are thrown together reluctantly initially, but decide that they would be worse off without each other.

This was another success for Zwick, and it earned five Oscar nominations at the Academy Awards: two for the lead actors, two for sound and sound editing, and one for editing. Zwick once again did not receive any nominations for directing. In 2008, his latest film, Defiance (2008) finished filming and was set for a December release. It starred Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell, Liev Schreiber as three Jewish brothers outrunning Nazi forces occupying Poland and protecting hundreds of Jewish refugees. The film underperformed critically and commercially, but Zwick was already moving on to other things. He reunited with longtime collaborator Marshall Herskovitz to produce Herskovitz's TV made movie A Marriage (2009).

Zwick's latest film is the drama-comedy Love & Other Drugs (2010). The film is set for a November 2010 release and also stars Hank Azaria, Judy Greer, and Oliver Platt.

Edward Zwick is an accomplished film maker in American cinema, but he is also a veteran of television series, and frequently juggles movies with series as he works.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bob Stage

Spouse (1)

Liberty Godshall (? - present)

Trade Mark (3)

Frequently casts Denzel Washington
In terms of television, has frequently worked with Marshall Herskovitz
Films about characters living through real-life historical events

Trivia (8)

Graduated with a M.F.A. from the American Film Institute in 1975.
Runs a production company, The Bedford Falls Company, with partner Marshall Herskovitz.
Has directed 4 actors in Oscar nominated roles; Djimon Hounsou, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, and Denzel Washington. Denzel won his Oscar.
Edward Zwick is one of the few directors to have worked with both Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise. The others are Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott.
He has made a total of three films with Denzel Washington. The only directors to work with Washington more times than that are Spike Lee and Tony Scott, who have done four films each with him.
Received an A.B. from Harvard University in 1974.
Both Blood Diamond (2006) and Glory (1989) feature two of the main characters (one white man and one black man) conflicting with each other at first but developing respect for each other in time.
Son-in-law of Raymond Godshall Jr..

Personal Quotes (15)

The interesting movies can definitely still be made but on a very small scale. The idea of putting that many resources to a story that might only make a certain amount of money is not what the studios want. They want movies that will move the stock price or justify giving up one of their tentpole slots.
I have nothing against diamonds, or rubies or emeralds or sapphires. I do object when their acquisition is complicit in the debasement of children or the destruction of a country.
Samurai culture did exist really, for hundreds of years and the notion of people trying to create some sort of a moral code, the idea that there existed certain behaviors that could be celebrated and that could be operative in a life.
There is something universal in the theme of a man trying to save his family in the midst of the most terrible circumstances. It is not limited to Sierra Leone. This story could apply to any number of places where ordinary people have been caught up in political events beyond their control.
Sometimes when we weep in the movies we weep for ourselves or for a life unlived. Or we even go to the movies because we want to resist the emotion that's there in front of us. I think there is always a catharsis that I look for and that makes the movie experience worthwhile.
I think one of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.
It seems that almost every time a valuable natural resource is discovered in the world-whether it be diamonds, rubber, gold, oil, whatever-often what results is a tragedy for the country in which they are found. Making matters worse, the resulting riches from these resources rarely benefit the people of the country from which they come.
To me this movie is about what is valuable. To one person it might be a stone; to someone else, a story in a magazine; to another, it is a child. The juxtaposition of one man obsessed with finding a valuable diamond with another man risking his life to find his son is the beating heart of this film.
I think it's too easy often to find a villain out of the headlines and to then repeat that villainy again and again and again. You know, traditionally, America has always looked to scapegoat someone as the boogie man.
There is no reason why challenging themes and engaging stories have to be mutually exclusive - in fact, each can fuel the other. As a filmmaker, I want to entertain people first and foremost. If out of that comes a greater awareness and understanding of a time or a circumstance, then the hope is that change can happen.
I look at modern life and I see people not taking responsibility for their lives. The temptation to blame, to find external causes to one's own issues is something that is particularly modern. I know that personally I find that sense of responsibility interesting.
I don't think movies can ever be too intense, but people have to understand why you're showing them the things you are showing them.
There is a segment of the American population that has been excluded from the national myth, and that should be redressed.
To relate to something simply on the basis of race is to deny the universality drama, and I won't be a party to it.
I think all popular culture is de facto political, so you goddam well better be responsible about it.

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