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Sam Mendes Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (5) | Trivia (36) | Personal Quotes (11) | Salary (2)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 1 August 1965Reading, Berkshire, England, UK
Birth NameSamuel Alexander Mendes
Nickname Midas Mendes
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Samuel Alexander Mendes was born on August 1, 1965 in Reading, England, UK to parents James Peter Mendes, a retired university lecturer, and Valerie Helene Mendes, an author who writes children's books. Their marriage didn't last long, James divorced Sam's mother in 1970 when Sam was just 5-years-old. Sam was educated at Cambridge University and joined the Chichester Festival Theatre following his graduation in 1987. Afterwards, he directed Judi Dench in "The Cherry Orchard", for which he won a Critics Circle Award for Best Newcomer. He then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he directed such productions as "Troilus and Cressida" with Ralph Fiennes and "Richard III". In 1992, he became artistic director of the reopened Donmar Warehouse in London, where he directed such productions as "The Glass Menagerie" and the revival of the musical "Cabaret", which earned four Tony Awards including one for Best Revival of a Musical. He also directed "The Blue Room" starring Nicole Kidman. In 1999, he got the chance to direct his first feature film, American Beauty (1999). The movie earned 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Mendes, which is a rare feat for a first-time film director.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: TrendEkiD@aol.com

Spouse (1)

Kate Winslet (24 May 2003 - 3 October 2010) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (5)

Often begins his films with a voice-over narration from the main character; at the end of the movie the character finishes his narration in very much the same way it began.
Music scores from Thomas Newman
Very slow pull in, especially on table scenes
Films typically deal with a family unit, be it real or surrogate.
In his films rain frequently marks the event of a death

Trivia (36)

Is a big cricket fan and is said to have incorporated the ideas of former England cricket captain Mike Brearly in his direction.
Educated at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, UK.
He was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2000 Queen's Birthday Honors List for his services to drama.
Taught cricket (his passion) at Summer Fields School, Oxford, UK after leaving school for a year.
Ranked #91 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List.
Sam married English actress Kate Winslet in the West Indies in May 2003.
Resides in both New York City and London, England.
Son, Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes, was born on December 22, 2003, in New York, and weighed 7 pounds and 13 ounces.
He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1996 (1995 season) for Best Director for both "Company" and "The Glass Menagerie" at the Donmar Warehouse.
He was nominated for Best Director at the 1999 Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards for the 1998 production of "The Blue Room".
He was nominated for a 1998 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Director of the 1997 season for "Othello" at the Royal National Theatre.
He was awarded the 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award: Special for his services and contributions as Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse for the past ten years.
He was awarded the 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Director of 2002 for "Twelfth Night" and "Uncle Vanya" in repertory company at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
He was awarded the 2002 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama) for Best Director for both "Uncle Vanya" and "Twelfth Night" performed at the Donmar Warehouse.
He was awarded the 1995 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre) for Best Director for "The Glass Menagerie".
He was awarded the 1989 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Most Promising Newcomer as Director of Minerva Studio in Chichester, England.
He was awarded the 2002 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director for "Uncle Vanya" and "Twelfth Night" performed at the Donmar Warehouse.
Has a home in Cotswolds, England.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1998 Tony Award as Best Director (Musical), along with collaborator Rob Marshall, for a revival of "Cabaret."
Was born in the same small Reading hospital where his wife, Kate Winslet, was born 10 years later.
In 2000, he won his first Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play for his production of "The Real Thing".
In 1999, he was Nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play for "Electra".
Ex-stepfather of Kate Winslet's daughter, Mia.
Childhood friend of Tom Hollander.
Ranked #15 in the 2008 Telegraph's list "the 100 most powerful people in British culture".
Suggested the idea for initiating production on "Shrek the Musical" to Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks Animation during the creation of Shrek 2 (2004). Is a big fan of the first "Shrek" film.
His father is Trinidadian.
Directed 4 actors in Oscar nominated performances: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Paul Newman, and Michael Shannon. Spacey won for his performance in American Beauty (1999).
To date (2009), all of the leading actresses in his films are in relationships with film directors: American Beauty (1999)'s Annette Bening (Warren Beatty), The Road to Perdition (2002)'s Jennifer Jason Leigh (Noah Baumbach), Away We Go (2009)'s Maya Rudolph (Paul Thomas Anderson), and his own wife, Kate Winslet, in Revolutionary Road (2008). The only exception is Jarhead (2005), in which the leading actors are all male.
Ex-brother-in-law of Anna Winslet, Beth Winslet, Joss Winslet and Edmund Harcourt.
Ex-son-in-law of Roger Winslet.
It was announced in March 2010 that he and Kate Winslet had separated earlier the same year.
His paternal grandparents were of Trinidad's ethnic Portuguese community. His grandfather is famed West Indian writer Alfred H. Mendes.
Announced new film and theater production company, Scamp, with his two business partners, Pippa Harris (who heads the film division) and Caro Newling (who heads the theater division). Dreamworks is to automatically get first privileges with all of Scamp's film projects. [February 2004]
He is directing Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy in the Broadway theater production of "The Vertical Hour" in New York City. [January 2007]
Directing "Twelfth Night" and "Uncle Vanya" for the Donmar Warehouse Theatre Co. at the Brooklyn Academy of Music featuring Emily Watson. [February 2003]

Personal Quotes (11)

Sex. What Fun. to the students of Atlantic Theater School
If you shout in the theater, people think you've gone a bit mad. But if you raise your voice on a film set, people just work a bit harder.
My process is slow and I enjoy it too much to rush. And I like to return to the theater between films. But after not doing any movies for a few years, perhaps I might do two in two years.
Regarding his commitment to directing Jarhead (2005) without a personal soldiering background: "This is new territory to me, but I hadn't spent two days in American suburbia when I directed American Beauty (1999). I only knew the script had an unusual and original voice and it was a challenge I wanted to take on. Jarhead (2005) is equal parts black humor, honesty, rage, lyricism, profanity and the mixture of machismo jarhead culture. With the exception of Three Kings (1999) this is a war that has been overlooked but which has a burning relevance to what is happening right now in the Middle East."
"I feel very undeserving. I feel the award is a bank loan, which I'll take out and pay back by the end of 20 years, and by then I'll feel more deserving." - On receiving his Lifetime Achievement award from the Directors Guild of Great Britain.
Regarding the different reactions of Europeans and Americans to his film, Jarhead (2005): "I feel they've understood in Europe. In America, it's like talking about a different movie. Fundamentally, "Jarhead" disobeys all the laws of American movies, and not just the political laws of American movies right now, which demand on some level to tell us which side they're on. In Europe, there's a sense this film comes from the tradition of absurdist war movies about the futility of conflict. It has more in common with Beckett, Sartre and Banuel than it does with Oliver Stone. In America, they assumed I was trying to make an Oliver Stone movie and that I'd failed".
I don't want to be known for one thing. I don't want to have an adjective based around my name. 'Lynchian', I know what that is, I know what 'Kubrickian' is, and I know what 'Bergmanesque' means. But there isn't going to be, and I don't want there to be, a 'Mendesian'.
[on Stanley Kubrick] Of course, his films are all chilling. 2001 blew away the three act structure, but his other films are equally unique. We are only now catching up.
Natasha combined the best of Redgrave and Richardson: the enormous depth and emotional force of a great actor on the one hand, and the intelligence and objectivity of a great director on the other. She was one of a kind, a magnificent actress. She was also an amazing mother, a loyal friend, and the greatest and most generous host you could ever hope to meet. It defies belief that this gifted, brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone. (on Natasha Richardson's tragic death.)
I am fascinated by America, no question about that. I will stop making films about it eventually, though, because I think there's a limited amount to say. But I am drawn to it. I don't think it's weird for an outsider to go and make movies that are quintessentially American. I think the 20th century shows that there is a tradition of people being drawn to America as the site of the great mythic landscape. You can tell big stories there that you might not be able to tell with such scale and grace elsewhere.
[on Away We Go (2009)] All my films are linked by similar concerns, if you look below the surface. They're all about one or more people who are lost and trying to find a way through. It's no different with this one, it just happens that they do find a way through.

Salary (2)

American Beauty (1999) $150,000
Road to Perdition (2002) $1,200,000

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