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Jim Sheridan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 6 February 1949Dublin, Ireland
Nickname Shea
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jim Sheridan is a master story-teller, and an acclaimed film director of few films, but good films nevertheless.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1949, Sheridan moved to America in 1982, meeting a man who invited him to run the Irish Arts Center. He found a place to live in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, and was low on finances at first. He eventually made his first film, My Left Foot (1989), starring Daniel Day-Lewis, about the Irish artist Christy Brown, who only had control of his left foot.

The film was a surprise success, with both Day-Lewis and co-star Brenda Fricker winning Oscars for their performances. Sheridan received two Oscar nominations for Best Director (he lost to Oliver Stone) and Best Screenplay. It was an amazing debut film, and at age 40, Sheridan was a late bloomer to the film industry. He followed "My Left Foot" with the film The Field (1990). Starring Richard Harris a then-unknown Sean Bean and John Hurt, this film was based on a theatre play by John B. Keane. It earned Harris an Oscar nomination, but was otherwise short of "My Left Foot"'s success.

Sheridan bounced back three years later with the film In the Name of the Father (1993), once again starring Daniel Day-Lewis. The film concerns four teenagers who are accused of an IRA bombing. Gerry (Day-Lewis) finds that his father (Pete Postlethwaite), aunt, and cousins are also accused as being accomplices. He and his father spend fifteen years in prison together until a lawyer (Emma Thompson) takes their case to court once again. The film was successful critically and commercially, gaining seven Oscar nominations (including three for Sheridan) but did not win anything.

Throughout the 90s, Sheridan did some on-the-side work as an actor and as a writer, and his writing credits include the prison film Some Mother's Son (1996) in which IRA prisoners went on a hunger strike to protest their treatment as criminals. Sheridan's next directorial film was the gritty film The Boxer (1997), which was also the third collaboration between Sheridan and Daniel Day-Lewis. The film was about a former IRA associate released from prison after fourteen years. He attempts to put his life back together by starting a boxing club, as well as reconciling with his former love (played by Emily Watson). It was nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Actor (Day-Lewis) and Best Director (Sheridan).

Sheridan moved slowly between his films; his next film was very personal to his own experiences: the dramatic film In America (2002), starring Paddy Considine, and Samantha Morton. The story is about an Irish family that immigrates illegally to the United States. The father is an actor, attempting to find success, so that he can look after his children. The film received many positive reviews, and earned Sheridan a final Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.

Sheridan's next film no doubt surprised many people: the rap film Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005) starring famous (or infamous) rapper 50 Cent and Terence Howard. The film was about a drug dealer that pursues his rap dream. The film was hit with many criticisms, but some, like renowned critic Roger Ebert, saw that there was a lot of emotion in the film, as well as showing the consequences of the gangster life.

Sheridan also finished a film Brothers (2009) based on a Danish movie by Susanne Bier. The film stars well known and talented actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire, and tells the story of a man whose brother is missing in Afghanistan, leaving him to look after his brother's family. The film was released late 2009 and was a modest success. Tobey Maguire received a Golden Globe nomination, as did a song written for the movie by U2.

Sheridan is now busy filming Dream House (2011) set to be a thriller involving paranormal activities surrounding a family moving into a new home.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bob Stage

Spouse (1)

Fran (1972 - present) (3 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Frequently casts Daniel Day-Lewis
Frequently references Irish themes in his films, particularly the IRA
Frequently collaborates with U2
Two young daughters in the family (In America, Brothers, Dream House)

Trivia (13)

His Dublin-based film production company is called "Hell's Kitchen".
Spends a long time developing his projects before they go into production. His main source of income during these periods is from directing corporate videos and commercials for large corporations in Asian countries.
In America (2002) was loosely based on his own family's struggles in the early 1980s in New York City. Jim Sheridan lived in NYC with his wife and children from 1981-1989, before moving back to Ireland to film My Left Foot (1989).
Brother of Peter Sheridan and the late Frankie Sheridan.
Owns a champion thoroughbred racehorse named Vinnie Roe [2004]
Father of Irish writers Kirsten Sheridan and Naomi Sheridan.
In an interview for Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005), Sheridan stated that he when he tried out singing in a band, he found he was slightly tone deaf, and he did not have a wide vocal range.
Directed seven actors into Oscar-nominated roles: Brenda Fricker, Samantha Morton, Djimon Hounsou, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Harris. Emma Thompson, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Day-Lewis was nominated twice for Sheridan films, and he won for "Left Foot". Fricker won Best Supporting Actress for the same film.
Graduated from University College Dublin.
Aside from directing, he also wrote the screenplay for two films: "Into the West" which featured Brendan Gleeson, and "Some Mother's Son" featuring David O'Hara. Both these Irish actors starred together in Mel Gibson's Braveheart (1995). Not only that, fellow Irishman John Kavanagh appeared in all three above films.
Wrote the screenplay for In America (2002) with his daughters.
Has stated that the children's performances in In America (2002) is what he's most proud of about his career.
Was 40 years old when he directed his first feature film.

Personal Quotes (10)

I find in modern cinema now...people don't like the mystic or the spiritual. It's become almost a dirty word now.
I've seen thousands of films where people are brought down, where it's "life is terrible and we all agree" and the critical audience is over here for that, and the general public is over here. And it seems that cinema has gone out, or life, has gone out a kilter.
[on his filming ideas] Give all the bad information up front and then try and make... the story, where I can elevate the spirit.
[on Daniel Day-Lewis] You know when you watch a genius at work like Daniel, and when you say 'cut'... it's like a bank vault unlocking when you see Daniel coming back to himself. So you're dealing with genius and there's a level to it where Daniel is Daniel and I don't have to do that much, you know?
[on his early years in New York] We didn't have a sense of being poor. We came from Ireland where you could literally be poor because there was about 17 percent unemployment and 15 percent interest rates and inflation, you know, and a war going on, so to come here wasn't as edgy... it seemed an easier place to live in.
The rules of drama are not the rules of life.
[on Daniel Day-Lewis's preparation to portray Christy Brown in 'My Left Foot'] Plenty of people will say it's facetious to stay in character. People will say it's pretentious. But Daniel spent weeks with kids who really had cerebral palsy to research the part. How difficult would it have been to act like them for the camera and then jump back after each take, like a jack-in-the-box? His decision was, I'm staying in character, and so he became the focus of all worries and discontent on the set, which was all for the good of the movie.
[on Colin Farrell] In Ireland we admire Daniel Day-Lewis and respect Liam Neeson but somewhere inside us we love Colin, because we're just waiting for him to f**k up, you know. We're just waiting for him to fall in the s**t and be like us. Talent and good looks help when you're trying to make it in the entertainment industry, Colin has them in spades. Deep down he is such a great guy and it comes across on screen, he has that charisma that just comes across. The first time he was ever on screen he was a star. You see it.
Within the Arab world there's always been warmth for the Irish. I think we're that sort of weird post-colonial culture that they get.
I used to be very friendly with Marlon Brando. After 9/11, he said something very interesting. He said that the problem with 9/11 is there'll never be another Omar Sharif. And I thought, you know what, Marlon's probably right.

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