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Tom Hooper Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (3) | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 1 October 1972London, England, UK
Birth NameThomas George Hooper
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Tom Hooper is from a very privileged background. He was educated at the prestigious Westminster School and studied English at England's top university, Oxford. His father was a director at United News and Media, which owned an ITV franchise.

His father introduced him to British television legend Matthew Robinson, who gave him breaks by employing him to direct episodes of Byker Grove (1989) and EastEnders (1985), both series produced by Robinson. Further success came when he was approved by Helen Mirren to direct her in Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness (2003). He then worked with her again on Elizabeth I (2005).

Hooper made the difficult transition from television to film with apparent ease, directing Michael Sheen in the Brian Clough biopic The Damned United (2009) and Colin Firth in The King's Speech (2010). Both films were critical and commercial successes, quickly establishing Hooper as one of the most in demand directors of his generation.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Trade Mark (4)

Often uses distorting wide angle lenses.
Often works with cinematographer Larry Smith.
Often directs historical dramas and period pieces
Distinctive visual style involving dutch angles, hand-held cameras, and putting actors in the far side of a shot

Trivia (3)

Educated at Westminster School, London.
Studied English at Oxford University.
Directed 5 actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Hugh Jackman, and Anne Hathaway. Firth and Hathaway won Oscars for their work in Hooper's movies.

Personal Quotes (6)

I grew up in London and I grew up with the nice sense that the place that did the best drama in the world was London, and American television drama was awful, and you had a nice sort of sense of superiority. And I kind of feel that's been almost turned on its head. I certainly feel like English TV drama isn't necessarily taking as many risks as it perhaps once did and I feel there's a tremendous pressure to come up with the new detective story, to come up with the new hospital drama. Ironically, it's HBO who are at the moment fulfilling this role of old-fashioned public service broadcast. (Speaking in 2009)
[on the characterization of George VI in 'The King's Speech'] I didn't want to make a film about the miracle cure.The truth about most disabilities is it's about living with them - there is no miracle.
I'm sitting at the Oscars [in 2012] pretty sure that I'm going to direct "Les Miz" but not sure at all who I'm going to cast. And Anne Hathaway steps forth, to the front of the stage and sings a rendition of "On My Own," to Hugh Jackman. And I'm going: Hold on a second, is Anne Hathaway using the Oscar stage as the ultimate auditioning platform for her talents and is she also suggesting Hugh Jackman while she's at it? Or is this just coincidence? She claims it's coincidence. I think she's too shrewd. But we'll never know.
[on directing 'Les Miserables'] We live in a selfish age, obsessed with how we project various versions of ourselves. But you have to tell this story from the point-of-view that God exists. And what God means in practice is the act of compassion, the struggle of living your life in a moral way.
The thing that fascinates me is that the way I came to film and television is extinct. Then there were gatekeepers, it was prohibitively expensive to make a film, to be a director you had to be an entrepreneur to raise money. Now with my little £150 digital camera, I can film and use editing software on the computer. There's been a complete democratization. The barrier to entry is so much lower, it is interesting to see how that affects directing.
I can almost chart my early career through a series of professional godfathers who decided to take me under their wings. The industry really relies on the generosity of one generation being passed down to the next because it's incredibly risk averse. No one wants to give you your first break. So finding the people who have the generosity to help you and an appetite for risk is key. If you don't find those people, it's extremely tough. Among those key godfathers is Matthew Robinson, who gave me breaks directing Byker Grove (1989) and EastEnders (1985).

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