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Kenneth Lonergan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (11) | Personal Quotes (49)

Overview (2)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Kenneth Lonergan is a playwright, screenwriter and director. His film, You Can Count on Me (2000), which he wrote and directed, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay, won the Sundance 2000 Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, the NY Film Critics Circle, LA Film Critics Circle, Writers Guild of America and National Board of Review awards for Best Screenplay of 2001, the AFI awards for Best Film and Best New Writer. He co-wrote the film, Gangs of New York (2002), which garnered a WGA and Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. As a playwright, he has been represented in New York by Lobby Hero, (Playwrights Horizons, John Houseman Theatre, Drama Desk Best Play nominee, Outer Critics Circle Best Play and John Gassner Playwrighting nominee, included in the 2000-2001 Best Plays annual), The Waverly Gallery (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Promenade; 2001 Pulitzer Prize runner-up), and "This is Our Youth" (Drama Desk Best Play nominee). "Lobby Hero" (Olivier Award Nominee for Best Play) and "This Is Our Youth" have also received productions on London's West End.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: T. Parker

Spouse (1)

J. Smith-Cameron (2000 - present) (1 child)

Trivia (11)

Cousin of actress/production manager Chantal Lonergan and production manager Valerie Lonergan.
His comedy, Lobby Hero, was performed at the Donmar Warehouse and New Ambassador's Theatre, was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best New Comedy of 2002.
Earned an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing for New York University's Tish School of Arts.
Nominated for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play "The Waverly Gallery".
His play, "Lobby Hero", at the Redtwist Theatre in Chicago, Illinois was nominated for the 2011 Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for Production of a Play.
Directed 4 Oscar nominated performances: Laura Linney, Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges. Affleck won for his performance in Manchester by the Sea (2016).
He is of Ashkenazi Jewish (mother) and Irish (father) descent.
Wrote an early draft of Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) without credit.
Did an uncredited rewrite of Fool's Gold (2008).
Father, with J. Smith-Cameron, of daughter Nellie Lonergan.
Cites Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) as one of his favorite films and director Stanley Kubrick as a major filmmaking influence.

Personal Quotes (49)

I'm always struck when I go somewhere I've never been before, especially if it's in my home town, by just how different the atmosphere can be, and how disorienting it can be - especially if there's any kind of trouble.
I can remember when I was 24, and I broke up with my first serious girlfriend for the first time. She was a very nice person, but she had a little bit of a tendency toward melodrama... Her response was to take the key to my apartment off of her key chain and hand it back to me.
Filmmaking, like any other art, is a very profound means of human communication; beyond the professional pleasure of succeeding or the pain of failing, you do want your film to be seen, to communicate itself to other people.
It's not a character flaw to become an adult.
You can shoot a film in New York without seeing the Empire State Building. Or Starbucks... although the latter is much less realistic.
You're thinking about the physical consequences about what you're writing if you're going to direct it. If you're not going to direct it, then it's somebody else's problem, and they'll solve it.
I've just always been interested in alter-naturalism and seeing if you can make real life interesting enough to be dramatic without enhancing it. Like, could you make a movie or write a play in which there's no compression of time, there's no enhanced event, it's just real life?
I grew up going to the movies, not watching them on television, so I'm still a bit resistant to TV as a medium.
There's something about the impact of a big screen that means something to me, even though I realize almost every film is fated to be seen for a year in theaters, and then forever after on television.
Teenagers all think their life is a movie. If you break up with someone or you have a fight, you walk around with movie scores playing in your head. You sort of see yourself suffering as you're suffering. There's a lot of melodrama attached to the real events of your life.
Little kids grow up discovering the world that's shown to them and then when you become a teenager, it kind of shrinks a little bit. I think when you get past that point, one of the important things is that you see there is more to the world than yourself.
I love 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind.'
I love accents, I love listening to people talk, I like to try to emulate it as accurately as I can.
I've done a lot of assignment work in my life, and the only way you can do it is to make it your own as quickly as possible, and then you give it back.
I think I have never seen a humorless movie that was any good to me.
I remember the kind of teenager I was, the kind of teenager I wanted to be, and then the kind of teenagers that were all around me. Life is lived on such a big scale in those years - and such an embarrassing one as well.
I know there are some actors who won't switch their accents off when they're on set and like to be called by their character's names. That works for them, and that's great.
There are a lot of elements when you're writing, or when I'm writing, that are sitting in the back of your mind. I try to let them stay there, because they find their way in more naturally that way.
Sometimes films have no rehearsals - you don't have real rehearsals on the set because the day is so dominated by the schedule.
If you're going to make a statement, I think you should write it in prose and make a statement. If you have characters who are mouthpieces for a point of view, then you have to be very clever about disguising it.
Very often what will happen between actors is that they'll develop kind of a ghost relationship in real life that reflects their relationship on screen or in the play that they're doing. In fact, I'd say that happens almost every time. I don't know why that happens, but it seems very common.
I think 'Manchester' is really about grieving and trying to get on after something terrible has happened to an adult, and a whole life being destroyed, and then, what are the forces that keep him involved with the people he loves? They love him, and they won't let him go.
I feel like if you can describe something fully and accurately, then people will be able to see it themselves - they don't need be told what to.
I wrote a play once called 'Lobby Hero,' which I thought turned out very well, but there's no final version of it. I published the one we produced, but there are seven other versions with different variations sitting in my desk at home.
I was nearly a teenager before I stopped assuming that everyone I met was Jewish.
I still haven't quite caught on to the idea of writing without dialogue. I like writing dialogue, and there's nothing wrong with dialogue in movies.
There's a lot of pressure on a film set that's more immediate than the pressure in the theater where you're nervous about what's going to happen next week.
I actually think storyboards are great. I don't draw well enough to do them myself. I've only used storyboards a couple of times. We used two storyboards in 'Margaret': one for the bus accident and for the opera sequence at the end.
I often find myself writing about people taking care of each other, or trying to.
The creative process on 'Margaret' was incredibly satisfying. I loved the cast; I had a great time writing the script. I liked making the movie. Believe it or not, I actually like editing the movie. It was all the rest of it that was such a nightmare.
When I walk onto a film set, I become frightened and nervous. There's all this equipment, all these people, and most of them do things you don't know how to do. I didn't come from a film background.
There are so many details in a movie that it's amazing how much work you'll do to change what adds up to not that much material.
You Can Count On Me' took 20 days to shoot, and we had 50 days to shoot 'Margaret.
I do a lot of improvising when I'm writing, and I work very hard on the scripts... they are written very much in an actor-friendly way.
To me, 'director's cut' means that what was released before was somebody else's cut. That, to me, always implies that what was released wasn't what the director wanted.
Actors are very demanding because they have nowhere to hide. If I write a scene, it doesn't turn out very well, I don't ever have to show it to anyone; when you turn the camera on, or when you walk on stage, they have to feel like what's happening is real.
'Margaret' as a creative entity is something that I'm very happy and proud of. But 'Margaret' as a professional experience was a nightmare until it was rescued by critics and people who liked it.
I personally don't need to see a story about a person that starts up miserable and ends up worse.
I'm always really interested in different environments and how they affect people's lives and what it would be like to live somewhere else.
Many movies about people recovering, moving on, and redeeming themselves are really wonderful and inspiring. But I think the more sentimental ones that are less good make me feel isolated - like, if you can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps like the guys in the movies, there is something wrong with you. That's a shame.
There are some situations in life that are simply not funny, and there's nothing funny about them, but they're rare, and they don't last all that long.
A really good comedy, I think, is played as if it was real, and it's the circumstances that make it amusing. And I think that the - the inverse or the reverse is true for drama.
The really funny comedies to me are always the ones that are played the straightest or given the most emotional content. And when people start making faces and setting things up and commenting and winking at you, I don't find that to be very funny.
Truthfully, and I don't mean to sound naive, but I don't know that much about the film business.
My personal pride is not strong enough to make me brave. But I don't know why I equate being brave with fighting.
The theater is often seen as comical in the movies; to me, it's not comical - it's my life. I don't mean that it can't be comical, but it's not only comical.
I remember yelling at my mother one time, horribly. I was in tenth grade or something like that, and I hadn't done something, and she misunderstood because my stepfather told her something that was wrong that I hadn't done.
You discover two things when you're a teenager. One, that your parents are not the idols that you thought they were when you were growing up, if you had nice parents. And two, that you have power over them, and you can upset them and confront them and attack them.
Adolescents show off. That's another way of wanting to connect with people. It's not an aspect of human behavior that we generally consider to be very admirable, but it is, in some way, a means of connecting with someone else and not being alone.

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