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Steve McQueen Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (11) | Personal Quotes (14)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 9 October 1969London, England, UK
Birth NameSteve Rodney McQueen
Height 5' 9½" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Steve McQueen was born on October 9, 1969 in London, England as Steve Rodney McQueen. He is a director and writer, known for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Shame (2011) and Hunger (2008).

Trade Mark (4)

Dialogue scenes shot in a single take or a series of long takes
Films with one-word titles.
Frequently casts Michael Fassbender, utilizes Sean Bobbitt as his director of photography and Joe Walker as his editor.
Shoots his films mostly with one camera.

Trivia (11)

Was made the Official War Artist for Iraq in association with the Imperial War Museum in 2003.
He was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2002 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to the Arts.
Won the Turner Prize in 1999 for his film-installation work and exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts [I.C.A.], London, England.
Trained as a fine artist, he attended Chelsea School of Art, London, 1989-1990; Goldsmith's College, London, 1990-1993, and Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, New York, 1993-1994.
He was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2011 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Visual Arts.
Created "Blues Before Sunrise", a two-week installation in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam, where all 275 street lamps were colored blue.
Says his influences range from Andy Warhol to Jean Vigo to Buster Keaton to Billy Wilder.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands [September 2011]
Has directed 3 actors to Oscar-nominated performances: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Lupita Nyong'o. Nyong'o won Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave (2013).
One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. [April 2014].
Did not direct a feature length film until he was 38 years old.

Personal Quotes (14)

I'm essentially quite happy, but, for some reason, I have done a lot of stuff that is dark. I don't know why that is and I don't question it. I don't really think you have a choice where you go as an artist.
Access to sexual content is everywhere and that access has an influence on us every day, whether we're aware of it or not. Sex is being sold to you with your soda, even with your breakfast cereal.
[on if working in film is still exciting] I've seen behind the curtain. It's a bit Wizard of Oz-like. I admit I was excited about Cannes when Hunger (2008) launched there and then that was a success and I went to Hollywood for the first time and, my God, I was thrilled, you know, seeing the big letters: HOLLYWOOD. But after a few dinners with people and drinks parties, you realize it's all about rolling up your sleeves. I got on the Paramount lot for the first time and, yes, I saw gladiators walking by and elephants and then you see the scaffolding and the trucks and it is all just work.... It's not what I make films for. So I wish I was still a punter, going to the cinema on a weekend. Dreams are nice, but now I'm a bit back down to earth with the whole world of film and dreams fade. I don't want to be down on it but, if I'm honest, it's very disappointing. Like when you realize there's no Father Christmas... It's all just false, isn't it? I recently met some people who I looked up to and admired and I found out they were just normal - there are no gods out there.
[on how similar the world of art is to film] Film is way different. When you're twenty feet tall on a massive screen and you're seeing people's lives played out on it, it's different from a nice painting. Film is important; it can be more than reportage or a novel - it creates images people have never seen before, never imagined they'd see, maybe because they needed someone else to imagine them.
I could never make American movies - they like happy endings. I made Shame (2011) in America, but it's not a Hollywood movie. I'm about challenging people. Like, properly challenging them and their assumptions. Audiences make their minds up about people they see on screen, just like they do in real life. That's what fascinates me in film. You see a character and have to think: is this person different to what I assumed he was when I first saw him?

... I'm certainly not who people think I am. I always do whatever I want to do and my films are personal to me. Hunger (2008) was about my youth, the loss of innocence when I realized what my country was doing, what was going on. Brandon in 'Shame' is my response to being lost - I've not been there in the sense of sexual addiction, but I've been lost.
I worked with scriptwriter Abi Morgan on Shame (2011) and she's brilliant, but she always knows where her stories and sentences are going. I don't want that; I like to start a sentence and let it take me, let it flow, so it can go anywhere. That's how I think things are in life, where we don't have a script. So I don't do storyboards. The characters and narrative dictate how I film a scene.
[on Shame (2011) being rated NC-17 in the U.S.] When I first heard mention of NC-17, I thought they were a rap band. I didn't give a toss about that because I like the idea of doing something no one is actually talking about. It was the same with Hunger (2008). Want, urge, need - these are the things that create drama.
Art can't fix anything. It can just observe and portray. What's important is that it becomes an object, a thing you can see and talk about and refer to. A film is an object around which you can have a debate, more so than the incident itself. It's someone's view of an incident, an advanced starting point.
arding binge-watching movies at London theatres] It was addictive. We saw everything - French, Italian, Swedish, American, British, Taiwanese, Chinese. You could look at how other people fall in love in Tokyo. Other people fall in love in Gdansk. What people eat for breakfast in New York, what people eat for breakfast in Moscow. How we are all the same, but very different.
I like the idea that everybody, from the electrician to the grip to the make-up and costume department, feels they have something at stake with the film - that they are a part of it like anyone else. We're a community. We are always talking together, discussing [the film]. On hard days, when you're in an environment that is extraordinarily supportive, it feels cathartic.
[Despite his meticulous preparation...] Sometimes I wake up not knowing what scene we'll shoot. I don't want to restrict the situation.Sometimes you've got to find [the center of a scene]. How does it work? What does the actor do? How do they want to move? How am I going to capture it? You need the unknown as such to make it sort of flow. It's like being a musician.
We don't really have a film industry in England; this [in the U.S.] a real industry. The [first] two movies I made, I just made them. In America [with 12 Years a Slave (2013)], I had to test them. Which is strange to me and I was a bit upset about the whole thing.
[on directing Michael Fassbender in '12 Years a Slave'] He's like Mickey Rourke when he was Mickey Rourke, or Gary Oldman when he was Gary Oldman. Michael Fassbender is that person now. People want to be an actor because of him. People want to be in a movie because of him. People want to make a movie because he could be in it. People want to jam with him. He's like Ginger Baker.
[on '12 Years a Slave'] Patsey is the humanity, she is the dignity in the tale. She is the grace in the film and you can't make that up - the person just has to have it. Lupita [Nyong'o] is the real deal. She's a real artist. I saw lots of beautiful girls. But there are not a lot who came to it from the inside out.

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