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Stephen Frears Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (14)

Overview (3)

Born in Leicester, Leicestershire, England, UK
Birth NameStephen Arthur Frears
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Stephen Frears was born on June 20, 1941 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England as Stephen Arthur Frears. He is a director and producer, known for Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Philomena (2013) and The Queen (2006). He has been married to Anne Rothenstein since 1992. They have two children. He was previously married to Mary-Kay Wilmers.

Spouse (2)

Anne Rothenstein (1992 - present) ( 2 children)
Mary-Kay Wilmers (1968 - ?) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Often makes movies about love triangles that end tragically
Often directs movies featuring female leads

Trivia (12)

One of his uncles was a baker in Leicester, while another was head of Frears Biscuits, a nationally-known brand until the company was taken over.
He was hired to direct the canceled film "Jinx", the spin-off of Halle Berry's character from Die Another Day (2002).
Father of actor Sam Frears and stage director Will Frears from his first marriage, and Frankie Frears and Lola Frears from his second.
Won the The Empire Inspiration Award at the Sony Ericsson Empire Awards 2006
Has directed seven Oscar nominated performances: Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, Anjelica Huston, Annette Bening, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Meryl Streep. Mirren won for The Queen (2006).
Studied Law at Cambridge University.
Was an assistant to director Lindsay Anderson and actor Albert Finney at London's Royal Court Theatre.
Holds the "David Lean Chair in Fiction Direction" from the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England.
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 60th Cannes International Film Festival in 2007.
Ranked #63 on the 2008 Telegraph's list "the 100 most powerful people in British culture".
He's a fan of Breaking Bad (2008).
Directed three Oscar Best Picture nominees: Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Queen (2006) and Philomena (2013). These movies were also at least nominated for Best Screenplay, and Best Actress for Glenn Close, Helen Mirren (who won) and Judi Dench respectively.

Personal Quotes (14)

A friend asked me why I thought I'd been able to direct films for 30 years and I really didn't have an answer. It is a very difficult industry and grinds up talent unmercifully.
There's one thing now that I experience every day when I'm making a film. I get up and think to myself, am I going to be able to do it today? I figure as long as I have that fear, I'll be alright.
I like a lot of takes. I just go on until the actors get it right.
Isn't that what Joan Collins' success is based on? People love bitches. The more dreadful they are, the more awful things they say, the more heavenly they are.
I can't write, I don't think I'm even particularly good at telling a writer what's good or what's missing. So, actually having someone who can do that is a godsend.
I never expected to become a director. It never occurred to me to come to America, to Hollywood. It's all been a wonderful accident. I'm still amazed every time I finish a film. I'm the opposite of Steven [Steven Spielberg] who's obsessed about making films since he was a child. It's all come as a surprise; I'm finding my way through the dark.
Well, while you're shooting, you're bringing a story to life. It always goes in slightly unexpected ways. You're trying to make sure everybody's in the same film. John Gielgud always said, 'If you're lucky, you know what film you're in.' You want everyone comfortable with each other, agreeing on circumstances. You're asking actors, indeed, everybody on set, to be intimate, to be a family in a world that's the product of their mutual imagination. You're the patriarch, holding the whole thing together, depending on everyone being collaborative. In editing, you discover what you've got, what you've missed, what you should have done, things you hadn't thought of, holes that need filling. That's why Woody Allen re-shoots. It's done in light of what he's learned, because you make films in the dark, learning as you go. I'm always so curious to see where it's leading. To find out, you must let go, must relinquish control and be open. When I started opening up about 25 years ago, my films got better.
I like making films about different cultures. I'm interested in things that I've never encountered before. I try to put myself in the audience's position.
The British Film Institute is under-funded. It needs money. It's as simple as that. It's our lives, our culture. The government does not prioritize this highly enough.
The only way you can learn about making films is by making them, by putting your stamp on the thing.
Film schools didn't exist when I was growing up. I learned by working with clever people. Good writers and cinematographers. And before them, [British directors] Karel [Karel Reisz] and Lindsay [Lindsay Anderson], who gave me a kind of foundation course.
I should never have done Mary Reilly (1996). I knew that before I started. It was full of great design and photography, but it should have been a little BBC film.
[on his first high-budget Hollywood feature Hero (1992)] I didn't know how you filmed a plane crash. And it's not that Dustin [Dustin Hoffman] was difficult, but having big stars skews the movie; you have to concentrate on this enormous investment. I'm sure I could handle it now, but at the time it knocked me down like a train. In My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988) you could see where the money was going but with "Hero" (1992) we had $42m to deal with, and it was flying all over the place.
[2016 interview] I live in London. So, whether I like it or not, I am a member of the metropolitan elite. If I were anywhere else in the country, I'd hate me.

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