- Birth nameSteven Andrew Soderbergh
- Height6′ (1.83 m)
- Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where his father was a professor and the dean of the College of Education at Louisiana State University. While still in high school, around the age of 15, Soderbergh enrolled in the university's film animation class and began making short 16-millimeter films with second-hand equipment, one of which was the short film "Janitor". After graduating high school, he went to Hollywood, where he worked as a freelance editor. His time there was brief and, shortly after, he returned home and continued making short films and writing scripts.
His first major break was in 1986 when the rock group Yes assigned him to shoot a full-length concert film for the band, which eventually earned him a Grammy nomination for the video, Yes: 9012 Live (1985). Following this achievement, Soderbergh filmed Winston (1987), the short-subject film that he would later expand into Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), a film that earned him the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or Award, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director, and an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Over the next six years, he was married to actress Betsy Brantley and had a daughter named Sarah Soderbergh, who was born in 1990.
Also during this time, he made such films as Kafka (1991), King of the Hill (1993), The Underneath (1995) and Gray's Anatomy (1996), which many believed to be disappointments. In 1998, Soderbergh made Out of Sight (1998), his most critically and commercially successful film since Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). Then, in 2000, Soderbergh directed two major motion pictures that are now his most successful films to date: Erin Brockovich (2000) and Traffic (2000). These films were both nominated for Best Picture Oscars at the 2001 Academy Awards and gave him the first twin director Oscar nomination in almost 60 years and the first ever win. He won the Oscar for Best Director for Traffic (2000) at the 2001 Oscars.- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ray Roon <TrendEkiD@aol.com>
- SpousesJules Asner(May 10, 2003 - present)Betsy Brantley(December 2, 1989 - 1994) (divorced, 1 child)
- ChildrenSarah Soderbergh
- ParentsMary Ann Soderbergh (Bernard)
- Frequently casts Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Topher Grace, Luis Guzmán, Eddie Jemison, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Julia Roberts and works with producer Jerry Weintraub.
- Frequently uses jump-cuts
- Often acts as his own cinematographer under the pseudonym "Peter Andrews"
- Often includes a company named "Perennial" in his films (e.g. Traffic (2000), The Limey (1999), Out of Sight (1998) and The Underneath (1995)).
- During his early days in Los Angeles, he rented an above-garage room from the Gyllenhaal family: director Stephen Gyllenhaal, screenwriter Naomi Foner and their young children, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jake Gyllenhaal.
- In 2001, he became the first director in 62 years to have twin Best Director Oscar nominations for Erin Brockovich (2000) and Traffic (2000). The last director to do that was Michael Curtiz with twin nominations for Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) and Four Daughters (1938). Soderbergh topped Curtiz by going on to win the Oscar for Traffic (2000).
- Became the youngest winner ever of the Palme d'Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival for Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), his feature film directorial debut. He was 26.
- Has directed three actors to Oscar nominations: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney and Benicio Del Toro. Roberts and Del Toro won the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor Oscars, respectively, for Erin Brockovich (2000) and Traffic (2000).
- He doesn't read reviews of his films.
- On DVD audio commentaries: "Would I, growing up, like to have had access to stuff on DVDs like this? Oh God, yeah! It's better than any film school, I think."
- Well, I think a part of you has to be scared, it keeps you alert; otherwise you become complacent. So absolutely, I'm purposefully going after things and doing things that I'm not sure if it's going to come off or not. Certainly Full Frontal was one of those. That was pure experimentation, that's the kind of film that you make going in where you know that a lot of people are not going to like it because it's an exploration of the contract that exists between the film-maker and the audience and what happens when you violate that contract.
- There are certain directors - Spielberg, David Fincher, John McTiernan - who sort of see things in three dimensions, and I was watching their films and sort of breaking them down to see how they laid sequences out, and how they paid attention to things like lens length, where the eyelines were, when the camera moved, how they cut, how they led your eye from one part of the frame to another.
- ...there've been a lot of questions about commercial films and non-commercial films, and I've never really made that separation in my mind. There's no question that when you read a piece of material, you have ideas about how it should be realised ... certainly when I read the script for Ocean's Eleven, I thought if this was realised the way it should, then it would appeal to a lot of people. Then you get involved in a film like Solaris and if you realise it the way it should be realised, then it won't appeal to a lot of people. But what are you going to do? You have to go at it...
- I learned from Richard Lester that as your career goes on, you learn more about how things can go wrong, but you never learn how things can go right. And it's really disorienting.
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