The American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson knew almost all his life that he wanted to make films. He is proof that it is always a good thing to recognize your calling early in life. Anderson has been described as one of the outstanding talents of our time. He has directed at least 9 feature films, notably Boogie Nights (1997), There Will Be Blood (2007) and Phantom Thread (2017).
Paul Thomas Anderson Biography
Paul Thomas Anderson was born on June 26, 1970, in Studio City, California, and grew up in the San Fernando Valley, where he now lives with his family. His father Ernie Anderson was a popular actor in his day and hosted a late-night horror show in Cleveland.
His father’s entertainment DNA robbed him early on when Anderson started making movies at the age of 8. He didn’t even have a plan B, and his father supported him all the way. He bought him a Betamax video camera when he was 12 years old.
Anderson attended several high schools, including Campbell Hall School and Montclair College Preparatory. During his senior year in high school, Anderson wrote and filmed his first real production, a documentary called The Dirk Diggler Story (1988). The 30-minute film was about a once-great porn star named Dirk Diggler.
After graduating high school, Anderson jumped through three colleges, including Santa Monica College, Emerson College, where he spent two semesters majoring in English, and New York University, where he spent two days before getting his tuition back.
Anderson said the college made filmmaking look like a chore, and instead he decided to replace his college education with his own short film.
With funds from various sources, including $20,000 from gambling, Anderson made the short film Cigarettes & Coffee (1993), which was shown in 1993 as part of the Sundance Festival Shorts Program.
He later made it to the Sundance Feature Film Program, whereupon he directed his first feature-length film, Hard Eight, which eventually launched his career.
The net assets of PT Anderson are estimated at approximately $50 to $70 million. However, many have doubted these figures, considering that not many of his feature films have had outstanding commercial success. The 2007 film There Will Be Blood is his most successful film, earning just over $76 million on a $25 million budget.
However, there is a counter-argument that Anderson is worth this figure when you consider that he takes residual benefits from his films, shoots TV commercials and even banks benefit from directing music videos. P.S.: In the late 1990s and early 2000s he directed a series of music videos for his then singer friend Fiona Apple.
The characters may seem too big or too small for PT Anderson, depending on your perceptions, but the truth is that he is far from broke and obviously living his dreams.
The scripts of Anderson’s films have been written in books and offered for sale. Some of them are Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master, Phantom Thread and Altman on Altman.
Anderson entered into a relationship with actress, comedian and singer Maya Rudolph (bridesmaids and adults) in 2001. Although it is unclear when they got married, the couple started a family together in 2005. They were also referred to as married couples in an article in the Tagespost published in early 2016.
In October 2005 they welcomed their first edition, a daughter named Pearl Minnie. Their other children include daughters Lucille and Minnie Ida, born in November 2009 and August 2013 respectively, and son Jack, born in July 2011.
The family lives in a mansion in the San Fernando Valley.
Awards and Nominations
Anderson has received awards and nominations since the release of his first feature film Hard Eight (1996). Until 2016 he was the only film director to win all three directing awards at the three major international film festivals in Venice, Cannes, and Berlin.
His films have also helped to shape the careers of certain actors, earning them equally coveted awards and nominations. For example, Daniel Day-Lewis, who played the lead role in There Will Be Blood, received an Oscar for Best Actor. His works have won at least 25 Oscars, at least 8 of which were in his own name.
Here is a brief look at some of his awards
Hard Eight (1996)
Won (1): Boston Society of Film Critics award for the best new filmmaker.
Boogie Nights (1997)
Won (3): Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best New Filmmaker; Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for New Generation and the Metro Media Award of the Toronto International Film Festival Award.
Nominated (10): Academy and BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay, 3 nominations for Satellite Award AND more.
Won (7): 3 Toronto Film Critics Association Prize for Best Director, Best Film and Best Screenplay, 2 Berlin International Film Festival Prize for the Golden Bear and the Reader’s Jury of the “Berliner Morgenpost” Prize, Film of the Year of the San Sebastián International Film Festival and Guldbagge Prize for Best Foreign Film.
Nominated (11): Including Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Won (4): Prize of the Cannes Film Festival for Best Director, Prize of the Gijón International Film Festival for Best Screenplay, Prize of the Toronto Film Critics Association for Best Director and Prize of the Motovun Film Festival for the Propeller of Motovun.
Nominated (6): Including the Prize of the Society of Online Film Critics for Best Original Screenplay.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Won (13): Among others Bodil Award for the best American film, London Critics Circle Film Award for Director of the Year, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for the best director, Berlin International Film Festival for the best director and more.
Nominated (27): Including 3 Oscar and 3 BAFTA awards for the best-adapted screenplay, best director and best film.
The Master (2012)
Won (3): Silver Lion Award of the Venice International Film Festival, Prize of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for Best Director and Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics for Best Film.
Nominated (17): Including BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Inherent Vice (2014)
Won (2): National Board of Review for Best Edited Screenplay and San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Edited Screenplay
Nominated (6): Includes an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Phantom Thread (2017)
Won (5): Including the Boston Society of Film Critics award for best director, the Toronto Film Critics Association award for best director.
Nominated (11): Includes 2 Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Film.