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Paul Greengrass
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Occupation:Director • Producer • Screenplay • Writer
Born:August 13, 1955
Birthplace:Surrey, England, United Kingdom
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About
A former journalist, Paul Greengrass is a British film director, screenwriter, and producer. He often makes films based on real-life incidents, engaging his audience with his tactful use of hand-held moving cameras and quick cuts. The director is best known for his work on United 93, Captain Phillips, and the Bourne film franchise.

Early Life
Paul Greengrass was born on 13 August 1995 in Cheam, Surrey, England. His father was a sea merchant and his mother, a teacher. His brother Mark Greengrass is a notable professor, author, and historian.

Paul Greengrass studied at Westcourt Primary School, Gravesend Grammar School, and Sevenoaks School, before going to college at Queen`s College, Cambridge. As a youngster, he used to make short films with a camera he found in his art room. These films were generally horror films, which he made with the help of old dolls and dummies he found lying around. After graduating from Queen`s, Greengrass joined the Granada Television School. He then started working as a journalist and documentary filmmaker. In the 1980s, he worked as a director for the ITV current affairs program World in Action. He, along with Peter Wright, co-authored the controversial book Spycatcher, which the British government tried to ban.

Movie Career
Paul Greengrass made his directorial debut in 1989 with the drama film Resurrected. Based on the story of Philip Williams, a British soldier who reappears seven weeks after he was thought to be dead, Resurrected premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, 1989. He then wrote and directed television movies like Open Fire (1994), The One That Got Away (1996), and The Fix (1997). In the year 1998, the filmmaker directed the Helena Bonham Carter and Kenneth Branagh-starrer The Theory of Flight, which was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival that same year.

The director then wrote and directed Bloody Sunday (2002), a film documenting the 1972 shootings on the Irish by British soldiers in Derby, Northern Ireland. Greengrass` film was critically acclaimed and won the Best Picture award at the Berlin Film Festival as well as the Sundance Film Festival. The success of Bloody Sunday led to Greengrass being selected to direct The Bourne Supremacy (2004), a sequel to The Bourne Identity (2002). The film is about Jason Bourne, a character played by Matt Damon, who suffers from amnesia but realizes he was a CIA assassin who is now being hunted. The film went on to be a blockbuster hit, establishing Greenglass as one of Hollywood`s most sought-after directors. Before he got to directing its sequel, Paul Greengrass wrote, produced, and directed United 93 (2006). Based on the 9/11 attacks and hijacking of the United Airlines Flight 93, the film was universally praised. Notable film critic Roger Ebert described the movie as masterful and heartbreaking, claiming that the movie "does honor to the memory of the victims". Paul Greengrass was nominated for the Best Director Academy Award but lost out to Martin Scorsese for The Departed. However, the Englishman won the David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction and Best Original Screenplay at the British Academy Film and Television Awards.

Greengrass` next project was The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), the third part of the Bourne series. Once again starring Matt Damon, the spy action thriller went on to be a huge success, receiving a nomination for Best British film at the BAFTA Awards, earning over 442 million USD globally. The director reunited with Damon in 2010 for the war thriller Green Zone, which documented the American soldiers` lives within the `green zone` in Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The film opened to largely positive and mixed reviews but bombed at the box office. The director`s next venture was Captain Phillips (2013), a biographical thriller film based on the true story of the American merchant navy`s Captain Phillips, essayed by Tom Hanks, being captured by Somalian pirates. Paul Greengrass was nominated for several awards for his direction of the movie at the BAFTA and Golden Globe awards but didn`t win any. In 2016, the director returned to the Bourne series, writing, producing, and directing its fifth installment, Jason Bourne. His other releases include 22 July (2018) and News of the World (2020).
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Did You Know? (1)

  • Paul Greenglass is a fan of English Premier League football club Crystal Palace.
  • Personal Quotes (3)

  • "Remembering is painful, it's difficult, but it can be inspiring and it can give wisdom."
  • "Acting is many things. Acting is playing lines, of course, but it's much more profound than that. Acting is truth-telling, and trying to find the truth in a human situation, which will be sketched out by a screenwriter with all the skill that a screenwriter can do; but in the end, that's just the map of the journey. The actor's job is to divine and embody the truth- and find it."
  • "By the time I'd done Bloody Sunday, I felt I reached the end of a chapter. I could feel it. I wanted to try something new, something different. Then, to my amazement, "Bloody Sunday" won lots of theatrical prizes, the audience award at Sundance, and then, to my even greater amazement, I had the opportunity to make a film in Hollywood. I mean, you wouldn't think, looking at my films, oh, there's a guy who's going to make films in Hollywood."
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