30 Killer Facts About Kathryn Bigelow You Might Have Missed Before

Kathryn Bigelow
(Photo : Pulicciano)

Kathryn Bigelow, famous for her incredible visuals and heart-pounding acting sequences, is one of the few enigmatic filmmakers, who make brave choices in the scripts they bring to life. Her keen eye for visual aesthetics and imagery, makes her movies stand out from the rest, while earning her numerous accolades. In fact, she is the first female director, to have accomplished many feats like winning an Academy Award. In her entire career spanning more than three decades, she has turned out to be a role model for numerous upcoming directors. Here are some really fascinating facts about the director that will make you love her more:

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  1.  Kathryn is the first woman in history to have won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director twice – for the 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker,” as well as the 2012 movie “Zero Dark Thirty.”
  2.  With her movie “The Hurt Locker,” she became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director, while the movie also won the Best Picture Award, at the 63rd British Academy Film Awards.
  3.  She was the fourth woman in the history of Academy Award to be nominated for the honor, and is also the second American woman to have achieved this feat.
  4.  The 2010 Santa Barbara International Film Festival hosted "A Celebration of Kathryn Bigelow", which featured a retrospective of her work from the 1981 movie “The Loveless,” to the 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker.”
  5.  She is known to go to extremes while filming her movies throughout her career. For instance, while filming the skydiving scene in the “Point Break” movie, she was also on the airplane, with a parachute on, to film Patrick Swayze throw himself into the sky.
  6.  Kathryn Ann Bigelow was born on November 27, 1951 to Ronald Elliot Bigelow and Gertrude Kathryn in San Carlos, California. She was an only child of the family.
  7.  Her father worked as a paint factory manager, while her mother, who was Norwegian descent, worked as a librarian. Her father passed away in 1992, while her mother passed away in 1994.
  8.  She attended Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, California, where her creative endeavors were in the form of painting.
  9.  In the fall of 1970, she enrolled at San Francisco Art Institute, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in December 1972.
  10.  Around the same time, she was accepted into the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program, in New York City.
  11. Kathryn Bigelow"Kathryn Bigelow" by david.torcivia is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  12.  She stayed with painter Julian Schnabel, as an impoverished artist, in the loft of performance artist Vito Acconci, for a while, before getting any jobs.
  13.  She even joined hands with Philip Glass on a real-estate venture for a while, renovating distressed apartments downtown, and selling them for a profit.
  14.  Bigelow enrolled for the graduate film program at Columbia University, to study theory and criticism. She also taught at the California Institute of the Arts.
  15.  During this period, she published an article, "Not on the Development of Contradiction," in the Art & Language magazine The Fox.
  16.  The 1987 movie “Near Dark” marked the first solo directorial effort. It was said that producer Edward S. Feldman had given her five days, and if she could not handle it within that time, she would be replaced immediately.
  17.  At that time, it was James Cameron, her future husband, had suggested her to use the ready-made ensemble cast of Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein and Bill Paxton, from his just hit movie “Aliens.”
  18.  For her movie “Point Break,” the producers were more interested in having higher profile actors like Johnny Depp, at that time, but Bigelow believed in Keanu Reeves and insisted on having him play the role of Johnny Utah.
  19.  She is said to have fought with the producers and even claimed she would not film the movie without him. The movie went on to be her highest grossing movie, until the 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker.”
  20.  It was said that it was her ex-husband James Cameron, who convinced her to direct the 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker.” She was not sure about doing the movie, and originally planned to do another one.
  21.  However, after reading the script, Cameron told her it would be best to do this movie. She ended up earning the Academy Award for Best Director for this movie, beating James Cameron, who was also nominated for his movie “Avatar.”
  22. kathryn bigelow"kathryn bigelow" by McD D Love is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

  23.  Before the filming of “Strange Days” commenced, she found that the camera system at that time could not accomplish the shots necessary for the point-of-view sequences, and had her then-husband James Cameron’s company – Lightstorm Entertainment’s research division, design a special camera featuring interchangeable lenses, remote follow focus, and video assist, for a full year.
  24.  In the year 2014, she announced plans to direct two movies – a feature film based on the life of Bowe Bergdahl, a US Army soldier held captive by the Taliban aligned Haqqani network, from 2009 to 2014.
  25.  The second movie was announced to be an adaptation of Anand Giridharadas’s non-fiction book “The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas,” starring Tom Hardy.
  26.  Her movie “The Hurt Locker” has been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, as being “culturally, historically and esthetically” significant.
  27.  For her 1995 movie “Strange Days,” she won the “Saturn Award for Best Director,” becoming the first woman in history to have received the honor.
  28.  The Harvard Film Archive hosted a retrospective of her career – titled "Take It To The Edge: The Films Of Kathryn Bigelow," showing all of her films from “The Loveless” to “The Hurt Locker,” from July 1, 2009 to July 13, 2009, while also featuring a Q&A session with her.
  29.  She was also honored by the American Cinematheque, by showing all of her movies at The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, from June 5, 2009 to June 7, 2009.
  30.  She is the first woman to win the BAFTA Award for Best Direction, for “The Hurt Locker.” Bigelow is also the first woman to win the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
  31.  For her 2012 movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” she won the National Board of Review Award for Best Director, becoming the first woman to have received the honor.
  32.  At the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California, Barbra Streisand presented her the Best Director Oscar statuette for “The Hurt Locker,” on March 7, 2010. Streisand was the only woman to have won the Golden Globe for Best Director.
  33.  Kathryn Bigelow Net Worth: $40 Million

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