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30 Amazing Facts About Paul Thomas Anderson You Didn’t Know Before

Paul Thomas Anderson
(Photo : Jürgen Fauth (flickr user muckster))

Paul Thomas Anderson, widely regarded as one of the best directors of his generation, is famous for his character-driven films with ambitious and engaging storytelling. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, one Golden Globe Award, and five BAFTA Awards, and has won a Best Director Award at Cannes, both a Golden and a Silver Bear at Berlin, and a Silver Lion at Venice. His ninth film, Licorice Pizza, is set to release in November 2021. Here are some really interesting facts about the director that will blow your mind:

    Paul Thomas Anderson Poll"Paul Thomas Anderson Poll" by Pink Cow Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

  1.  He is the only Director to win a best director prize at each of the big European film festivals. He won at Cannes for “Punch Drunk Love,” at Berlin for “There Will be Blood,” and at Venice for “The Master.”
  2.  His 2007 movie “There Will Be Blood,” which earned $76.1 million worldwide, against a budget of $25 million, received eight Academy Award nominations, with Daniel Day-Lewis winning the Oscar for Best Actor.
  3.  The movie was regarded by some critics as one of the greatest films of the decade, while some even declared it as one of the most accomplished American films of the modern era.
  4.  At the 70th Academy Awards, his second feature film – “Boogie Nights” was nominated for three awards, including for Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay.
  5.  His 2014 movie “Inherent Vice,” the film adaptation for Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel of the same name, marked the first time that Pynchon allowed his work to be adapted for the screen.
  6.  Paul Thomas Anderson was born on June 26, 1970 to Ernie Anderson and Edwina Anderson in Studio City, Los Angeles. He is third-youngest of nine children. He grew up in San Fernando Valley.
  7.  His father was the voice of ABC, who was also a Cleveland television late-night horror movie host known as "Ghoulardi." Paul was very close with his father.
  8.  He had a troubled relationship with his mother. It was his father who encouraged him to become a writer or director.
  9.  In his schooling days, he attended a number of schools, including Buckley in Sherman Oaks, John Thomas Dye School, Campbell Hall School, Cushing Academy, and Montclair Prep.
  10.  In a very young age, he became involved in filmmaking. In fact, he never had any alternative plan to directing films, and made his very first film at the age of 8.
  11. File:Paul Thomas Anderson 2007 crop.jpg"File:Paul Thomas Anderson 2007 crop.jpg" by Jürgen Fauth (flickr user muckster) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  12.  He was using a Betamax video camera that his father bought in the year 1982, to make movies. He switched to 8mm film, and realized that video was easier.
  13.  As a senior in high school at Montclair Prep, he wrote and filmed his first real production, with the money he earned from cleaning cages at a pet store.
  14.  The film was a 30-minute mockumentary shot on video called “The Dirk Diggler Story,” about a pornography star. The story was inspired by John Holmes, who also served as a major inspiration for Boogie Nights.
  15.  He first attended Santa Monica College. He spent two semesters at Emerson College, as an English major, where he was taught by David Foster Wallace.
  16.  He attended the New York University’s film program for only two days, and decided to drop out, to begin his career as a production assistant on television, films, music videos, and game shows in Los Angeles and New York City.
  17.  In this brief period, he handed in some of Pulitzer Prize-winner David Mamet's work as his own, and got back a “C” grade for the work, which made him decide to leave.
  18.  He felt that the material shown at the film school, turns the experience into “homework or a chore.” So he decided to make a 20-minute movie that would be his “college.”
  19.  After quitting the program, he got back his tuition payment. He earned some more through gambling, and used his girlfriend’s credit card also, to make “Cigarettes & Coffee,” a short film connecting multiple story lines with a $20 bill, which screened at the 1993 Sundance Festival Shorts Program.
  20.  Anderson decided to expand the short film into a feature-length, and subsequently invited to the 1994 Sundance Feature Film Program, with Michael Caton-Jones as his mentor.
  21.  At the program, he already had a deal with Rysher Entertainment to direct his first full-length feature “Sydney” retitled as “Hard Eight.”
  22. Punch Drunk Love (2002), Paul Thomas Anderson"Punch Drunk Love (2002), Paul Thomas Anderson" by Gaynoir_ is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  23.  However, after the completion of the movie, Rysher had it fully re-edited. Unhappy with this, he submitted the workprint of his original cut to the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. He even managed to get it released after raising $200,000 to finish it and re-titling it.
  24.  This released version actually launched his career, earning him critical acclaim. Paul was also simultaneously working on the script of his second feature film, which was his breakout “Boogie Nights.”
  25.  Following the success of his second movie, he was given fully creative control for his next movie by New Line Cinema, resulting in the ensemble piece “Magnolia,” which also earned three Academy Award nominations – Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Song, and Best Original Screenplay, at the 72nd Academy Awards.
  26.  He was employed as a standby director for “A Prairie Home Companion” for insurance purposes, and in the event that ailing 80-year-old director Robert Altman was unable to finish shooting.
  27.  It was said that Paul had had the idea for the 2012 movie “The Master” for about 12 years, which is around 2000. He claimed in an interview that “The Master” is the movie he was the most proud of.
  28.  His movie “The Master” is famous for its trailer that were notable for consisting footages not featured in the final cut of the movie. It was said that the trailers were edited by Anderson himself without the studio’s permission.
  29.  Since November 2001, he has been in a long-term relationship with actress and comedian Maya Rudolph. They reside together with their children in San Fernando Valley.
  30.  The duo has four children – three daughters – Pearl born in October 2005, Lucille born in November 2009, Ida born in August 2013, and a son – Jack born in July 2011.
  31.  He had initially wanted to have his own children featured in the early scenes set at the portrait studio, in the movie “The Master,” but decided against it, as his mixed=race children lacked the period appropriate look.
  32.  His 2017 movie “Phantom Thread” set in the 1954 London Fashion industry, received six nominations at the 90th Academy Awards, winning one for Best Costume Design.
  33.  Paul Thomas Anderson Net Worth: $60 Million

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