Below is a compiled list of the most interesting facts about Sam Mendes. Check it out!
Samuel Alexander Mendes was born on August 1, 1965 in Reading, England, UK to parents James Peter Mendes, a retired university lecturer, and Valerie Helene Mendes, an author who writes children’s books. Their marriage didn’t last long, James divorced Sam’s mother in 1970 when Sam was just 5-years-old. Sam was educated at Cambridge University and joined the Chichester Festival Theatre following his graduation in 1987. Afterwards, he directed Judi Dench in “The Cherry Orchard”, for which he won a Critics Circle Award for Best Newcomer. He then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he directed such productions as “Troilus and Cressida” with Ralph Fiennes and “Richard III”. In 1992, he became artistic director of the reopened Donmar Warehouse in London, where he directed such productions as “The Glass Menagerie” and the revival of the musical “Cabaret”, which earned four Tony Awards including one for Best Revival of a Musical. He also directed “The Blue Room” starring Nicole Kidman. In 1999, he got the chance to direct his first feature film, American Beauty (1999). The movie earned 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Mendes, which is a rare feat for a first-time film director.
Interesting Facts about Sam Mendes
- He is one of only six directors to win an Academy Award for Best Director for their debut film.
- Ex-son-in-law of Roger Winslet.
- Directed 4 actors in Oscar nominated performances: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Paul Newman, and Michael Shannon. Spacey won for his performance in American Beauty (1999).
- He was awarded the 2002 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director for “Uncle Vanya” and “Twelfth Night” performed at the Donmar Warehouse.
- In 2000, he won his first Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play for his production of “The Real Thing”.
- Grandson of writer Alfred H. Mendes.
- To date (2009), all of the leading actresses in his films are in relationships with film directors: American Beauty (1999)’s Annette Bening (Warren Beatty), Road to Perdition (2002)’s Jennifer Jason Leigh (Noah Baumbach), Away We Go (2009)’s Maya Rudolph (Paul Thomas Anderson), and his own wife, Kate Winslet, in Revolutionary Road (2008). The only exception is Jarhead (2005), in which the leading actors are all male.
- Ranked #91 in Premiere’s 2003 annual Power 100 List.
- He was nominated for a 1998 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Director of the 1997 season for “Othello” at the Royal National Theatre.
- Suggested the idea for initiating production on “Shrek the Musical” to Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks Animation during the creation of Shrek 2 (2004). Is a big fan of the first “Shrek” film.
- Is a big cricket fan and is said to have incorporated the ideas of former England cricket captain Mike Brearly in his direction.
- Was born in the same small Reading hospital where his wife, Kate Winslet, was born 10 years later.
Personal Quotes by Sam Mendes
It took me a long time to film the plastic bag, and then I had to get the cut of the scene right. But if you find it as beautiful as the character does, then suddenly it becomes a different movie, and so did he as a character.- Sam Mendes
You’ve got to believe as a filmmaker that if a movie’s good enough, it’s going to survive; and if it’s not, well, it won’t.- Sam Mendes
Actors get pigeonholed very quickly, particularly movie actors. In the theater, one is more used to casting people against type and trusting that their talent and skill will get them through.- Sam Mendes
You think about taking audiences on a journey.- Sam Mendes
One of the reasons I loved working with Tom is people feel they know who he is… I think working with an actor who the audience already has a relationship with actually helps you in a film like this.- Sam Mendes