Date of Birth: August 1, 1965
Sam Mendes was born in Redding, England. He admits it was, "one of the more boring towns,[and] not a great
place to be born. I wish I'd been born in a more glamorous place, but I grew up in London and moved
to Oxford when I was about 12. My mum was a publisher. Then back to London in my 20s . . . so I feel
I'm a Londoner."
While in London, his fame grew in the West End with several hit productions, including the award
winning production ofThe Rise and Fall of Little Voice, as well as Cabaret, which
attracted the interest of both theatre and movie circles alike. The production moved to Broadway, where
Mendes remained to direct The Blue Room with Nicole Kidman.
"I love America. I like being there, the culture of movies. There are problems as there are in any
society, but I'm not anti-American. I love NY particularly; LA is an acquired taste which I haven't
quite acquired (laughs)."
When director Steven Spielburg saw Mendes' Cabaret on Broadway, he decided to meet the young director
and showed him the script to American Beauty. Mendes said that after he read the script, he found it "so
exciting and so new and so original and so full of life and so difficult that I thought, 'I'm going
to do this movie. There's never going to be a better time.'"
He confesses that it took him ten years to make the transition from stage to screen direction because, as he told the
London Sunday Telegraph, "I was so nervous ... of making mistakes that I kind of froze."
While shooting American Beauty, Mendes absorbed information about lenses and camera movement, lighting and
coverage. "I learnt an astonishing number of things - and especially about myself: to me this a much
more personal piece of work than anything I've done on stage." And he couldn't be more right. In
1999, he won the People's Choice Award for the film, and in 2000, he won a Golden Globe award for Best Picture, and won an Academy Award for Best Director. Mendes continued to helm well-received films but in 2012 he really got people talking when he took on the task of directing the 23rd installment in the iconic James Bond franchise Skyfall.
In 2003, he married actor Kate Winslet, with whom he has a son. He directed her in the critically-acclaimed film Revolutionary Road (2008), for which she won a Golden Globe.
Away We Go(2009)
Sweeney Todd (2005)
Road to Perdition(2002)