Charlie Kaufman

Charlie Kaufman

screenwriter

Background:

“I liked Woody Allen when I was younger. The early Woody Allen is a complete
mess, which I liked as a kid, but he was also a person that I could aspire to
be, you know, short Jewish guys up there on the screen. I wanted to write
comedies when I was younger, and yeah I liked his style. But I had a different
idea of things then.” Charlie Kaufman

First coming to prominence as the writer of the surprise hit Being John
Malkovich (1999), for which he received numerous accolades and an Oscar nod,
American screenwriter-producer Charlie Kaufman, known for his interesting
scripts that frequently center on an introverted, somewhat shy, male protagonist
and a more dominant female figure, launched to superstardom with the Michel
Gondry-directed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). For his
spectacular work, he won countless awards and nominations, most notably an
Academy Award and a BAFTA Award. The Oscar winning screenwriter also gained a
number of praise for his efforts in Adaptation (2002) for director Spike Jonze,
Human Nature (2002) and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002).

Aside from his outstanding work, Kaufman, who was listed No. 100 in Premiere's
2003 annual Power 100 List, is notorious for evading the press and in particular
hating the idea of being interviewed on television. His first and only
television interview was for Charlie Rose at the end of March 2004.
Additionally, he is close-lipped about his own life and background.


Fervent Reader

Childhood and Family:

In New York, New York, Charles Stewart Kaufman, who would later be popular as
Charlie Kaufman, was born on September 20, 1958 to a Jewish family. He relocated
from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut at age 14 where he
attended high school. An ardent reader, Charles wrote plays and created short
films as a young student. Also a comedic actor, he showed off his talents by
performing on school plays. After high school graduation, he briefly enrolled at
Boston University, but quit to study film at New York University.

A native of New York, Charlie currently resides in Pasadena, California. He is
the husband of Denise Kaufman, and has a daughter named Anna.


Being John Malkovich

Career:

A graduate from NYU’s film school, Charlie Kaufman knocked around NYC for a
while struggling to break into entertainment industry before finally getting a
break in 1991 when he was recruited as a staff writer for the Fox sitcom “Get a
Life!,” starring Chris Elliot. He continued to pen comedy outlines and a variety
of TV show episodes such as Fox’s “The Edge” (1992-1993), the CBS sitcom “The
Trouble with Larry” (1993), “Ned and Stacey” (1995) and the short-lived ABC
series “The Dana Carvey Show” (1996). He also served as a co-producer for the
soon cancelled Fox comedy “Misery Loves Company” (1995).

Kaufman, however, did not come to wide attention until 1999 with the ingenious
screenplay Being John Malkovich, about a puppeteer (John Cusack) who find outs a
door in his office that permits him to enter the mind and life of John Malkovich
(John Malkovich) for 15 minutes and then he attempts to turn the gateway into a
small business. Directed by Spike Jonze and starring Cusack, Catherine Keener
and Cameron Diaz, the comedy film became a festival darling before its
theatrical release led to its prestige. For his efforts, Kaufman won a number of
accolades, including a BAFTA, an Independent Spirit and a Chicago Film Critics
Association for Best Original Screenplay. He also received an Academy Award and
Golden Globe nominations.

After Being John Malkovich became a surprise hit, Kaufman abruptly became a hot
commodity. He rejoined Spike Jonze with Jonze as producer for Human Nature
(2001), a comedy about a bushy woman who falls in love with a man with a tiny
penis. Helmed by Michel Gondy, Human Nature premiered at Cannes and released
theatrically in USA in 2002. The same year also saw the writer team with George
Clooney in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, an adaptation of the presumably
fictionalized and ludicrous autobiography of game show producer and host Chuck
Barris, which marked Clooney’s directorial debut.

But, it was the Spike Jonze-helmed Adaptation (2002), a movie version of a
best-selling novel by Susan Orlean, that again garnered Kaufman with countless
recognition. In addition to earning his next Oscar and Golden Globe nods, he
also won such awards as a BAFTA Film, a Central Ohio Film Critics, a Chicago
Film Critics Association, a Florida Film Critics Circle, a Golden Satellite, an
Online Film Critics Society, a Boston Society of Film Critics, a New York Film
Critics Circle, a Toronto Film Critics Association, a San Diego Film Critics
Society and a Southeastern Film Critics Association for Best Screenplay,
Adapted. Moreover, Human Nature, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Adaptation
earned Kaufman a 2002 National Board of Review for Best Screenplay. His
brilliant efforts in the latter two also handed Kaufman a Broadcast Film Critics
Association for Best Writer.

Kaufman reached the zenith of his fame in 2004, when he wrote the screenplay for
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a second film with director Michel Gondry.
The film, which cast Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as a couple of lovers who
shocking breakup leads them to a company that can wipe away agonizing memories,
made a strong impression and received critical raves. As a result, Kaufman
collected a number of awards and nominations and, most notably picked up honors
for Best Original Screenplay at the BAFTA Awards, the Writers Guild of America
Awards, the National Board of Review Awards, the London Critics Circle Film
Awards, the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards and, eventually, the Academy
Awards. Kaufman also took home the prestigious PEN American Center 2005 prize
for screenplay for the film.

Kaufman is schedule to make his debut as a director with his upcoming project,
Synecdoche, New York (2007), a drama which tell the story of a tormented
playwright who is forced to cope with numerous women in his life. The film will
star Academy Award winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Oscar nominee Michelle
Williams.


Awards:

Oscar: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2005
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn, Best Writer,
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2005
BAFTA Film: Best Screenplay – Original, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless
Mind, 2005
Bram Stoker: Screenplay, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2005
Writers Guild of America: Best Original Screenplay, Eternal Sunshine of
the Spotless Mind, 2005
Central Ohio Film Critics: Best Screenplay, Eternal Sunshine of the
Spotless Mind, 2005
Kansas City Film Critics Circle: Best Screenplay, Original, Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2005
Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Sierra Award, Best Screenplay, Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2005
London Critics Circle Film: Screenwriter of the Year, Eternal Sunshine
of the Spotless Mind, 2005
Online Film Critics Society: Best Screenplay, Original, Eternal Sunshine
of the Spotless Mind, 2005
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Original,
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004
National Board of Review: Best Screenplay – Original, Eternal Sunshine
of the Spotless Mind, 2004
Phoenix Film Critics Society: Best Screenplay Written Directly for the
Screen, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004
Seattle Film Critics: Association: Best Screenplay, Original, Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004
Southeastern Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Original,
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004
Toronto Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Eternal Sunshine of
the Spotless Mind, 2004
Central Ohio Film Critics: Best Screenplay, Adapted, Adaptation, 2003

Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Writer, Confessions of a
Dangerous Mind, Adaptation, 2003
Chicago Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Adaptation, 2003
Florida Film Critics Circle: Best Screenplay, Adaptation, 2003
Online Film Critics Society: Best Screenplay, Adapted, Adaptation, 2003
PEN Center USA West Literary: Screenplay, Adaptation, 2003
Golden Satellite: Best Screenplay, Adapted, Adaptation, 2003
BAFTA Film: Best Screenplay, Adapted, Adaptation, 2003
Boston Society of Film Critics: Best Screenplay, Adaptation, 2002
National Board of Review: Best Screenplay, Human Nature, Adaptation, and
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, 2002
Munich Film Festival: High Hopes, Human Nature, 2002
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Screenplay, Adaptation, 2002
Toronto Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Adaptation, 2002
San Diego Film Critics Society: Best Screenplay, Adapted, Adaptation,
2002
Southeastern Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Adapted,
Adaptation, 2002
London Critics Circle Film: Screenwriter of the Year, Being John
Malkovich, 2001
BAFTA Film: Best Screenplay – Original, Being John Malkovich, 2000
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn, Best Writer,
Being John Malkovich, 2000
Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Sierra Award, Best Screenplay, Original,
Being John Malkovich, 2000
Santa Fe Film Critics Circle: Best Original Screenplay, Being John
Malkovich, 2000
Online Film Critics Society: Best Screenplay, Original, Being John
Malkovich, 2000
National Society of Film Critics: Being John Malkovich, 2000
Independent Spirit, Best First Screenplay, Being John Malkovich, 2000

Chlotrudis: Best Screenplay, Being John Malkovich, 2000
Chicago Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Being John Malkovich,
2000
San Diego Film Critics Society: Best Screenplay, Original, Being John
Malkovich, 1999
Toronto Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Being John Malkovich,
1999
Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Being John
Malkovich, 1999
Boston Society of Film Critics: Best Screenplay, Being John Malkovich,
1999
 
Meet me in Montauk...More Charlie Kaufman quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
There is so much crap in the world, both in show and other businesses, that I try to be vulnerable myself, in the hopes that there is some truth I can get to, that makes people feel less alone in the world.More Charlie Kaufman quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
You're dealing with the body, and you're dealing with bodily functions. We romanticize everything about people in movies.More Charlie Kaufman quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
There's no way to approach anything in an objective way. We're completely subjective our view of the world is completely controlled by who we are as human beings, as men or women, by our age, our history, our profession, by the state of the world.More Charlie Kaufman quotes [03/12/2018 02:03:32]
I like for people to figure things out for themselves. It's not like I have the right answer, but if I have a visceral reaction to something, I'm sure that other people will, too.More Charlie Kaufman quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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