Alexander Payne, an American film director, and screenwriter, are well known for his satirical comedies. He has always wanted to be a filmmaker and a storyteller since he was a young boy. As a child, Alexander loved watching movies in the cinema whenever he could with his family, and he had a deep passion for film theory. Alexander’s parents encouraged his movie-watching experience, often taking him to the cinema on weekends when they could afford it. When Alexander was twelve years old, his father died of cancer, which really affected the young boy. He discovered in this period how valuable life is after losing someone so close to you, and it was during this time, he decided to dedicate his life to making movies.
Alexander graduated from high school at the age of seventeen but then dropped out of college. He began working as a journalist and critic for daily newspapers. Alexander started writing scripts at twenty-four; however, they were not screenplays but plays. Although he enjoyed his job, a journalist introduced Payne to cinema by writing articles about movies. That is how Alex fell in love with cinema and started making plans to become a director. He knew that he did not have the necessary resources or opportunities, so he had to work really hard to get where he wanted.
After working as a journalist, Payne began making short films and exploring his creative side. He kept on working hard at this little project until he had enough material to make his first feature-length film: Citizen Ruth (1996). The movie’s commercial success enabled him to make Election in 1999, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay. Alexander’s success did not stop there. He directed the 2001 film About Schmidt, which received positive reviews from critics and won him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. This movie also earned Payne a nomination at the Golden Globes Awards, the Director Guild of America Awards, and the BAFTA award in 2002.
2003 was another successful year for Alexander. Sideways (2004) received positive reviews and earned him a Golden Globe nomination, a BAFTA Award nomination, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nominations for Best Director, Best Picture, and nominations at the Screen Actors Guild awards. His latest project, called Downsizing, is scheduled for release in 2017. This will be his first release since Nebraska, which was released in 2013.
Alexander Payne has a distinctive style of storytelling which enables him to make movies that are enjoyable and funny and have an underlying message. This ability to understand human behavior and the way people interact with each other has made him one of today’s most successful Hollywood directors. Alexander is currently living in Omaha, Nebraska. He has been married to the former actress Rita Wilson.