Jonze in October 2004, holding a producer credit for The 1 Second Film.
October 22, 1969
Rockville, Maryland, U.S.
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter, actor|
|Spouse(s)||Sofia Coppola (1999–2003; divorced)|
Spike Jonze (//; born Adam Spiegel; October 22, 1969) is an American director, producer, screenwriter and actor, whose work includes music videos, commercials, film and television. He is best known for his collaborations with writer Charlie Kaufman, which include the 1999 film Being John Malkovich (which gave him a nomination for Academy Award for Best Director) and the 2002 film Adaptation, and as the co-writer/director of the 2009 film Where the Wild Things Are.
Jonze is well known also for his music video collaborations with Weezer, Beastie Boys, and Björk. He was also a co-creator and executive producer of MTV's Jackass. He is currently the creative director of VBS.tv. He is also part owner of skateboard company Girl Skateboards with riders Rick Howard and Mike Carroll.
Early life and education
Spiegel was born on October 22, 1969 in Rockville, Maryland, and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and in Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania. His father, Arthur H. Spiegel III, was a distant relation of the Spiegel catalog family and founded APM Management Consultants. His mother, Sandra L. Granzow, is a writer, communications consultant in developing countries, and artist. His brother, Sam "Squeak E. Clean" Spiegel, is a producer and DJ. He also has a sister. His father was from a Jewish family, and his mother has German and Scottish ancestry.
Jonze attended SFAI in San Francisco, California. When he was in junior high and high school, Spiegel spent time at Bethesda community store, where the former owner Mike Henderson gave him his nickname "Spike Jonze" in reference to Spike Jones. He fronted Club Homeboy, an international BMX club, with Mark "Lew" Lewman and Andy Jenkins, both co-editors of Freestylin' Magazine in the mid- to late 1980s, where Jonze worked as a photographer. The three also created the youth culture magazines Homeboy and Dirt (the latter of which was described as "Sassy Magazine for boys," being published by the same company and distributed in cellophane bags with the landmark magazine for young women).
In 2006, he was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for "Outstanding Achievement in Commercials in 2005." He was nominated for a body of work that included Hello Tomorrow for Adidas, Lamp for IKEA, and Pardon Our Dust for The Gap. He was a producer and co-creator of MTV television series Jackass and Jackass: The Movie, also directing some of the segments. Jonze has acted in some videos and films; his most prominent role was in Three Kings as the sweet, dimwitted, casually racist Conrad, in which he was directed by friend David O. Russell.
Jonze was also a co-founder and editor of Dirt magazine along with Mark Lewman and Andy Jenkins, as well as an editor for Grand Royal Magazine and senior photographer for Transworld Skateboarding. In the past, Jonze shot street skateboarding videos, most notably Blind's highly influential Video Days in 1991, and Lakai Footwear's Fully Flared in 2007. He also co-directed the Girl Skateboards film Yeah Right! and the Chocolate Skateboards video Hot Chocolate. In the closing credits montage of Yeah Right!, Spike is shown doing a nollie heelflip in loafers. He is also co-owner of Girl Skateboards.
Jonze has many alter egos, including Richard Koufey (alternately spelled Coufey or Couffe), the leader of the Torrance Community Dance Group, an urban troupe that performs in public spaces. The Koufey persona appeared when Jonze, in character, filmed himself dancing to Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" as it played on a boom box in a public area. Jonze showed the video to Slim, who appears briefly in the video around the 3:57 mark.  Jonze then assembled a group of dancers to perform to Slim's "Praise You" outside a Westwood, California movie theater and taped the performance. The resulting clip was a huge success, and "Koufey" and his troupe were invited to New York City to perform the song for the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. The video received awards for Best Direction, Breakthrough, and Best Choreography, which Jonze accepted, still in character. Jonze made a mockumentary about the experience called Torrance Rises.
Spike Jonze was part of the Detour-Moleskine project in New York in 2007. The project invites authors to compile and illustrate Moleskine notebooks to provide an intimate insight into the artists' creative process.
Jonze directed Where the Wild Things Are, which opened in the United States on October 16, 2009. It was arguably his most anticipated film to date, the product of an almost decade long collaboration with author Maurice Sendak. The film received generally favorable reviews, and appeared on many critics' end-of-the-year top ten lists.
In July 2009, Jonze acquired the rights to make a film adaptation of the Shane Jones novel, Light Boxes. However, Jonze, in an interview with Times Online, said that Ray Tintori was no longer a director for that project as expected. In an interview with Interview Magazine in June 2010, Jones said the film option had been dropped.
In 2010, he made a 28-minute short titled Scenes from the Suburbs, inspired by the Arcade Fire album The Suburbs. Scenes from his short were used in the music video to the album's title song, "The Suburbs". A dystopian vision of suburbia in the near-future, the short was co-written by Jonze, Win Butler and Will Butler. Expanding on the themes of nostalgia, alienation and childhood, the short premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and saw its online premiere at MUBI on June 27, 2011.
Jonze is worked on another project with the Beastie Boys for the release of their Santigold collaboration, "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win." In a similar fashion to Jonze's recent work with Arcade Fire, he has directed both "short and epic-length videos" to partner with the single.
In 2011, Jonze directed the music video for "Otis" the second single from the album Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West. On November 3, 2013, Jonze directed the live music video for Arcade Fire's "Afterlife" and documented Lady Gaga's live performance of "Dope" with Chris Milk for the YouTube Music Awards.
Jonze's next theatrical project is Her, a science fiction romance film starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, and Rooney Mara. The film follows a man (Phoenix) who develops a relationship with a seemingly intuitive and humanistic female voice, named "Samantha" (Johansson), produced by an advanced computer operating system.
On June 26, 1999, Jonze married director Sofia Coppola, whom he had first met in 1992. On December 5, 2003, the couple filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences." The character of John, a career-driven photographer (Giovanni Ribisi) in Coppola's Lost in Translation (2003), was rumored to be based on Jonze, though Coppola has vehemently denied this.
|Year||Film||Role||Awards and nominations||Ref.|
|1997||How They Get There||Writer, director|
|1998||Amarillo by Morning||Director|
|1999||Torrance Rises||Co-director, choreographer, actor|
|2009||Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak||Co-director|
|We Were Once a Fairytale||Writer, director|
|2010||I'm Here||Nominated – Berlin International Film Festival – Golden Berlin Bear (Best Short Film)|||
|2011||Scenes From the Suburbs||Co-writer, director|
|Mourir Auprès De Toi||Co-writer, co-director||Nominated – Warsaw International Film Festival – Short Grand Prix Prize (shared with Simon Cahn)|||
- Ciao L.A. (director) (1994)
- An Intimate Look Inside the Acting Process with Ice Cube (director) (1999)
- What's Up, Fatlip? (director) (2003)
- The Work of Director Spike Jonze (director) (2003)
- The Mystery of Dalarö (director) (2004)
- Corporate Ghost (actor, director) (2004)
- Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow (cinematographer) (2004)
- Rubbish Heap for SMA World Industries (1989)
- Two World Industries Men for SMA World Industries (1989)
- Video Days for Blind (1991)
- Goldfish (1993)
- Mouse (1996)
- The Chocolate Tour (1999)
- Yeah Right! (2003)
- Hot Chocolate! (2004)
- The Krooked Chronicles (2006)
- Fully Flared for Lakai (2007)
- Final Flare for Mark (2008)
- Pretty Sweet for Girl (2012)
|Year||Film||Role||Awards and nominations||Ref.|
|1993||Mi Vida Loca||Actor|
(Private First Class Conrad Vig)
|Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Breakthrough Artist (also for Being John Malkovich)|
|2001||Human Nature||Producer||Munich Film Festival High Hopes Award (shared with Anthony Bregman, Ted Hope, Charlie Kaufman)|||
|Keep Your Eyes Open||Actor|
|2002||Jackass: The Movie||Producer/Actor|
|2006||Jackass: Number Two|
|2008||Synecdoche, New York||Producer||Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature (shared with Charlie Kaufman, Anthony Bregman, Sidney Kimmel)
Nominated – Gotham Award for Best Film
|Heavy Metal in Baghdad|
|2009||The 1 Second Film||Producer/Actor|
|Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life|
|2013||Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa||Producer/Writer|
|The Wolf of Wall Street||Actor (Dwayne)|
|2000||Jackass||Creator, executive producer|
|2004||Sonic Youth Video Dose||Actor|
|2010–2012||The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret||Actor (Doug Whitney)|
- Spike Jonze at the Internet Movie Database
- Business Wire (13). "Vice Music Chooses The Orchard". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "THE DIRECTOR'S LABEL COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX SET AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 16". Smells Like Music. Sperry Media. Unknown. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Spike Jonze Biography (1969–)". film reference. Advameg, Inc. 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- O'Donnell, Kevin. "Hot Star Magnet: Sam Spiegel". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
- Smith, Ethan (October 18, 1999). "Spike Jonze Unmasked". New York Magazine (New York Media). Retrieved August 19, 2008.
- Andy Jenkins; Mark Lewman (June–August 1984). "publications/Freestylin/1984". 23mag.com. Bob Osborn (Wizard Publications). Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Awards for Spike Jonze at the Internet Movie Database
- "Sneak peek: The monsters of where the wild things are"
- Landay, Vincent (Producer) Brown, Richard (Producer) (2003). The Work of Director Spike Jonze (DVD) (in English). New York City: Palm Pictures. Event occurs at Side A, Commentry Track of Praise You spoken by Normal Cook (Fatboy Slim).
- "Spike Jonze-Moleskine"
- "Spike Jonze On Where The Wild Things Are", Empire Online Fovember 19, 2008
- Saki Knafo (September 6, 2009). "Bringing 'Where the Wild Things Are' to the Screen". New York Times.
- "The Top Ten Chart For January 21, 2010". Movie City News. October 18, 1999. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- Tim Teeman (May 15, 2010). "A cure for Aids? Spike Jonze is not joking". London: Times Online. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- Laura Van Den Berg (June 22, 2010). "Shedding Light on Shane Jones". Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- "Scenes from the Suburbs". MUBI. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "Spike Jonze to direct 'epic' Beastie Boys video". London: The Independent. July 5, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Breihan, Tom (August 1, 2011). "Spike Jonze to Direct Jay-Z/Kanye "Otis" Video". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- "Spike Jonze to direct live music videos for Arcade Fire and Lady Gaga at YouTube Awards". NME. IPC Media. October 31, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Sony Picks Up New Spike Jonze & David O. Russell Movies
- "Jonze and Coppola Announce Divorce Plans"
- "Sofia Coppola, Spike Jonze to divorce". USA Today. December 9, 2003.
- "Sofia's Choice ", Entertainment Weekly, October 3, 2003.
- "Rinko Kikuchi: the interview", The Guardian, February 27, 2011.
- Awards for Being John Malkovich at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Adaptation. at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Where the Wild Things Are at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Scenes from the Suburbs at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Mourir auprès de toi at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Synecdoche, New York at the Internet Movie Database
- Waxman, Sharon, ed. (2005), Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System, HarperEntertainment.
- Spike Jonze at the Internet Movie Database
- Spike Jonze Producer Profile on The 1 Second Film website
- Allmovie entry for Spike Jonze