Ben Younger (born October 7, 1972) is an American screenwriter and film director.
Early life and career
Younger was born in Brooklyn, and raised in a Modern Orthodox Jewish household in Eltingville, Staten Island and in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. He attended a yeshiva, before entering Queens College, part of the City University of New York, where he studied political science. While at university, he started performing comedy. After leaving university, he set his sights on a career in politics, taking on a role as a policy analyst for the New York City comptroller's office, where he served as a legislative aide to Alan Hevesi. After that, he successfully managed the State Assembly campaign for Queens Democrat Melinda Katz, becoming, at 21, the city's youngest ever campaign manager.
Despite his success, Younger became disenchanted with politics, and by 1995 started to seek a creative outlet that would rekindle the excitement he felt as a stand-up comedian. He wrote and directed a short film,L & M, as well as working on a number of feature films as a grip, and directing music videos and commercials.
In 1995, he attended an interview for a job in a brokerage firm, and immediately conceived the idea that went on to become his first film, Boiler Room. He spent two years researching the underground telemarketing brokerage industry as background for his screenplay. Boiler Room was released in 2000. A corporate drama in the mold of Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross, with colorful dialogue that some critics compared to David Mamet, the film exposed the shady world of "chop shops" (underground brokerage firms), and starred Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nicky Katt, Jamie Kennedy, and Ben Affleck.
Younger's second film, Prime (2005), is a romantic comedy about the relationship between a young Jewish man and an older gentile woman. The film stars Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. The movie was prominently featured in the HBO show Unscripted because Bryan Greenberg, star of Unscripted was also the male lead in Prime. Younger appeared as himself in the episodes where the movie was featured.
Bleed for This
Younger's third film Bleed for This is an American biographical drama based on the life of former World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza. Younger both wrote and directed. The film stars Miles Teller, Katey Sagal, Amanda Clayton and Aaron Eckhart, and is executive produced by Martin Scorsese. The film was released on November 18, 2016.
- Boiler Room (2000)
- The Hit Man and the Investigator (2001)
- The Car Thief and the Hit Man (2001)
- Toothpaste (2004)
- Prime (2005)
- Army Wives (1 episode, 2007)
- Bleed for This (2016)
- Maestro (1998)
Awards and nominations
|2000||Deauville American Film Festival||Nominated||Grand Special Prize||Boiler Room|
|Won||Jury Special Prize||Boiler Room (Tied with Memento)|
|2001||Independent Spirit Award||Nominated||Best First Screenplay||Boiler Room|
|Best First Feature||Boiler Room (Shared with Jennifer Todd and Suzanne Todd)|
- Levy, Ariel (January 17, 2000). "Bard of the Boiler Room". Nymag.com. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
- "Ben Younger - Trailer - Showtimes - Cast - Movies & TV - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
- "The Prime of Ben Younger". Emanuellevy.com. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
- "Ben Younger – Biography – Yahoo!7 Movies". Au.movies.yahoo.com. April 11, 2008. Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
- Murray, Noel (February 28, 2000). "The Boiler Room". filmvault.com.
- Wrathall, John. "Boiler Room". bfi.org.uk. Archived from the original on October 7, 2007.
- "Interviews > Ben Younger". Suicidegirls.com. March 8, 2006. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
- Soup :: Ben Younger: But, What I Really Want To Do Is Direct (A Motorcycle Racing Movie) Archived January 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine