Charlie McDowell

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Charlie McDowell
Charlie McDowell.jpg
Charles Malcolm McDowell

(1983-07-10) July 10, 1983 (age 39)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
EducationAFI Conservatory
  • Film director
  • writer
(m. 2021)
RelativesAlexander Siddig (cousin)

Charles Malcolm McDowell[1] (born July 10, 1983)[2] is an American film director and screenwriter. He is most known for his film The One I Love (2014).

Early life[edit]

McDowell was born on July 10, 1983, in Los Angeles, California to English actor Malcolm McDowell and American actress Mary Steenburgen. He has an older sister named Lilly (born January 22, 1981) and three younger half-brothers from his father's marriage to Kelley Kuhr.[3][4] His stepfather is actor Ted Danson, who married Steenburgen in 1995.[5]


In 2011, McDowell's Twitter feed, @charliemcdowell, was described by Time as "one of the most hilarious Twitter feeds out there,"[6] and in 2013 Three Rivers Press published McDowell's book, Dear Girls Above Me, based on his Twitter feed.[7][8]

His debut film, The One I Love, starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014, where shortly after it was acquired by RADiUS-TWC and released in August 2014.[9][10][11] In 2015, McDowell directed Sarah Silverman's untitled HBO series pilot.[12] The project was not picked up by the network. McDowell's next film, The Discovery, starred Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, and Robert Redford.[13][14] The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Netflix for a global release in 2017.[15]

In March 2017, filmmaker McDowell announced he was adapting author Don DeLillo's novel Zero K as a limited series for FX with Noah Hawley and Scott Rudin producing.[16] McDowell previously directed an episode of Hawley's television series Legion, also for FX.

In 2019, McDowell directed the first and last episodes of the Showtime series On Becoming a God in Central Florida and also served as an executive producer. He also directed episodes of Silicon Valley, Dear White People, Tales from the Loop, and Dispatches from Elsewhere.

His next film, Gilded Rage, will be based on the infamous murder of investment banker Thomas Gilbert Sr. Bill Skarsgård and Christoph Waltz are set to portray the character in different periods of his life. Lily Collins is also set to star in the film.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Since 2014, McDowell has had a running joke at his mother Mary Steenburgen's expense, claiming on numerous occasions on social media that his mother is actually actress Andie MacDowell.[18]

McDowell dated Emilia Clarke from 2018 to 2019.[19] In 2019, Charlie began a relationship with actress Lily Collins, the daughter of English drummer and singer Phil Collins. In September 2020, they announced their engagement.[20] They were married on September 4, 2021, in Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado.[21]



Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
2006 Bye Bye Benjamin Yes No Yes Short film
2014 The One I Love Yes Executive No Feature directorial debut
2017 The Discovery Yes Yes Yes Co-written with Justin Lader
2022 Windfall Yes Yes Yes Co-written with Justin Lader, Jason Segel and Andrew Kevin Walker


  1. ^ "Charles Malcolm McDowell". California Birth Index. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "Charlie McDowell". Celebrity-birthday.sorg. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Patches, Matt (January 8, 2014). "Sundance Preview: Mark Duplass is Both Mentor and Star on Set of 'The One I Love'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (April 18, 2015). "The Indiewire Springboard: Meet Twitter Sensation, Published Author and Director of 'The One I Love, Charlie McDowell". Indiewire. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Mattern, Jessica Leigh (September 17, 2018). "How Ted Danson Found Love With Mary Steenburgen After Leaving Whoopi Goldberg". Country Living. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  6. ^ Megan Gibson (March 28, 2011). "Charlie McDowell". Time. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  7. ^ "Dear Girls Above Me [review]". Publishers Weekly. July 1, 2013.
  8. ^ Bielski, Zosia (June 27, 2013). "'Forced to listen' to the girls upstairs, Charlie McDowell took to Twitter". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  9. ^ Bahr, Lindsey (January 22, 2014). "Sundance: You're not supposed to know anything about 'The One I Love'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (January 23, 2014). "Sundance: Radius-TWC Acquires 'The One I Love'". Deadline. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 19, 2014). "Hot Trailer: Elisabeth Moss & Mark Duplass Get Trippy In 'The One I Love'". Deadline. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 13, 2015). "Charlie McDowell To Direct HBO's Sarah Silverman Pilot, Jeremy Garelick To Helm Fox's 'Detour'". Deadline. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (October 27, 2015). "Nicholas Hoult, Rooney Mara Starring in Romance 'The Discovery'". Variety. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  14. ^ Busch, Anita (March 9, 2016). "Robert Redford & Jason Segel Join Rooney Mara In 'The Discovery'". Deadline. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  15. ^ Jafaar, Ali (June 13, 2016). "Netflix Acquires The World On 'The Discovery' With Rooney Mara, Robert Redford And Jason Segel". Deadline. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  16. ^ Swinson, Brock (March 30, 2017). "The Discovery: A Big Premise Character Piece". Creative Screenwriting. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  17. ^ Sneider, Jeff (May 20, 2019). "Jake Gyllenhaal, Conde Nast Team to Produce True-Crime Movie 'Gilded Rage'". Collider. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  18. ^ "All the times Mary Steenburgen's son Charlie McDowell trolled her by pretending actress Andie MacDowell was his mother". Celebrity. October 8, 2020. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  19. ^ Bonner, Mehera (December 22, 2020). "Here's What You Need to Know About Emilia Clarke's Dating Life". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved August 12, 2022.
  20. ^ Flanagan, Hanna (October 1, 2020). "Lily Collins Is Engaged to Charlie McDowell: See Her Unique Diamond Ring". People. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  21. ^ Adams, Abigail (September 7, 2021). "Lily Collins and Charlie McDowell Are Married: 'We Officially Became Each Other's Forever'". People. Retrieved September 7, 2021.

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