Craig Gillespie

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Craig Gillespie
Craig Gillespie (cropped).jpg
Born (1967-09-01) 1 September 1967 (age 49)
Sydney, Australia
Occupation Film director
Commercial director
Years active 2007–present

Craig Gillespie (born 1 September 1967) is an Australian film director, best known for his films Lars and the Real Girl and the Fright Night remake.

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Sydney, Gillespie moved to New York City at the age of nineteen[1] to study illustration, graphic design and advertising at Manhattan's School of Visual Arts.[2][3] He first developed an interest in film in his early twenties when a friend of his was becoming a film director and encouraged him to do the same.[4] Gillespie stated he had grown up as an atheist.[5]


Gillespie worked for fifteen years as a commercial director, commonly working with cinematographers Adam Kimmel and Rodrigo Prieto.[4][6] He changed advertising agencies often, once working at six agencies in the space of five years.[7] Following nominations in 2001 and 2002 in the Directors Guild of America Award category for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials", he won in 2006 for his Ameriquest and Altoids commercials.[2] He also won a Golden Lion Award at 2005's Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, and two of his commercials belong to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan's permanent collection.[2]

Gillespie's debut feature film was 2007's Mr. Woodcock. He left the project after several negative test screenings, and many scenes were re-written and re-shot, David Dobkin replacing Gillespie in the director's role. Upon initially receiving the script, Gillespie had assumed that audiences would respond well to the dark humor he had been using in his commercials, but, according to him, "it was obvious the audience wanted a broader comedy, not the one I'd made. I appreciated the predicament New Line was in, so I stepped aside."[4][6] Less than a month after principal photography of Mr. Woodcock concluded, Gillespie set up pre-production of Lars and the Real Girl, for which he had had the script for four years but had not attached any cast members or a studio.[1] He had first read the script before he was attached to Mr. Woodcock, but the pitch for Lars and the Real Girl—a man falling in love with a sex doll—which he had almost turned down himself, believing the premise to be an "absurd notion",[1] put off away many major studios and he chose to direct Mr. Woodcock first.[8]

Gillespie directed several episodes, including the pilot, of the first season of Steven Spielberg and Diablo Cody's television series The United States of Tara.[9] He was set to re-team with Lars and the Real Girl lead actor Ryan Gosling for Dallas Buyers Club, a film telling the true story of Ron Woodroof, an electrician given six months to live after he was diagnosed with AIDS, but used a variety of drugs which he smuggled to other AIDS patients to live for another six years.[10] However, the directing job instead went to Jean-Marc Vallée and Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof. In March 2010, it was announced that Gillespie would direct the Fright Night remake,[11] starring Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin and Toni Collette for the lead roles.[12] In 2011, he directed the music video for Kid Cudi's single, "No One Believes Me". Gillsespie finalized his contract to direct an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on 18 April 2011.[13] Gillespie has been announced to direct the Gregg Allman's autobiography novel My Cross to Bear into a feature film.

Gillespie and Sam Worthington won the 2009 Australians in Film Breakthrough Award.[14]

In April 2014, it was announced that Gillespie will direct the film The Finest Hours about a Coast Guard in who tries to save the crews of two oil tankers in 1952, Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Josh Stewart, Graham McTavish and Kyle Gallner would star in the film for Walt Disney Pictures.[15][16][17][18][19] In July, the sets for the film were being made in Quincy, Massachusetts.[20]

Gillespie will next direct I, Tonya a biographical film revolving around Tonya Harding starring Margot Robbie and Sebastian Stan.[21][22] It will be distributed by Miramax.[23]



  1. ^ a b c Douglas, Edward (9 October 2007). "Craig Gillespie's Big Comeback". Retrieved 23 August 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c "Lars & the Real Girl Production Notes" (PDF) (Press release). Verve Pictures. Retrieved 23 August 2008. 
  3. ^ Hessey, Ruth (2 April 2008). "Director – Craig Gillespie". Time Out Sydney. Retrieved 23 August 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Dawson, Nick (12 October 2007). "CRAIG GILLESPIE, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 23 August 2008. 
  5. ^ In Love with a Real Doll
  6. ^ a b Goldstein, Patrick (2 October 2007). "Hit or miss? Yes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 August 2008. 
  7. ^ Bodey, Michael (2 April 2008). "Dysfunction and the love doll". The Australian. Retrieved 23 August 2008. 
  8. ^ McClintock, Pamela (16 March 2010). "Gillespie signs on for 'Fright Night' 'Lars and the Real Girl' guy boards DreamWorks remake". Variety. 
  9. ^ "DreamWorks Planning a 'Fright Night' in 3-D?". BloodyDisgusting. 
  10. ^ Fleming, Michael (4 June 2008). "Gosling buys into Gillespie's 'Club'". Variety. Retrieved 23 August 2008. 
  11. ^ "Fright Night Remake Director Now Official!". DreadCentral. 
  12. ^ "More on the Fright Night Remake ... Location, Location, Location!". DreadCentral. 
  13. ^ Breznican, Anthony (19 April 2011). "'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' director chews over Jane Austen mash-up – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  14. ^ [1] Archived 3 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Chris Pine in Talks to Star in Disney's 'Finest Hours'". 
  16. ^ "Casey Affleck In 'Finest Hours' Talks". 6 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin. "'Dark Knight Rises' Actor Josh Stewart Joins Chris Pine in 'Finest Hours'". 
  18. ^ "'The Finest Hours' Adds 'Outlander's Graham McTavish". 
  19. ^ "'Kyle Gallner Joins Disaster-At-Sea Drama 'The Finest Hours'". 
  20. ^ "Sets for 'The Finest Hour', starring Chris Pine, being built in Quincy, MA". 
  21. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 14, 2016). "Craig Gillespie to Direct Tonya Harding Biopic Starring Margot Robbie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  22. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 13, 2016). "Sebastian Stan To Play Jeff Gillooly In ‘I, Tonya’". Deadline. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  23. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (December 12, 2016). "Miramax Lands Margot Robbie As Tonya Harding Drama ‘I, Tonya’". Deadline. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 

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