Jennifer Lynch

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Jennifer Lynch
BornJennifer Chambers Lynch
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
OccupationDirector, screenwriter, producer, actress
Notable workBoxing Helena
Parent(s)David Lynch
Peggy Reavey

Jennifer Chambers Lynch is an American film director and screenwriter. She is the daughter of filmmaker David Lynch. She is also known as the author of the book The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer.

Early life[edit]

Lynch was born in Philadelphia. She is the daughter of artist and filmmaker David Lynch, who is responsible for her Finnish ancestry,[1] and painter Peggy Reavey. She began practicing Transcendental Meditation at the age of six.[2] Lynch graduated from the Interlochen Art Academy where she studied visual arts and creative writing.



Lynch was educated in Los Angeles and Michigan at Interlochen Arts Academy. Together with her mother, Lynch made a brief appearance in her father's debut feature film Eraserhead, but her appearance was not included in the final cut. Lynch subsequently worked as a production assistant on Blue Velvet (1986), also directed by her father.

Boxing Helena[edit]

Lynch's commissioned screenplay for Boxing Helena, which she would later go on to direct, attracted many actresses, including Madonna.[3] Sherilyn Fenn, one of the stars in her father's television series Twin Peaks and the film Wild at Heart, was ultimately cast as leading character Helena. Kim Basinger was also attached and was famously sued after resigning from the project. The controversy surrounding that case, as well as feminist outcry over Helena's sadistic subject matter and accusations of nepotism, accompanied the movie's critical drubbing upon its release in 1993.

In a 2009 interview with The Hollywood Interview, Lynch mentions her reactions to the critical reception of Boxing Helena:

"I would love to know why people were so mad at me for telling a crazy fairy tale. I'm the first to say I didn't know what I was doing. I did the best I could at 19, and all these crazy things happened. The idea that the film was faulted when everyone involved worked so fucking hard and believed in me, and there were these adults believing in me, who was essentially a child…when the National Organization of Women slammed me, that was sort of the final straw. It was no wonder I put my legs behind my ears and got pregnant. (laughs) Not that I didn't love sex before then, but seriously. It was my child, essentially, who saved my life."[4]

2008 onwards[edit]

Following a lengthy hiatus, Lynch returned to the public arena with the film Surveillance and, in October 2008, Surveillance won the top prize at the Festival de Cine de Sitges.[5] A month later, Lynch became the first woman to receive the New York City Horror Film Festival's Best Director award.[6]

Lynch was announced as director of the film Nagin (the film is also known as Hisss) that featured Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat, but the film that was released was not Lynch's work, even though the producers attached her name to the final product.[7][8] Lynch explained in a 2012 interview:

"Well, ultimately, I didn't get to make that film. I put my director's cut together, and the producers decided it was not what they wanted. They took it back to India. I never did any scoring or cutting or color-timing or any of the things you do to make the movie. They took the footage and changed it into what they wanted it to be. So it's not my film. I went to India and shot some footage, but I have nothing to do with the movie they made."[8]

Lynch was scheduled to film Visibility for the Motion Picture Corporation of America in 2011, but, as of June 2013, this project is not completed.[9] Lynch then directed and co-wrote the 2012 horror film Chained, in which Vincent D'Onofrio stars as a cab-driving serial killer.

As of June 2013, Lynch is filming A Fall from Grace. The film stars Tim Roth as a St. Louis detective investigating the murder of young girls by a mysterious assailant and is scheduled for release late in 2015. A trailer for A Fall from Grace was published on March 7, 2013 by Apothecary Films producer David Michaels, who worked with the director on Surveillance.[10] Co-written by producer Eric Wilkinson, the film is set and filmed in St. Louis, U.S. and is inspired by the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.[8]


Lynch authored The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer to accompany the television show Twin Peaks which was created by her father David Lynch and Mark Frost.[11]

Lynch also directed episodes of many television series such as Jessica Jones, Finding Carter, Psych, Quantico, Teen Wolf, The Walking Dead, The Last Ship, Wayward Pines, American Horror Story, The Strain,[12] Once Upon a Time, Hawaii Five-0 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Other projects[edit]

In 1993, Lynch directed the music video "Living in the Rose" by the British rock band New Model Army.[13]

On March 21, 2010, Lynch was a judge at the International Surrealist Film Festival[14] and she worked as producer for the Corey Brandenstein natural horror film The Compound.[15]

An Australian documentary titled Despite the Gods, which chronicles Lynch's struggle to make the film Hisss, was released in 2012. The documentary was shown at the Canadian International Documentary Festival and the program described the film: "Out of her depth shooting on location with an Indian crew and two top Bollywood stars, Lynch turns her production into a vehicle for her own self-actualization, paying no regard to timeline, budget or reality. As the story in front of the camera derails, the story behind the camera explodes.".[16] She eventually disowned the film.[17]

As of 2015, she is also a member of the board of advisers for the Hollywood Horror Museum.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Boxing Helena received incredibly scathing reviews[18] upon its release and a Razzie Award for "Worst Director."[19] Nevertheless, the film was nominated for Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic category at the Sundance Film Festival.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Lynch revealed in a 2009 interview that she underwent three spinal surgeries following the release of Boxing Helena due to a car accident that occurred when she was 19 years old. In the same interview, Lynch stated that she is a single mother to a 13-year-old daughter.[6]

Filmography (as director)[edit]

Year Title Writer Producer Main cast Other notes
1993 Boxing Helena Jennifer Lynch, Philippe Caland Philippe Caland Sherilyn Fenn, Julian Sands, Bill Paxton also writer
2008 Surveillance Jennifer Lynch, Kent Harper David Lynch, Kent Harper, Marco Mehlitz, David Michaels Bill Pullman, Julia Ormond, French Stewart also writer (with Kent Harper)
2010 Hisss Jennifer Lynch Vikram Singh, Govind Menon Mallika Sherawat, Irrfan Khan
2012 Chained Jennifer Lynch, Damian O'Donnell Rhonda Baker, David Buelow, Lee Nelson Vincent D'Onofrio, Eamon Farren, Julia Ormond also cameo appearance
TBA A Fall from Grace Jennifer Lynch, Eric Wilkinson David Lynch, Forest Whitaker, Tim Roth, Paz Vega, Vincent D'Onofrio, Willow Shields Post-production


  1. ^ "DAVID LYNCH: "DEN HÄR VÄRLDEN ÄR FULL AV HAT OCH ÅNGEST"". Nöjesguiden (in Swedish). REDAKTION. November 4, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  2. ^ MOTTRAM, JAMES (February 22, 2009). "Out on a limb". The Independent on Sunday. London (UK). p. 14.
  3. ^ Casey Davidson (December 7, 1990). "Boxed Lynch". Entertainment Weekly.
  4. ^ Simon, Alex, The Hollywood Interview – Interview with Jennifer Chambers Lynch, retrieved May 7, 2012. Archived, retrieved 11 December 2017.
  5. ^ Todd Brown (October 13, 2008). "Complete List of Sitges Winners Announced!". IndieClick Film Network. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Aaron Hillis (May 13, 2009). "Summer Guide: Surveillance, Jennifer Lynch's First in 16 Years". Village Voice. Village Voice, LLC. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  7. ^ Miska, Brad (June 9, 2008). "Surveillance Director Transforms into a Snake Woman". Bloody Disgusting. Bloody Disgusting, LLC. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Andrew Wyatt (October 2012). "A Q&A with A Fall from Grace Director Jennifer Lynch". St Louis Magazine. St Louis Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  9. ^ McClintock, Pamela (October 26, 2010). "Lynch latches on to Loeb's 'Visibility'". Variety.
  10. ^ David Michaels (March 7, 2013). "A FALL FROM GRACE | a JENNIFER LYNCH film – Teaser Trailer – Narrated by Bill Pullman" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  11. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (October 28, 1990). "Are the Owls What They Seem?". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Parker, Adam (December 20, 2014). "Demons in action: On the set of WE tv's new series 'South of Hell'". The Post and Courier. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  13. ^ "Production Notes" (24). Billboard. 12 June 1993. p. 42.
  14. ^ "The 2010 International Surrealist Film Festival". Downtown Independent. Downtown Independent. 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  15. ^ Barton, Steve (May 24, 2010). "Jennifer Lynch and Corey Brandenstein Throw Us to the Dogs in The Compound". Dread Central. Dread Central Media, LLC. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  16. ^ "Despite The Gods". Hot Docs. Hot Docs. April 2013. Archived from the original on May 30, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  17. ^ "Hiss". Indian Express. October 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
  18. ^ Simon, John (1993), Chess without Tears, Sex without Limbs., National Review, p. 45(19), 61–62
  19. ^ Wilson, John (2005). The official Razzie movie guide enjoying the best of Hollywood's worst. New York: Warner Books. Appendix 2. ISBN 9780446592154. OCLC 815660203.
  20. ^ "The SCA Alumni Screening Series Presents: SURVEILLANCE". Archived from the original on 2018-02-10. Retrieved 2018-02-10.

Further reading[edit]

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