Lisa Joy

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Lisa Joy
Lisa Joy Photograph by Paul Cameron.jpeg
Alma materStanford University
Harvard Law School
  • Writer
  • producer
  • director
Years active2007–present
Spouse(s)Jonathan Nolan
RelativesChristopher Nolan (brother-in-law)

Lisa Joy is an American screenwriter, director and television producer. She is co-creator and executive producer of the HBO series Westworld. Her work also includes writing for the television series Burn Notice (for which she also served as a co-producer) and Pushing Daisies. Lisa Joy received an Emmy nomination for her writing on Westworld in July 2017.[1]


While studying for the bar, Joy submitted a sample script for the show Pushing Daisies. A friend passed the script to a TV producer, helping her get the job as a staff writer. Pushing Daises would be her first official show. This would help her eventually become the only female writer on her second show, Burn Notice. Her latest project, Westworld, "about a futuristic theme park gone wrong where robots start rebelling against humans", was co-created with her husband. It is one of the most popular shows on television. [2]

Lisa Joy, along with her husband Jonathan Nolan, signed a new deal with Amazon to write and produce a series for the company. The deal is worth $150 million over five years. Joy and Nolan are now working on a sci-fi series titled The Peripheral.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Lisa Joy was raised in New Jersey. Her father is English and her mother is Taiwanese.[4]

Prior to her career in entertainment, Joy practiced law in California. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.[5] Before attending law school, Joy worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Los Angeles after graduating from Stanford University.[6] Joy married screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, the younger brother of director Christopher Nolan. The two first met at the premiere of the elder Nolan's film, Memento.[7][8]

Joy and Nolan have two children, a daughter and a son.[4][9][10]


Year Association Category Nominated Work
2008 Writers Guild of America Television Series Pushing Daisies
2016 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards Best Television Presentation Westworld
2017 Writers Guild of America Best New Series

Best Dramatic Series

2017 Producers Guild of America Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama Westworld
2017 Gold Derby Awards Drama Episode of the Year Westworld
2017 Edgar Allan Poe Awards Best Episode in a TV Series Westworld
2017 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

2018 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Westworld


Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer
2008 Pushing Daisies No Yes No
2009 Burn Notice No Yes Yes
2016 Westworld Yes Yes Yes Co-creator and executive producer
TBA Reminiscence Yes Yes Yes Filming


  1. ^ Miller, Matt (September 29, 2016). "Westworld Is Not the Next Game of Thrones—It's Much More Than That". Esquire. Hearst Magazines. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  2. ^ Rudulph, Heather Wood (February 6, 2017). "Get That Life: How I Became the Co-Creator of "Westworld"". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Otterson, Joe; Otterson, Joe (April 5, 2019). "Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy Exit Warner Bros. TV for Massive Overall Deal at Amazon". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Fortini, Amanda (April 17, 2018). "With 'Westworld', Lisa Joy Is Rewriting Women's Power Story Line in Hollywood and Beyond". Elle. Joy, who is 40, was raised in a hardworking immigrant family (her dad is from England; her mom is from Taiwan) in suburban New Jersey.
  5. ^ California, The State Bar of. "State Bar of CA :: Lisa Joy". Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  6. ^ Heather Wood Rudulph, Get That Life: How I Became the Co-Creator of Westworld, Cosmopolitan,
  7. ^ Staff, The Playlist. "On The Rise 2014: 13 Screenwriters To Watch | IndieWire". Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  8. ^ Gire, Jamie Sotonoff and Dann (October 18, 2016). "A-minus at Loyola Academy fueled 'Westworld' creator". Daily Herald. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  9. ^ King, Larry (April 15, 2014). "What Does A Showrunner Bring To A Deserted Island?". YouTube. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Is 'Westworld' HBO's Next Big Hit?". New York Times. September 29, 2016.
  11. ^ "Lisa Joy". IMDb. Retrieved March 13, 2019.

External links[edit]