Paul Samuel Feig
September 17, 1962
Mount Clemens, Michigan, U.S.
Paul Samuel Feig (//; born September 17, 1962) is an American actor, film director, comedian and filmmaker. He is known for directing films starring frequent collaborator Melissa McCarthy, including Bridesmaids (2011), The Heat (2013), Spy (2015), and Ghostbusters (2016). He also directed the black comedy mystery film A Simple Favor (2018) and the romantic comedy film Last Christmas (2019).
Feig created the comedy series Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000) and Other Space (2015). He has also directed several episodes of the U.S version of The Office, Arrested Development, Weeds and Nurse Jackie, as well as episodes of Mad Men, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation. He received nominations for two Primetime Emmy Awards for writing on Freaks and Geeks and two for producing and directing on The Office.
As an actor, Feig is best known for playing Tim the Camp Counselor in the comedy film Heavyweights (1995). He also appeared as Bobby Wynn in the sitcom The Jackie Thomas Show (1992–93) and as Mr. Eugene Pool on the sitcom Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996–97).
Feig was born and raised in Mount Clemens, Michigan. His mother, Elaine Elizabeth (née Artingstall), was a telephone operator, and his father, Sanford William Feig, owned Ark Surplus on Gratiot Avenue. Feig's father was born Jewish and converted to Christian Science; Feig's parents met at a church social, and Feig was also raised in Christian Science.
1986–2010: Early career, Freaks and Geeks and directorial debut
After a year at Wayne State University, Feig moved to Los Angeles and transferred to the University of Southern California. He also worked as a tour guide at Universal Studios Hollywood, embarked on a stand-up comedy act, and landed minor roles on various television shows. Feig also appeared in a number of films, such as Ski Patrol, and in a role alongside Ben Stiller in the 1995 film Heavyweights, in which he played camp counselor Tim. On the first season of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Feig portrayed Mr. Eugene Pool, Sabrina's science teacher.
With Heavyweights co-scripter Judd Apatow, Feig created the short-lived comedy series Freaks and Geeks, inspired by his experiences at Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township, Michigan. The show aired on NBC during the 1999–2000 television season. Eighteen episodes were completed, but the series was canceled after only twelve had aired. Despite the short run, Freaks and Geeks has since maintained a devoted cult following. The show was named in Time magazine's 100 Greatest Shows of All Time, and in summer 2008, Entertainment Weekly ranked Freaks and Geeks as the 13th best show of the past 25 years. Feig was nominated for two Emmys for writing the show's pilot and the season finale.
2011–2016: Bridesmaids and other film works with Melissa McCarthy
In 2011, Feig was consulted to direct the Apatow-produced comedy film Bridesmaids. Written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, the plot centers on Annie (Wiig), who suffers a series of misfortunes after being asked to serve as maid of honor for her best friend, Lillian, played by Maya Rudolph. Budgeted at $32.5 million, Bridesmaids was both critically and commercially successful, eventually grossing over $288 million worldwide, and served as a touchstone for discussion about women in comedy. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and received multiple other accolades, including Academy Award nominations in the Best Supporting Actress for Melissa McCarthy and Best Original Screenplay for Wiig and Mumolo.
In 2013, Feig reunited with McCarthy on buddy cop action comedy film The Heat, also starring Sandra Bullock. Directed by Feig and written by Katie Dippold, it centers on a mismatched police pairing who must overcome their differences in order to take down a mobster. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the chemistry, and performances of Bullock and McCarthy, and was a success at the box office, grossing $229 million worldwide against a $43 million budget.
In 2015, Feig wrote, directed, and produced the spy comedy movie Spy for 20th Century Fox, again starring Melissa McCarthy. It follows the life of a secret agent, Susan Cooper, trying to expose the black-market. The film received acclaim from critics and became another box office success at an international gross of $235.7 million. It was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for McCarthy. Also in 2015, Feig produced the animated feature The Peanuts Movie for Blue Sky Studios, based on the Peanuts comic strip and characters created by Charles M. Schulz. That same year, it was announced that Feig will direct a film adaptation of Play-Dohs for Hasbro Studios, 20th Century Fox, and Chernin Entertainment.
During 2015, Feig also created the science fiction comedy series Other Space for Yahoo!'s video on demand service Yahoo! Screen and wrote the show's first episode. The series stars Trace Beaulieu, Neil Casey, Eugene Cordero, Joel Hodgson, Conor Leslie, Bess Rous, Karan Soni, and Milana Vayntrub as the dysfunctional crew of an exploratory spaceship who become trapped in an unknown universe. Other Space received positive reviews, but was not renewed for a second season due to Yahoo! Screen being shut down in 2016. Feig later created a Tumblr to provide direct links to each episode after he reobtained the rights to the series. In 2020, the series was picked up by streaming service DUST.
In 2016, Feig directed and co-wrote the female driven reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise, starring McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones as four women who begin a ghost-catching business in New York City. The announcement of the female-led cast in 2015 drew a polarized response from the public and internet backlash, leading to the film's IMDb page and associated YouTube videos receiving low ratings prior to the film's release. The film grossed $229 million worldwide against a production budget of $144 million, becoming the highest-grossing live-action comedy domestically of 2016. However, due to its high production and marketing budget, it is considered a box-office bomb.
2017–present: A Simple Favor and Last Christmas
In 2017, Feig produced Jonathan Levine's comedy film Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn as a mother-daughter couple who are abducted while on vacation in South America. The same year, he began production on the comedy thriller A Simple Favor. Based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Darcey Bell, it stars Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, and Henry Golding, and follows a small town blogger who tries to solve the disappearance of her mysterious and rich best friend. Released in September 2018, the film received generally favorable reviews from critics, with praise for the plot twists and performances of Kendrick and Lively.
In 2018, Feig directed an advertisement for Diet Coke starring Hayley Magnus, which was shown during the Super Bowl. In 2019, he directed the romantic comedy Last Christmas, reteaming with Henry Golding, who starred in the film alongside Emilia Clarke. The film received mixed reviews and was a box office success, earning over $120 million.
|2003||I Am David||Yes||No||Yes|
|2015||The Peanuts Movie||No||Yes||No|
|2018||A Simple Favor||Yes||Yes||No|
|2022||The School for Good and Evil||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Three O'Clock High||Hall Monitor|
|Zoo Radio||Chester Drawer||credited as Skylar Billings|
|1994||Naked Gun 33+1⁄3: The Final Insult||Oscar Audience Member|
|1995||The TV Wheel||Various|
|Heavyweights||Tim The Camp Counselor|
|1996||That Thing You Do!||KMPC D.J.|
|My Fellow Americans||Reporter #2|
|1997||Life Sold Separately||Clark|
|2000||Bad Dog||Messenger||Short film|
|2003||I Am David||American Man|
|2007||Knocked Up||Fantasy Baseball Guy|
|Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story||Different DJ||Uncredited|
|2011||Bad Teacher||Dad at the Car Wash|
|Bridesmaids||Guy at Wedding||Uncredited|
|2015||Spy||Drunken Guest at Paris Hotel|
|2018||Song of Back and Neck||Dr. Street|
|1999–2000||Freaks and Geeks||Yes||Yes||Yes||Creator; 18 episodes |
Episode directed: "Discos and Dragons"
|2001||Undeclared||Yes||No||No||Episode: "Oh, So You Have a Boyfriend?"|
|2005–2011||The Office||Yes||Executive||No||Episodes directed:|
|2007||30 Rock||Yes||No||No||Episode: "Cleveland"|
|Mad Men||Yes||No||No||Episode: "Shoot"|
|2009||Parks and Recreation||Yes||No||No||Episode: "Pawnee Zoo"|
|Bored to Death||Yes||No||No||Episodes:
|2012||Ronna and Beverly||No||Executive||No||6 episodes|
|2015||Other Space||No||Executive||Yes||Creator; 8 episodes |
Episode written: "Into the Great Beyond...Beyond"
|2018||The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale||No||Executive||No||19 episodes|
|2020–present||Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist||No||Executive||No||12 episodes|
|Love Life||No||Executive||No||10 episodes|
|2022||Welcome to Flatch||Yes||Executive||Yes||Episodes Directed:
|TBA||East of La Brea||No||Executive||No||6 episodes|
|1986||The Facts of Life||Ron||Episode: "The Ratings Game"|
|1988–1989||Dirty Dancing||Norman Bryant||11 episodes|
|1990||thirtysomething||Focus Group Member||Episode: "Pulling Away"|
|It's Garry Shandling's Show||Chester Bass||Episodes: "The Proposal", "The Honeymoon Show" and "Chester Gets a Show"|
|1991||Good Sports||Leash||Episodes: "Pros and Ex-Cons", "Electricity", "The Return of Nick" and "A Class Act"|
|Get a Life||Mark||Episode: "Chris Becomes a Male Escort"|
|1992||Deep Dish TV||Unknown||Television film|
|1992–1993||The Edge||Various||7 episodes|
|The Jackie Thomas Show||Bobby Wynn||18 episodes|
|1993||Roseanne||Pete||Episode: "A Stash from the Past"|
|1994||The Good Life||Video Clerk||Episodes: "Paul Dates a Buddhist" and "John Takes Out Melissa"|
|Hardball||Agent #1||Episode: "Whose Strike Is It Anyway?"|
|1996||The Louie Show||Dr. Jake Anderson||6 episodes|
|1996–1997||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Mr. Eugene Pool||26 episodes|
|1997||Men Behaving Badly||Nelson||Episode: "The Sting"|
|Ellen||Peterson||Episode: "G.I. Ellen"|
|1998||The Drew Carey Show||Worker #1||Episode: "From the Earth to the Moon"|
|1999||Freaks and Geeks||Alexander the Guitarist||Uncredited; Episode: "I'm with the Band"|
|2005||Arrested Development||Magician||Episode: "Sword of Destiny"|
|Early Bird||Unknown||Television film|
|2009||Nurse Jackie||Mr. Spagnolo||Episode: "Monkey Bits"|
|2013||The Office||Animal Trainer||Episode: "Stairmageddon"|
|Hell's Kitchen||Himself||Episode: "18 Chefs Compete"|
|2018||The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale||14 episodes|
|2020||Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist||Dale||Episode: "Zoey's Extraordinary Mother"|
- Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence (ISBN 0-609-80943-1, 2002)
- Superstud: Or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin (ISBN 1-4000-5175-4, 2005)
- Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut! (ISBN 0-316-16663-4, 2008)
- Ignatius MacFarland: Frequency Freakout! (2010)
Awards and nominations
|2000||53rd Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Freaks and Geeks||Nominated|||
|2001||54th Primetime Emmy Awards||Nominated|
|2008||60th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||The Office||Nominated|
|2009||61st Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Nominated|
|61st Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directing – Comedy Series||Won|
|2010||21st Producers Guild of America Awards||Best Episodic Comedy||Nominated|
|2014||16th American Comedy Awards||Best Comedy Director – Film||The Heat||Nominated|
|2017||59th Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form||Ghostbusters||Nominated|
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- "Michigan's Paul Feig to direct female-led 'Ghostbusters'". Detroit Free Press. Associated Press. October 9, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
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- "Director Paul Feig is a genius at portraying awkwardness".
- "The Windsor Star - Google News Archive Search".
- Robert, Daniel (May 4, 2006). "Interviews > Paul Feig Director Of Unaccompanied Minors". Suicidegirls.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- Schilling, Mary Kaye (June 28, 2013). "The King of the Lady Gross-out".
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- James, Caryn (January 13, 1990). "Ski Patrol (1989) Review/Film; Meanwhile, Pops Is Back At the Lodge". The New York Times.
- Poniewozik, James (September 6, 2007). "The Abbott and Costello Show | All-TIME 100 TV Shows | Entertainment". TIME.com. Archived from the original on September 11, 2007. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- Connolly, Kelly (March 20, 2012). "The New Classics: TV | TV". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- Fox, Margalit (November 5, 2010). "Jill Clayburgh Dies at 66; Starred in Feminist Roles". The New York Times.
- "Bridesmaids (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- "'Bridesmaids' Effect: Why Female Comedies Are Making Comeback". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- "'Bridesmaids' Breathes Life into Women's Comedy". Third Age. Archived from the original on May 19, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- Ryan, Tim (June 28, 2013). "Critics Consensus: White House Down Is Predictable Action Fluff". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
- "The Heat (2013) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Sneider, Jeff (June 18, 2013). "Paul Feig Developing Female James Bond Comedy 'Susan Cooper'". thewrap.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- "'Spy' - Movie Review". Retrieved June 19, 2015.
- Travers, Peter. "Spy Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
- Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 2, 2015). "Fox Molding 'Play-Doh' Film With Paul Feig Circling; Another Hasbro Toy Brand Making Movie Transfer". Deadline.
- "Other Space: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- "Other Space : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- Whitbrook, James (January 31, 2017). "It's Finally Easy to Watch Other Space, the Best Scifi Comedy You've Never Seen". io9.com. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
- Oller, Jacob (July 7, 2020). "WIRE Buzz: Adam Sandler's Hubie Halloween; Tenet teases Easter egg; 'Other Space' to Dust". SyFy Wire. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
- Zuckerman, Esther (October 8, 2014). "Paul Feig explains his vision for a female-led 'Ghostbusters'". Entertainment Weekly.
- Zack Sharf (July 8, 2016). "'Ghostbusters' Reboot Added New Scene As Reaction To Internet Backlash". IndieWire. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- Hayes, Britt (July 11, 2016). "'Ghostbusters' Haters Spam IMDb With Low Ratings". ScreenCrush. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Hickey, Walt (July 14, 2016). "'Ghostbusters' Is A Perfect Example Of How Internet Movie Ratings Are Broken". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- "Box Office Performance for Comedy Movies in 2016". Retrieved December 22, 2017.
- Fritz, Ben (August 14, 2016). "Rising Box Office Masks Glut of Big-Budget Film Flops". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 1, 2016.(subscription required)
- Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 18, 2015). "Director Jonathan Levine Circles Amy Schumer Mother-Daughter Comedy At Fox". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- "A Simple Favor (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
- Steinberg, Brian (February 5, 2018). "Inside Diet Coke's Return to Super Bowl Advertising". Variety.
- "Last Christmas (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- "Fox Film Team Faces Rocky Disney Future; Paul Feig Moves Label To Universal". Deadline Hollywood. March 31, 2019.
- Donnelly, Matt (March 21, 2019). "Paul Feig's Feigco Entertainment Jumps From Fox to First-Look Deal at Universal". Variety. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- "Why Paul Feig Won't Direct Any More Remakes". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- Anthony D'Alessandro (February 9, 2017). "Blue Sky's Bull Toon 'Ferdinand' To Lock Horns With 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'". Variety. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- "Paul Feig – Awards – IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved June 14, 2020.