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Paul Feig

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Paul Feig
Feig in July 2007
Born (1962-09-17) September 17, 1962 (age 61)
  • Film director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • actor
Years active1986–present

Paul Feig (/fɡ/;[1] born September 17, 1962) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor. He is best known for directing films such as Bridesmaids (2011), The Heat (2013), Spy (2015), Ghostbusters (2016), A Simple Favor (2018), and Last Christmas (2019). He often collaborates with actress Melissa McCarthy.

Feig created the comedy series Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000) and Other Space (2015). He has also directed several episodes of Arrested Development, Nurse Jackie, Mad Men, The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and Weeds. He received nominations for two Primetime Emmy Awards for writing on Freaks and Geeks, and two for producing and directing on The Office. His most notable acting roles were as Bobby Wynn in the sitcom The Jackie Thomas Show (1992–1993), Tim the Camp Counselor in the comedy film Heavyweights (1995), and Mr. Eugene Pool on the sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996–1997).

Early life[edit]

Feig was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, on September 17, 1962,[2] the son of telephone operator Elaine Elizabeth (née Artingstall) and Gratiot Avenue store owner Sanford William Feig.[3][4][5] He grew up in a Christian Scientist home in Mount Clemens, Michigan.[6][7] Sanford was born into a Jewish family, but converted to Christian Science to marry Elaine, whom he had met at a church social.[3][8][9]


1986–2010: Early career, Freaks and Geeks and directorial debut[edit]

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.[10] Feig also appeared in a number of films, such as Ski Patrol,[11] 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,[12] and in summer 2008, Entertainment Weekly ranked Freaks and Geeks as the 13th best show of the past 25 years.[13] Feig was nominated for two Emmys for writing the show's pilot and the season finale.

Feig made his directorial debut with the drama film I Am David, which premiered at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. He later directed the Christmas comedy film Unaccompanied Minors (2006).

2011–2016: Bridesmaids and other film works with Melissa McCarthy[edit]

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.[14] 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.[15][16] 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.[17]

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,[18] and was a success at the box office, grossing $229 million worldwide against a $43 million budget.[19]

In 2015, Feig wrote, directed, and produced the spy comedy movie Spy for 20th Century Fox, again starring Melissa McCarthy.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[21] 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.[23]

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,[24][25] 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.[26] In 2020, the series was picked up by streaming service DUST.[27]

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.[28] The announcement of the female-led cast in 2015 drew a polarized response from the public and internet backlash,[29] leading to the film's IMDb page and associated YouTube videos receiving low ratings prior to the film's release.[30][31] The film grossed $229 million worldwide against a production budget of $144 million, becoming the highest-grossing live-action comedy domestically of 2016.[32] However, due to its high production and marketing budget, it is considered a box-office bomb.[33]

2017–present: A Simple Favor and Last Christmas[edit]

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.[34] 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.[35]

In 2018, Feig directed an advertisement for Diet Coke starring Hayley Magnus, which was shown during the Super Bowl.[36] 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.[37]

In March 2019, following 20th Century Fox's acquisition by The Walt Disney Company, Feig announced he would be moving his Feigco production studio to Universal Pictures.[38][39]

Personal life[edit]

After his friend Laura Ann Carleton was murdered for hanging a pride flag in August 2023, Feig stated, "This intolerance has to end. Anyone using hateful language against the LGBTQ+ community has to realize their words matter, that their words can inspire violence against innocent loving people. Let's all keep moving forward with tolerance and love."[40]



Year Title
Director Producer Writer
2003 I Am David Yes No Yes
2006 Unaccompanied Minors Yes No No
2011 Bridesmaids Yes Yes (exec.) No
2013 The Heat Yes Yes (exec.) No
2015 Spy Yes Yes Yes
2016 Ghostbusters Yes Yes (exec.) Yes
2018 A Simple Favor Yes Yes No
2019 Last Christmas Yes Yes No
2022 The School for Good and Evil Yes Yes Yes
2024 Jackpot Yes Yes No
TBA Untitled A Simple Favor sequel Yes Yes No

Producer only[edit]

Year Title Notes
2015 The Peanuts Movie
2017 Snatched
2019 Someone Great
2020 Holler Executive producer

Acting roles[edit]

Year Title
Role Note
1987 Zombie High Emmerson
Three O'Clock High Hall Monitor
1990 Ski Patrol Stanley
Zoo Radio Chester Drawer credited as Skylar Billings
1994 Naked Gun 33+13: 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
Statical Planets Renfester
2000 Bad Dog Messenger Short film
2002 Stealing Harvard Electrician
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
2013 The Heat Doctor
2015 Spy Drunken Guest at Paris Hotel
2017 Ferdinand Picador (voice)[41][42]
2018 Song of Back and Neck Dr. Street


Year Title Director Producer Writer Notes
1999–2000 Freaks and Geeks Yes No Yes Also creator and producer; 18 episodes
Episode directed: "Discos and Dragons"
Episodes written:
  • "Pilot"
  • "Tricks and Treats"
  • "Carded and Discarded"
  • "Girlfriends and Boyfriends"
  • "Looks and Books"
  • "Discos and Dragons"
2001 Undeclared Yes No No Episode: "Oh, So You Have a Boyfriend?"
2004–2005 Arrested Development Yes No No Episodes:
2005–2007 Weeds Yes No No Episodes:
  • "The Punishment Lighter"
  • "He Taught Me How to Drive By"
  • "Risk"
2005–2011 The Office Yes Yes (exec.) 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:
  • "Take a Dive"
  • "The Case of the Lonely White Dove"
2009–2010 Nurse Jackie Yes No No Episodes:
  • "Nosebleed"
  • "Ring Finger"
  • "Comfort Food"
  • "Twitter"
  • "Silly String"
  • "Monkey Bits"
  • "P.O. Box"
  • "Sleeping Dogs"
  • "What the Day Brings"
  • "Years of Service"
2012 Ronna and Beverly No Yes (exec.) No 6 episodes
2015 Other Space No Yes (exec.) Yes Creator; 8 episodes
Episode written: "Into the Great Beyond...Beyond"
2018 The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale No Yes (exec.) No 19 episodes
2020–2021 Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist No Yes (exec.) No 12 episodes
Love Life No Yes (exec.) No 10 episodes
2022 Welcome to Flatch Yes Yes (exec.) Yes Episodes directed:
  • "Pilot"
  • "Jesus Take The Wheel"
  • Dance It Out"
2022 Minx No Yes (exec.) No 10 episodes
TBA East of La Brea No Yes (exec.) No 6 episodes

Acting roles[edit]

Year Title
Role Note
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"
2014 Maron Warren Episode: "Therapy"
Hell's Kitchen Himself Episode: "18 Chefs Compete"
2017 9JKL Episode: "Pilot"
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[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2000 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Freaks and Geeks Nominated [43]
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


  1. ^ Smith, Krista (January 5, 2012). "Paul Feig on the BridesmaidsSequel, Female Comedy, and His S.N.L. Dreams". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  2. ^ "Celebrity birthdays for the week of Sept. 12-18". AP News. The Associated Press. September 7, 2021. Retrieved August 21, 2023. Sept. 17:...Actor-director Paul Feig is 59.
  3. ^ a b "The Trouble With Paul Feig". The New York Times. September 28, 2008.
  4. ^ "Director Paul Feig is a genius at portraying awkwardness".
  5. ^ "The Windsor Star - Google News Archive Search".
  6. ^ Lawson, Terry (December 7, 2006). "Paul Feig Again Puts Teens in the Spotlight". The Detroit Free Press. p. 1C. ...Paul Feig, the film's Royal Oak-born, Mt. Clemens-raised director...
  7. ^ "Michigan's Paul Feig to direct female-led 'Ghostbusters'". Detroit Free Press. Associated Press. October 9, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  8. ^ Robert, Daniel (May 4, 2006). "Interviews > Paul Feig Director Of Unaccompanied Minors". Suicidegirls.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  9. ^ Schilling, Mary Kaye (June 28, 2013). "The King of the Lady Gross-out".
  10. ^ Bowe, John (September 26, 2008). "The Trouble With Paul Feig". The New York Times Magazine.
  11. ^ James, Caryn (January 13, 1990). "Ski Patrol (1989) Review/Film; Meanwhile, Pops Is Back At the Lodge". The New York Times.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Connolly, Kelly (March 20, 2012). "The New Classics: TV | TV". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  14. ^ Fox, Margalit (November 5, 2010). "Jill Clayburgh Dies at 66; Starred in Feminist Roles". The New York Times.
  15. ^ "Bridesmaids (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. May 13, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  16. ^ "'Bridesmaids' Effect: Why Female Comedies Are Making Comeback". The Hollywood Reporter. June 19, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  17. ^ "'Bridesmaids' Breathes Life into Women's Comedy". Third Age. Archived from the original on May 19, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  18. ^ Ryan, Tim (June 28, 2013). "Critics Consensus: White House Down Is Predictable Action Fluff". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  19. ^ "The Heat (2013) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  20. ^ Sneider, Jeff (June 18, 2013). "Paul Feig Developing Female James Bond Comedy 'Susan Cooper'". thewrap.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "'Spy' - Movie Review". Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  22. ^ Travers, Peter. "Spy Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  23. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 2, 2015). "Fox Molding 'Play-Doh' Film With Paul Feig Circling; Another Hasbro Toy Brand Making Movie Transfer". Deadline.
  24. ^ "Other Space: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  25. ^ "Other Space : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Zuckerman, Esther (October 8, 2014). "Paul Feig explains his vision for a female-led 'Ghostbusters'". Entertainment Weekly.
  29. ^ Zack Sharf (July 8, 2016). "'Ghostbusters' Reboot Added New Scene As Reaction To Internet Backlash". IndieWire. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  30. ^ Hayes, Britt (July 11, 2016). "'Ghostbusters' Haters Spam IMDb With Low Ratings". ScreenCrush. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  31. ^ Hickey, Walt (July 14, 2016). "'Ghostbusters' Is A Perfect Example Of How Internet Movie Ratings Are Broken". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  32. ^ "Box Office Performance for Comedy Movies in 2016". Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  33. ^ 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)
  34. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 18, 2015). "Director Jonathan Levine Circles Amy Schumer Mother-Daughter Comedy At Fox". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  35. ^ "A Simple Favor (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  36. ^ Steinberg, Brian (February 5, 2018). "Inside Diet Coke's Return to Super Bowl Advertising". Variety.
  37. ^ "Last Christmas (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  38. ^ "Fox Film Team Faces Rocky Disney Future; Paul Feig Moves Label To Universal". Deadline Hollywood. March 31, 2019.
  39. ^ Donnelly, Matt (March 21, 2019). "Paul Feig's Feigco Entertainment Jumps From Fox to First-Look Deal at Universal". Variety. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  40. ^ Legaspi, Althea (August 20, 2023). "Paul Feig, Bridget Everett Pay Tribute to Lauri Carleton Who Was Killed After Hanging Pride Flag". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 20, 2023. Retrieved August 21, 2023.
  41. ^ "Why Paul Feig Won't Direct Any More Remakes". August 9, 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  42. ^ 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.
  43. ^ "Paul Feig – Awards – IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved June 14, 2020.

External links[edit]