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Rodman Flender

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Rodman Flender
Born (1962-06-09) June 9, 1962 (age 62)
New York City, U.S.
Alma materHarvard University
  • Actor
  • writer
  • director
  • producer
SpouseAmy Lippman[1]

Rodman Flender (born June 9, 1962) is an American actor, writer, director and producer.

Born and raised in a Jewish family in New York, Flender's early experiences in the arts included roles in Broadway and PBS series. He honed his acting skills at New York's High School of Performing Arts and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, before pursuing higher education at Harvard University. At Harvard, he contributed to The Harvard Lampoon and studied documentary filmmaking, which laid the foundation for his diverse career in entertainment.

Starting his professional journey in the advertising department of Roger Corman's Concorde-New Horizons Films, Flender transitioned into production and direction, making his debut with the thriller "The Unborn." His directing credits include feature films such as "Leprechaun 2" and "Idle Hands," as well as television episodes for shows like "The Office," "Ugly Betty," and "Gilmore Girls." Flender's documentary work includes "Let Them Eat Rock," a musical portrait of the band The Upper Crust, and "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop," which documents Conan O'Brien's tour following the 2010 Tonight Show conflict. The latter was recognized by Roger Ebert as one of the best documentaries of 2011.

In addition to directing, Flender has returned to character-based drama and ventured into romantic comedy and horror, as seen in his feature film "Eat, Brains, Love," which premiered at the London FrightFest Film Festival]to positive reviews and won Best Picture at the 2019 Screamfest Horror Film Festival. Flender's personal life includes his marriage to writer and producer Amy Lippman, and he is the uncle to actors Timothée and Pauline Chalamet.

Early life and education[edit]

Flender was born and raised in a Jewish family[2][3] in New York City, the son of Enid (née Rodman), a former Broadway dancer, and Harold Flender (1924—1975), a writer and screenwriter.[4] Flender's early acting roles included Mischa in the Broadway production of Zalmen or the Madness of God[5] and Charles Francis Adams in the PBS series The Adams Chronicles. He graduated from the drama department of New York's High School of Performing Arts and studied acting at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, United Kingdom. He received his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, where he wrote for The Harvard Lampoon. Flender majored in Visual and Environmental Studies and studied documentary filmmaking with Ed Pincus and Ross McElwee, who inspired him with an enthusiasm for the documentaries.


Independent filmmaker Roger Corman hired Flender out of college to run the advertising department of his Concorde-New Horizons Films. With his goal toward directing, Flender moved into production and was Corman's Vice President of Production for two years.[6] He produced or co-produced titles including Body Chemistry, Streets, and Full Fathom Five. Flender made his feature directing debut with the Corman-produced thriller The Unborn, which received favorable reviews.[7] Flender next wrote and directed In The Heat of Passion, also for Roger Corman.

Over the next decade, Flender's feature directing credits included Leprechaun 2 for Trimark, and the Columbia Pictures release Idle Hands. Flender became a busy director of television episodes and pilots. TV credits include multiple episodes of the comedies The Office and Ugly Betty; dramas that include Chicago Hope, Gilmore Girls and The O.C.; and horror with HBO's Tales From The Crypt. As a writer, Flender's credits include Tales From The Crypt and the feature film Roger Corman’s Dracula Rising.

In 1998, he began filming a musical portrait of the Boston-based rock band The Upper Crust, and directed Dawson's Creek episode "The Scare", a parody of Scream. Developments within the band led Flender to continue shooting on and off for the next five years. The resulting documentary, Let Them Eat Rock, played film festivals in 2005 and 2006[8] to mostly positive notices.[9][10] Following the 2010 Tonight Show conflict, Flender joined Conan O'Brien (whom he knew since their days at Harvard) on the road, as part of the Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, and filmed the ongoings behind-the-scenes, onstage and between shows. The documentary, titled Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, was released in select theatres on June 24, 2011, which Roger Ebert featured on his list of best documentaries of 2011.[11]

With the documentary completed, Flender returned to directing television in multiple genres, including episodes of the comedies Suburgatory and Super Fun Night in 2014, the drama Finding Carter and multiple episodes of the thriller Scream in 2015 and 2016. Flender directed two episodes of the 2016-2017 science fiction series People of Earth and returned to character-based drama in 2019, directing Kirsten Dunst in the Showtime original series On Becoming a God in Central Florida.[12]

Rodman Flender completed his next feature film in 2019, when he mixed romantic comedy, horror and the road movie with Eat, Brains, Love. It premiered at the London FrightFest Film Festival[13] to positive reviews [14][15] and won Best Picture at the 2019 Screamfest Horror Film Festival.[16] In 2022, footage from "The Scare" was incorporated into the Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett film Scream.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to American writer and producer Amy Lippman.[17] His nephew is Academy Award-nominated actor Timothée Chalamet and his niece actress Pauline Chalamet, who appeared in The Sex Lives of College Girls and The King of Staten Island. His son is Haskell Flender. Haskell also attended Harvard University and was a member of the Harvard Lampoon. [18][19]


  1. ^ Los Angeles Times (March 13, 2014). "Amy Lippman and Rodman Flender's modern beach house". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Bloom, Nate (November 26, 2014). "Celebrity Jews". Jweekly.
  3. ^ Tampa Jewish Federation: "Jews in the News: Mike Nichols, Yael Grobglas and Dominic Fumusa" retrieved March 18, 2017 |"Raised in the States, his father is French and his mother is an American Jew. She’s the sister of RODMAN FLENDER, 52, a big-time TV director."
  4. ^ "Rodman Flender Biography (1962?-)".
  5. ^ The Broadway League. "Zalmen or The Madness of God - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information".
  6. ^ Allon, Yoram; Cullen, Del; Patterson, Hannah (2002). Contemporary North American Film Directors. Wallflower Press. ISBN 9781903364529.
  7. ^ THOMAS, KEVIN (May 10, 1991). "MOVIE REVIEWS : 'The Unborn' Works Off Genetic Fears". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  8. ^ "Punk Turns 30: Don't Knock the Rock - June 29 in LA". June 2, 2006.
  9. ^ Ben Nieporent. "Movie Review - Let Them Eat Rock - eFilmCritic".
  10. ^ "Film Shorts". Portland Mercury.
  11. ^ Roger Ebert. "The best documentaries of 2011".
  12. ^ "Rodman Flender". IMDb.
  13. ^ "Eat Brains Love world premiere". Arrow Video FrightFest.
  14. ^ ""Eat Brains Love" Review". Entertainment Focus. August 25, 2019.
  15. ^ "Eat Brains Love review Dir: Rodman Flender". The Hollywood News. August 25, 2019.
  16. ^ "LA 2019: EAT BRAINS LOVE Wines 'Best Picture Award". October 21, 2019.
  17. ^ The Oklahoman: "A boxy stucco eyesore is transformed into a modern, spacious charmer" by Lisa Boone July 30, 2011
  18. ^ "Timothée Chalamet on Twitter". Twitter.
  19. ^ "Rodman Flender Biography (1962?-)".

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