Tony McNamara (writer)

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Tony McNamara
Born1967 (age 52–53)
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
Years active1993–present
Known forThe Favourite
The Great
Spouse(s)Belinda Bromilow

Tony McNamara (born 1967) is an Australian writer for film and television, most notable for co-writing The Favourite and creating The Great, the former of which earned him a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the 91st Academy Awards.[1]

Early life[edit]

McNamara was born in Kilmore and was educated at Assumption College Kilmore. Following careers in catering and finance, McNamara settled on a career as a writer following a visit to Rome.[2] His education consisted of studying writing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.[3]


After writing various television episodes and stage plays,[4] McNamara made his film debut in 2003 directing The Rage in Placid Lake, adapted from his stage play The Café Latte Kid.[5]

Following this, McNamara wrote for various television programmes in Australia, most notably The Secret Life of Us, Love My Way, Tangle and Puberty Blues.[3] In 2015, McNamara directed his second feature film, comedy-drama Ashby starring Mickey Rourke, Sarah Silverman and Emma Roberts.[6]

A year later, McNamara returned to television as creator of medical drama Doctor Doctor.[7]

In 2018, McNamara received critical acclaim for his work in co-writing the historical period comedy-drama film The Favourite.[8]

McNamara created The Great, a series revolving around the life of Catherine the Great, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult which premiered on Hulu on May 15, 2020.[9] It is based upon his play revolving around Catherine the Great, which premiered at the Sydney Theater Company in 2008.[10] McNamara also wrote a film adaptation of the play, "It had been a play and a film, and I was always struggling the fact it was such a massive story for a film. I wanted to tell it as a story that goes for years and years."[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

McNamara is married to Australian actress Belinda Bromilow.[13]


Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1995 Australian Film Institute Best Screenplay in a Short Film The Beat Manifesto Won
2003 Australian Comedy Awards Outstanding Comic Screenplay The Rage in Placid Lake Nominated
Australian Film Institute Best Adapted Screenplay Won
AWGIE Awards Major AWGIE Award Won
Best Screenplay Adaptation Won
Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Melbourne International Film Festival Most Popular Feature Film Won
2007 AWGIE Awards Best Writing for a Television Series Love My Way Won
Australian Film Institute Best Screenplay in Television Nominated
2013 AACTA Awards Best Screenplay in Television Puberty Blues Nominated
2014 AWGIE Awards Best Writing for a Television Series Nominated
2015 AWGIE Awards Best Screenplay Original Ashby Nominated
2018 Academy Award Best Original Screenplay The Favourite Nominated
Atlanta Film Critics Circle Best Screenplay Won
BAFTA Award Best Original Screenplay Won
British Independent Film Awards Best Screenplay Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Original Screenplay Won
Golden Globe Award Best Screenplay Nominated
Indiana Film Journalists Association Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Best Original Screenplay Runner-Up
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Gotham Independent Film Awards Best Screenplay Nominated


  1. ^ Wilkinson, Alissa (21 November 2018). "The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos on why his films aren't as mean as people say". Vox. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Tony McNamara: author of Offspring". 27 September 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Tony McNamara -". Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Playwright takes stock". 9 July 2002. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  5. ^ "The Rage in Placid Lake". 28 August 2003. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Comedy-drama film "Ashby" by Tony McNamara". 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  7. ^ Bizzaca, Caris (7 September 2016). "CLAUDIA KARVAN ON DOCTOR DOCTOR AND PRODUCING". Screen Australia. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Playing favourites - Yorgos Lanthimos, Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn and Tony McNamara on The Favourite". 30 September 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  9. ^ Hipes, Patrick (17 January 2020). "Hulu Sets Premiere Dates For 'The Great', 'Ramy' And 'Solar Opposites' – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  10. ^ McHenry, Jackson (15 May 2020). "How The Great Very, Very Loosely Adapts Russian History". New York Magazine. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  11. ^ Utichi, Joe (13 February 2019). "How Tony McNamara's Hulu-Bound 'The Great' Landed Him 'The Favourite' And An Oscar Nomination". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  12. ^ Ryan, Patrick (15 May 2020). "Hulu's 'The Great': Elle Fanning on playing Catherine the Great, severed heads and 'fully clothed sex'". USA Today. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Australian actress Oscars red carpet moment has a special meaning". 24 February 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2019.

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