Hollywood movies have had their golden age. New actors are famous for giving characters to the film. Most of them come and go pretty quickly. Unlike actors, movie directors usually stay active longer. One of Hollywood’s directors who maintains excellent credibility for a long time is Alexander Payne.
He was born Constantine Alexander Papadopoulos in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1961. However, many knew him simply as Alexander Payne. Back in the ’70s, when he was a teenager, movies were made to represent real life as closely as possible. He has been interested in directing this kind of movie ever since.
It all started when Alexander Payne successfully produced his thesis film called “The Passion of Martin” during his study at UCLA film school. The film launched his career at Universal Studios, where he directed movies of a similar genre. He favors portraying ordinary people facing typical life difficulties, often presented as a dark comedy.
“Citizen Ruth” (1996), his first feature film, was about a woman who couldn’t handle her life difficulties. Then, as the new millennium began, he directed several award-winning movies like “Election,” “About Schmidt,” “Sideways,” “The Descendants,” and “Nebraska.” He frequently casts big names worthy of winning awards, such as Jack Nicholson and George Clooney, of playing his characters. Such actors helped to appreciate the movie characters in narrating real-life scenarios, his movie-making trademark.
“Downsizing,” his latest film, is a Sci-Fi movie about scientists who found a way to shrink people to overcome the world’s overpopulation issue – not so much like the work of Alexander Payne. But, he pointed out that it’s still so much about people. When they enter into the microscopic world, they still talk about ordinary life circumstances. He could learn one or two new techniques, though – like taking advantage of visual effects.
After more than two decades in directing movies, Alexander Payne is trying to figure out if he could write a book. Maybe a bit of deviation from what he usually does would open up a new dimension in his search for excellence. But, one thing for sure is that he will remain a renowned director for a long time to come.
Read more about Alexander Payne on Medium.