Wilson, Owen (Cunningham) 1968-
WILSON, Owen (Cunningham) 1968-
PERSONAL: Born November 18, 1968, in Dallas, TX; son of an advertising executive and a photographer. Education: University of Texas—Austin, B.A., 1991.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o UTA, 9560 Wilshire Blvd., No. 516, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.
CAREER: Actor and screenwriter. Associate producer, As Good as It Gets, 1997, and Rushmore, 1998. Has appeared in numerous motion pictures, including Bottle Rocket, The Cable Guy, Anaconda, Permanent Midnight, Armageddon, The Minus Man, Breakfast of Champions, The Haunting of Hill House, Kingdom of the Sun, Behind Enemy Lines, Meet the Parents, Zoolander, Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, I Spy, and The Big Bounce.
AWARDS, HONORS: Academy Award nomination for best screenplay (with Wes Anderson), 2001, for The Royal Tenenbaums.
(With Wes Anderson) Bottle Rocket, Columbia Pictures, 1994.
(With Wes Anderson) Rushmore, Buena Vista, 1998.
(With Wes Anderson) The Royal Tenenbaums, Buena Vista, 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Owen Wilson is an actor, producer, and screenwriter. He has appeared in numerous films, and was associate producer for the films As Good As It Gets and Rushmore,
Wilson grew up in a wealthy suburb of Dallas, Texas, and was known for his quick sense of humor and ability to write amusing dialogue. He majored in English at the University of Texas in Austin, where he met Wes Anderson, his senior-year roommate. They worked well together, and wrote a short crime comedy film, Bottle Rocket, which played at the Sundance Film Festival. Producer-director James L. Brooks helped them turn the short into a feature film, and it received critical acclaim for its originality. Anderson and Wilson's next film, Rushmore, was also well received.
Wilson and Anderson then wrote The Royal Tenenbaums, produced by Buena Vista in 2001. In the film, Royal Tenenbaum and his wife Etheline had three children, Chas, Richie, and Margot, all geniuses who separated from the family early. Chas became a real estate mogul in his early teens; Margot was such a talented playwright that when she was in the ninth grade, she received a $50,000 grant to write; and Richie won the junior tennis nationals three years in a row. However, much of this early brilliance was shattered by the failures of their neurotic mother. The film depicts a family reunion two decades later.
In Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck called the film "a deliciously absurdist comedy that should garner critical acclaim." The Royal Tenenbaums was nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay written directly for the screen in 2001.
As Wilson told Jessica Shaw in Entertainment Weekly, "I'm an amateur. . . . But I guess it's worked out. If the Olympics had an amateur spirit award, that's what [Anderson and I] would get." Of his career, he told Sheryl Crow in Interview: "It beats nine-to-five. It beat it yesterday, it beats it today, and it will beat it tomorrow." And he added, "I thank God that I'm able to make a living doing something that I can have a good time doing, and be creative."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Entertainment Weekly, June 16, 2000, Jessica Shaw, profile of Wilson, p. 36; January 18, 2002, Daniel Fierman, review of The Royal Tenenbaums, p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter, October 5, 2001, Frank Scheck, review of The Royal Tenenbaums, p. 15.
Interview, May, 2000, Sheryl Crow, interview with Wilson, p. 112.
Newsweek, December 7, 1998, Jeff Giles, profile of Wilson, p. 72.
Time, December 3, 2001, Jess Cagle, profile of Wilson, p. 68.