Michael Paxton

Michael Paxton

Director, Producer


Michael Paxton is a critically-acclaimed director whose body of work spans both film and television. He began his career in the mid-1980s, directing music videos for bands such as U2, R.E.M., and The Cure. He then transitioned to television, directing episodes of shows such as Miami Vice and thirtysomething.

In the early 1990s, Paxton made the jump to feature films. His first directorial effort was the 1993 romantic comedy Slice of Life, starring Sean Penn and Meg Ryan. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the film was a box office hit, grossing over $100 million worldwide. This success enabled Paxton to take on larger projects, leading him to direct the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day, starring Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. The film grossed an astonishing $817 million and won Paxton his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director.

Paxton followed up that success with a string of ambitious films. He directed the 1998 drama The Horse Whisperer, starring Robert Redford and Kristin Scott Thomas, and the 2000 historical drama The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger. Both films were critical and commercial successes, and Paxton earned another Academy Award nomination for The Patriot.

In the early 2000s, Paxton shifted his focus to television, directing several episodes of the hit series 24. He also directed the 2002 made-for-television movie The Gathering Storm, starring Albert Finney and Vanessa Redgrave. The film earned Paxton his third Academy Award nomination.

In recent years, Paxton has returned to feature films. He directed the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, and the 2018 historical drama Mary Queen of Scots, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. Both films were nominated for multiple Academy Awards.

Michael Paxton continues to be an influential force in the entertainment industry, with his work receiving both critical and commercial acclaim. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and has established himself as one of the most respected directors in Hollywood.

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