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Edward Zwick

Born: October 8, 1952, Chicago, Illinois
Connection to Illinois: Zwick was born and raised in Chicago. He attended New Trier High School,

Biography: Ed Zwick is an Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning director, producer and writer with over four decades of highly-acclaimed film and television projects. His filmography as director includes Glory, Legends of the Fall, Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai, Courage Under Fire, Love & Other Drugs, and Defiance; with producing credits including Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic and Shakespeare in Love, for which Zwick won the Academy Award. From early-career, breakout performances from Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, to career-defining roles for Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more, Zwick has directed many of Hollywood’s biggest stars. His mark on television is equally impressive, including two series he co-created with longtime creative partner Marshall Herskovitz: the Emmy award-winning thirtysomething, regarded as one of the most influential dramas in modern TV history; and ABC’s Emmy-winning ensemble drama, Once and Again. He also executive produced the groundbreaking teen drama, My So-Called Life, which launched the careers of Claire Danes, Wilson Cruz and Jared Leto. A graduate of Harvard and the AFI Conservatory, Zwick and Herskovitz—by far the longest-running partnership in Hollywood—continues to lead their award-winning production company, Bedford Falls, founded in 1985. His memoir is Hits, Flops and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood
ISBN: 1668046997 OCLC: 1384411519

Gallery Books [S.l.] : 2024

This heartfelt and wry career memoir from the director of Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai, Legends of the Fall, About Last Night, and Glory, creator of the show thirtysomething, and executive producer of My So-Called Life, gives a dishy, behind-the-scenes look at working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. “I’ll be dropping a few names,” Ed Zwick confesses in the introduction to his book. “Over the years I have worked with self-proclaimed masters-of-the-universe, unheralded geniuses, hacks, sociopaths, savants, and saints.” He has encountered these Hollywood types during four decades of directing, producing, and writing projects that have collectively received eighteen Academy Award nominations (seven wins) and sixty-seven Emmy nominations (twenty-two wins). Though there are many factors behind such success, including luck and the contributions of his creative partner Marshall Herskovitz, he’s known to have a special talent for bringing out the best in the people he’s worked with, especially the actors. In those intense collaborations, he’s sought to discover the small pieces of connective tissue, vulnerability, and fellowship that can help an actor realize their character in full. Talents whom he spotted early include Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Claire Danes, and Jared Leto. Established stars he worked closely with include Leonardo DiCaprio, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Craig, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Jennifer Connelly. He also sued Harvey Weinstein over the production of Shakespeare in Love—and won.He shares personal stories about all these people, and more. Written mostly with love, sometimes with rue, this memoir is also a meditation on working, sprinkled throughout with tips for anyone who has ever imagined writing, directing, or producing for the screen. Fans with an appreciation for the beautiful mysteries—as well as the unsightly, often comic truths—of crafting film and television won’t want to miss it.