Roger Michell is an award-winning theater director whose venture into film and television has been equally successful. Roger’s film “Notting Hill” has become one of the highest grossing British films of all time.
Roger was born in South Africa, but spent significant parts of his childhood in Beirut, Damascus, and Prague, since his father’s job as a diplomat required the family to move often. While in England, he enrolled at Cambridge University, where he received considerable attention for his directing talents. After graduating from Cambridge, Roger moved to London and began an apprenticeship at the Royal Court Theatre. During this time, he was living hand-to-mouth in a rundown section of town, but he was gaining invaluable experience acting as assistant director to noted British playwrights John Osborne and Samuel Beckett.
Roger soon began writing and directing projects on his own. The most successful of these ventures was 1982’s Private Dick, a comedy which won the Fringe First Award at the world famous Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. In 1985, Roger joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and was the Resident Director there for six years. During his tenure, he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for directing the immensely popular Some Americans Abroad. After the Royal Shakespeare Company, Roger directed two miniseries and a documentary for British television before receiving his feature break directing the film adaptation of Jane Austin’s novel Persuasion (1995.) Originally shown on BBC and later released by Columbia TriStar, the movie earned five BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards, including Best Drama.
Roger’s next big break came when he was selected to direct Notting Hill. Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant were soon added into the mix as was producer Duncan Kenworthy, who sent the script to Roger after being impressed with the comedic opening of his gay tragic-comedy play My Night with Reg (1996.) Notting Hill would go on to make $360 million worldwide, and establish Roger as an internationally renowned director.
Roger was next back in the director’s chair with “Changing Lanes,” a character driven film about man’s need for revenge, starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. The movie was a departure from romantic comedies and with it Roger showed his range as a director. The film was noted for its unique style and quick cuts, as well as its edgy and rain-soaked portrayal of New York City.
Roger’s recent movies have included the critically acclaimed “Enduring Love” starring Daniel Craig, and the comedy-drama “Venus” with Peter O’Toole and Leslie Phillips. “Venus” premiered at Telluride and was nominated for five British Independent Film Awards and earned Oscar, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globe nominations for O’Toole as Best Actor. Leslie Phillips also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Roger’s latest movie is “Morning Glory” starring Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams. Roger has also seen success in the commercials genre with his commercial for American Express featuring Kate Winslet earning an AICP award.