Rebecca Augusta Miller is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, novelist, and actress known for films, such as 'Consenting Adults', 'The Ballad of Jack and Rose' and 'Maggie's Plan'. Born in Roxbury, Connecticut, she is the daughter of Arthur Miller, a well-known American playwright and essayist, and Inge Morath, a professional photographer. She began her acting career in an adaptation of Chekhov's play 'The Cherry Orchard'. She next appeared in the TV film 'The Murder of Mary Phagan', which aired on the NBC network. She made her directorial debut with the film 'Angela'. It won a few awards such as the Gotham Award. The film was about a young girl with a dysfunctional family who, in a quest to "purify" herself, invents an imaginary universe. Over the years, she directed several films some of which earned success and popularity. Her latest film is the romantic comedy 'Maggie's Plan', which she directed, wrote, and co-produced. Rebecca Miller has won several awards in her career, including the Maureen O'Hara Award which she received for her achievement in films.
Childhood & Early Life
Rebecca Augusta Miller was born on September 15th, 1962, in Roxbury, Connecticut, in the United States. Her father was the well-known playwright Arthur Miller, and her mother was Inge Morath, a professional photographer. Her father was Jewish, while her mother was Protestant.
Though she mostly practiced Catholicism while growing up, she had stopped identifying as a Christian by the time she finished her college. Starting from her childhood, she was interested in sculpting and was trained by veteran sculptors such as Philip Grausman.
She did her schooling from Choate Rosemary Hall, and later attended Yale University, where she studied painting and literature. During this time, she became an acquaintance of Naomi Wolf, a future author, who was her roommate. After her graduation she exhibited her paintings and sculptures in a few galleries. She also studied film for some time at ‘The New School’ in New York.
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Mentored by Arnold S. Eagle, an American photographer and cinematographer, Rebecca Miller initially made non-verbal films. She used to display them along with her artwork.
Her acting career began in 1988, when she was cast in an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s play ‘The Cherry Orchard’. During this time, she made up her mind to become an independent filmmaker. Her first work on TV was in the miniseries ‘The Murder of Mary Phagan’, which aired on NBC the same year.
She played a supporting role in the 1991 film ‘Regarding Henry’. Directed by Mike Nichols, the film was about a lawyer struggling to regain his memory after he survives a shooting. The film received mostly negative reviews. It was also a commercial failure.
The same year, Miller directed a short film named ‘Florence’. Her brilliant work in the short film gained the notice of Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati and she was invited to direct a revival of ‘After the Fall’, a play by Arthur Miller. She directed another play ‘The Bluebird Special Came Through Here’ the same year.
She directed her first significant film ‘Angela’ in 1995. The film won a few awards. However, a review of the film by ‘The New York Times’ described the plot as quite disturbing.
Over the ensuing years, Rebecca Miller directed a few other short films. Her next significant film was ‘Personal Velocity: Three Portraits’ which was released in 2002. The film was a commercial success and it won two awards at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.
Her next films, ‘The Ballad of Jack and Rose’, and ‘The Private Lives of Pippa Lee’, were released in 2005 and 2009 respectively. Her latest film ‘Maggie’s Plan was released in 2015. The film revolved around the personal and professional life of a woman named Maggie Harden.
Miller played a supporting role in the film ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ which had its world premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. It will hit the US theatres in October 2017.
‘Consenting Adults’ is a 1992 crime thriller film where Rebecca Miller played a supporting role. Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the film was about the composer Richard Parker, who faces a lot of trouble after he becomes friends with a con artist. The film starred Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Kevin Spacey, Rebecca Miller, and E.G. Marshall. The film became a commercial success, but was met with negative reviews. In 2001, it was adapted into a Hindi film named ‘Ajnabee’.
Miller directed the 2005 drama film ‘The Ballad of Jack and Rose’. The film starred actors Camilla Belle, Daniel Day-Lewis, Catherine Keener, Ryan McDonald and Paul Dano. The film was about the lives of an environmentalist and his daughter living in an isolated island and the complicated relationship dynamics between them.
’Maggie’s Plan’, a 2015 a romantic comedy drama, was written, directed, and co-produced by Rebecca Miller. The film was about a woman Maggie Harden, who decides to start a family. The cast included Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hakwe, Bill Hader, Travis Fimmel, and Maya Rudolf. The film was met with positive reviews from critics.
Awards & Achievements
Rebecca Miller received the Independent Feature Project (IFP) Gotham Awards, the Independent Film Project's Open Palm Award, and the Sundance Film Festival Filmmaker Trophy for her film ‘Angela’ (1995).
The awards received by Rebecca Miller include the ‘Maureen O’ Hara Award’, which she won in 2009 for her work in films.
She received an Honorable Mention from MTV’s list of ‘The Best Female Directors Who Should Have Won An Oscar’ for her film ‘For the Ballad of Jack and Rose’ in 2010.
Rebecca Miller is married to the famous English actor Daniel Day-Lewis. She has two children with him, and a step-son from Lewis’ previous relationship.