Who is Tom Hooper?
Tom Hooper is a British-Australian film and television director. He is best known for directing movies such as ‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘The Danish Girl,’ which won several awards and recognitions. Hooper was interested in film making, right from his teenage years. At the age of 13, he directed his first short film, ‘Runaway Dog,’ using a camera gifted by his uncle. Thereafter filmmaking became his passion. He was a part of the ‘Oxford University Dramatic Society.’ His first professional short film was ‘Painted Faces.’ After graduation, he directed his debut TV series, which was ‘Quayside.’ Later, he directed several series such as ‘Byker Grove,’ ‘EastEnders,’ and ‘Cold Feet.’ Hooper’s directorial debut in movies was ‘Red Dust.’ His movie, ‘The King’s Speech,’ won 12 ‘Academy Award’ nominations. Hooper won the ‘Academy Award for Best Director,’ for this movie. He won his first ‘Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special,’ for the historical drama series ‘Elizabeth I.’ Hooper won the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for the series, ‘John Adams,’ too. Tom Hooper is known for his unique style of directing, which uses distorting wide angle lenses. He often directs period dramas. Hooper will be directing some upcoming movies and serials.
Childhood & Early Life
Tom Hooper was born Thomas George Hooper, on October 5, 1972, in London. His father, Richard, is a businessman of British origin. His mother, Meredith Jean, is an author of Australian descent. He has a brother, Ben, and a sister, Rachel.
Hooper attended the ‘Highgate School,’ and ‘Westminster School,’ for early education. At the age of 12, he read a book on direction, which thoroughly fascinated him. Hooper directed his first short film when he was 13. It was the story of a dog, and was titled ‘Runaway Dog.’
At the age of 14, Hooper directed the short film ‘Bomber Jacket,’ which won the competition for young film makers, conducted by the ‘BBC.’ His film ‘Bombers Jacket’ was runner-up in the competition. Hooper’s first professional short film was ‘Painted Faces.’ He was the director, producer, and writer of the film. It was telecast on ‘Channel 4.’
Hooper attended the ‘University College, Oxford,’ to study English. He was an active member of the ‘Oxford University Dramatic Society.’ He directed several advertisements and short films during the period.
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In 1997, Tom Hooper made his television debut with the series ‘Quayside.’ He directed a few episodes of the series. In the same year, he directed four episodes of the series ‘Byker Grove,’ aired on ‘CBBC.’ From 1998 to 2000, Hooper directed some episodes of the series ‘EastEnders.’
In 1999, Hooper directed the comedy drama series ‘Cold Feet.’ It was aired on the ‘ITV’ network. This was one of his first big-budget productions. In 2001, Tom Hooper directed the period drama miniseries ‘Love in a Cold Climate.’ It was a two-part series based on the novel written by Nancy Mitford. It was aired on the ‘BBC’ and nominated for two ‘British Academy Television Awards.’
In 2002, Hooper directed the period drama miniseries ‘Daniel Deronda,’ which was aired on the ‘BBC One.’ It was based on the novel of the same name, written by) George Eliot. The series was set in the 1870s, and told the story of two characters who lived in a country neighborhood.
In 2003, Hooper directed the two-part drama miniseries, ‘Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness.’ Hooper was nominated for a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for his work in this series. The series was nominated for the ‘British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Drama Series.’
In 2004, Tom Hooper made his feature film directorial debut with the drama movie ‘Red Dust.’ It told the story of a white lawyer who represented a black South African politician. It focused on the theme of apartheid. The movie had Chiwetel Ejiofor in the lead role and did not fare well at the box office.
In 2005, Hooper directed the two-part series ‘Elizabeth I,’ which was aired on ‘Channel 4’ and ‘HBO.’ It was a period drama that focused on the life of Queen Elizabeth I of England. For his work in this series, Hooper won his first ‘Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special.’
In 2006, Hooper directed the television movie ‘Longford.’ It was a biographical movie about the failed efforts made by Lord Longford to secure the parole of a condemned murderer Myra Hindley.
In 2008, Hooper directed the miniseries ‘John Adams.’ The series chronicled the political life of U.S. President John Adams. For this series, Hooper was nominated for the ‘Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special.’
In 2010, Tom Hooper directed the historical drama movie ‘The King’s Speech.’ The movie told the story of King George VI’s struggle with stammering, and his friendship with speech therapist Lionel Logue. It was a box office success. The movie won four ‘Academy Awards,’ including the ‘Best Director Award,’ for Hooper. He won the ‘BAFTA Award’ and the ‘Directors Guild of America Award’ as well.
In 2012, Hooper directed the musical drama movie ‘Les Miserables.’ It was based on the novel of same name by Victor Hugo. The movie won three ‘Academy Awards’ and three ‘Golden Globe Awards.’
In 2015, Hooper directed the movie ‘The Danish Girl.’ It was based on the story of Lili Elbe, who was one of the first persons to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Hooper was nominated for a ‘Satellite Award for Best Director.’
Tom Hooper will be directing the upcoming musical fantasy movie ‘Cats,’ which is based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot. He is also set to direct the upcoming TV series ‘His Dark Materials,’ to be aired on ‘BBC One’ and ‘HBO.’
Family & Personal Life
Tom Hooper is not married. He was engaged to actress Tara Subkoff, but the couple called off their engagement after a year-long relation. Hooper is currently single.