Facts about Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle Biography
Damien Chazelle’s 2016 musical La La Land won six Academy Awards, including an Oscar for Chazelle as best director.
A 2007 Harvard graduate, Damien Chazelle made his first feature in 2009: the low-budget relationship movie Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. While working as a screenwriter in Los Angeles, he made Whiplash, a movie loosely based on his experiences as a high school jazz drummer. The movie, starring Miles Teller as an ambitious young drummer and J.K. Simmons as a cruel and demanding teacher, won Oscars for best editing, best sound, and best supporting actor for Simmons.
Damien Chazelle then began making La La Land, a glossy, light-hearted musical that starred Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and actor dreaming of success in Los Angeles. The movie earned 14 Oscar nominations (tying the all-time record for most nominations) and won six Oscars overall, with Chazelle being named the year’s best director. However, his big night was overshadowed by a remarkable blunder: La La Land was also announced as the year’s best picture, before the mistake was corrected on the live telecast and competitor Moonlight was named as the real winner instead.
Damien Chazelle has also worked as a screenwriter; his credits include The Last Exorcism Part II (2013), Grand Piano (2013, starring Elijah Wood) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016, starring John Goodman).