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Stephen Frears

By 24th June 2018Speakers

One of Britain’s finest directors, Stephen Frears made his name in TV drama, working for 15 years almost exclusively for the small screen. By the mid-1980s he turned to the cinema, shooting THE HIT (1984) starring Terence Stamp, John Hurt and Tim Roth. The following year he made MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE for Channel 4, which crossed over to big-screen audiences and altered the course of his career. After directing its companion piece SAMMY AND ROSIE GET LAID and PRICK UP YOUR EARS with Gary Oldman as Joe Orton, he began directing films in Hollywood including DANGEROUS LIAISONS and THE GRIFTERS for which he was Oscar-nominated.

Returning closer to home, he directed two Irish films, THE SNAPPER and THE VAN based on Roddy Doyle stories, before a second spell in America with THE HI LO COUNTRY and HIGH FIDELITY based on the novel by Nick Hornby. Since then he has been based mostly in Britain directing films with widely differing subjects such as DIRTY PRETTY THINGS, a realistic account of immigrant life in London and MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS about the creation of the Windmill Theatre during World War II, the award winning PHILOMENA with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, THE PROGRAM with Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong, FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant and VICTORIA AND ABDUL with Judi Dench as Queen Victoria. He is currently working on another Nick Hornby project; STATE OF THE UNION.