Date of Birth: September 17, 1965
Having a lifelong fascination with the art of cinema, Bryan Singer first began shooting 8mm films in his early teens. After graduating West Windsor-Plainsboro High School in Southern New Jersey, Singer went to New York to attend the prestigious School of Visual Arts. He then moved to Los Angeles where he began undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California. It was during this period that his ambition to become a filmmaker was solidified.
After graduating from USC in 1989, he directed an innovative industrial film, after which he wrote and directed Lion's Den, an award-winning 25-minute film chronicling the lives of five high-school friends who reunite after graduating. Having included friends successfully in his various projects throughout the years, Singer called upon childhood friend Ethan Hawke to star in the 16mm, $15,000 budgeted project. Perhaps its greatest achievement, Lion's Den opened the doors to Singer's writing, producing and directing Public Access (1993), his first full-length project.
Singer became the focus of considerable attention in 1995 when his second full length feature, The Usual Suspects was released to critical and commercial acclaim. With an impressive cast including Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Kevin Pollack and Stephen Baldwin, the young talented director (only 29 at the time) beat a slew of odds by completing the six million dollar film under budget and finishing the film shoot in only 35 days. The film won two Oscars, and Singer won a BAFTA award for Best Picture.
In 1998 he completed one of the year's best thriller films, Apt Pupil, starring Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro. In 2000 he joined McKellen again to complete the anticipated sci-fi film, X-Men, and won an Empire Award for Best Director. The film was shot in various locations in Ontario, Canada and gave way to a successful sequel, X2: X-Men United (2003). He turned down the opportunity to direct a third X-Men sequel, instead taking on the highly-anticipated Superman Returns (2006), starring newcomer Brandon Routh.
He has his own production company, Bad Hat Harry Productions, which was named after a line in Jaws (1975), one of his favorite movies.