Neil LaBute

About Neil LaBute

Who is it?: Writer, Producer, Director
Birth Day: March 19, 1963
Birth Place:  Detroit, Michigan, United States
Alma mater: Brigham Young University University of Kansas
Occupation: Playwright, film director, screenwriter, actor

Neil LaBute

Neil LaBute was born on March 19, 1963 in  Detroit, Michigan, United States, is Writer, Producer, Director. Acclaimed and highly discussed filmmaker Neil LaBute has made himself a force to be reckoned with and a name to watch. With his true-to-life cynical and self-absorbed characters and all-too-true social themes, he has firmly established himself as an unforgiving judge of the ugliest side of human nature.LaBute was originally a playwright. He attended Brigham Young University and took theater as his major. Many say that Pulitzer-Prize winner David Mamet was a strong influence on him. He chose to attack subjects that many people don't really want to talk about and showed the way that people really talk among themselves. His first stage piece, an off-off-Broadway play which was entitled "Filthy Talk for Troubled Times", debuted in 1990 and it featured two men just sitting around a bar and making small talk and ridiculing women, minorities, homosexuals and their ways, in a manner not unlike the conversations in his In the Company of Men (1997). The foul-mouthed play was, not unsurprisingly, a hit with the critics.After LaBute graduated from the University of Kansas and New York University, he got a scholarship to London's Royal Court Theatre in the US in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. Then he got into cinema. He made his films like his plays: showing characters just sitting and talking and revealing how evil, scared, ignorant, arrogant, emotionally wounded, delusional, disillusioned and cynical they are.LaBute made his first major mark with the low-budget (and frighteningly realistic) cautionary fable In the Company of Men (1997), about two sexist male office co-workers fed up with what they believe is the way women have taken over American society and how it is no longer a man's world. They set out to find a vulnerable woman - one looking for male attention - and wine her, dine her, then cruelly dump her, just to gain some "dignity" for their gender. Shot for $25,000 in less than two weeks, the film won the Sundance Filmmaker's trophy, awards for LaBute's screenplay and the star Aaron Eckhart's performance as a heartless and misogynist creep with ambition and cockiness to spare.His next movie and sophomore cinema effort, Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), was considerably less well-received (a casualty of what is often referred to as "the sophomore jinx"). The film was about a group of six very different, but misanthropic people (three men and three women) connected by their relationships; when unhappy in them, they begin to shamelessly lie and cheat on one another with their lovers, and even with their friends. The movie got some strong reviews, but other reviewers felt LaBute was pretty much repeating himself. The prevailing attitude seeming to be that this time he had made an entire movie with all of its characters being nothing but villains, so why should anyone care about or want these six unlike-able people to ever find happiness?Nurse Betty (2000) was LaBute's next directorial effort, from a script he didn't write himself. It was was a radical departure from LaBute's other work, about a sweet-nature waitress obsessed with a particular soap opera and especially the show's star, George McCord (Greg Kinnear). The film received the Cannes Film Festival's Best Screenplay trophy for its authors. Renée Zellweger was honored with a Golden Globe Award. LaBute had finally made a good-nature, mainstream film, and a damn good one, but he didn't spend ALL his time basking - he had put out several other things that year, such as a TV movie based on his "Bash" plays and another original work entitled Tumble (2000), none of which got wide recognition. In 2002 LaBute got himself noticed again with another less-caustic movie - a costume period piece called Possession (2002), based on the best-selling novel, which many believed to be about his love for early English culture. It starred LaBute stalwart Eckhart and Gwyneth Paltrow, who specializes in having the most authentic sounding British accent around. It wasn't a huge box-office success, but it did have many fervent admirers.In 2003 LaBute brought to the screen another adaptation of his own work, a play he wrote and directed and had performed in England. He brought his original cast (Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz, Gretchen Mol and Frederick Weller) back to appear in this one. It was entitled The Shape of Things (2003), about how a seductive art student, named Evelyn, takes Paul, a nerdy, insecure, out-of-shape guy, and begins molding him to look more and more desirable, much to the confusion of his friends. He enjoys being desirable, but is unaware of where all this remodeling will lead as Evelyn gets more and more possessive and controlling. With pieces like "In the Company of Men" and Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), LaBute has proven that he has his hand on the pulse of everyday people (not heroes or villains), just people who sound and behave often horribly for no reason, and you cringe all the more because you know and identify with them. With "Nurse Betty" and "Possession", however, LaBute has shown that he has more than just one really incredibly note. He's no one-hit wonder. Here is a man whose entire body of work should be watched and studied by all.
Neil LaBute is a member of Writer

Does Neil LaBute Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Neil LaBute is still alive (as per Wikipedia, Last update: May 10, 2020).

🎂 Neil LaBute - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

Currently, Neil LaBute is 59 years, 2 months and 0 days old. Neil LaBute will celebrate 60rd birthday on a Sunday 19th of March 2023. Below we countdown to Neil LaBute upcoming birthday.

Popular As Neil LaBute
Occupation Writer
Age 57 years old
Zodiac Sign Aries
Born March 19, 1963 ( Detroit, Michigan, United States)
Birthday March 19
Town/City  Detroit, Michigan, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Neil LaBute’s zodiac sign is Aries. According to astrologers, the presence of Aries always marks the beginning of something energetic and turbulent. They are continuously looking for dynamic, speed and competition, always being the first in everything - from work to social gatherings. Thanks to its ruling planet Mars and the fact it belongs to the element of Fire (just like Leo and Sagittarius), Aries is one of the most active zodiac signs. It is in their nature to take action, sometimes before they think about it well.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Neil LaBute was born in the Year of the Rabbit. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rabbit enjoy being surrounded by family and friends. They’re popular, compassionate, sincere, and they like to avoid conflict and are sometimes seen as pushovers. Rabbits enjoy home and entertaining at home. Compatible with Goat or Pig.

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Famous Quotes:

It exposed me, probably in the earliest way, to “Hey, I could do that.” I’ve never been one to love the camera or even to be as drawn to it as I am to the human aspect of it, and I think it was a film that speaks in a very simple way of here’s a way that you can tell a story on film in human terms. It was the kind of film that made me go, “I could do this; I want to tell stories that are like this and told in this way.” And so it was altering for me in that way, in its simplicity or deceptive simplicity.



LaBute's interest in the film industry came with a viewing of The Soft Skin (La Peau Douce 1964), said the Director to Robert K. Elder in a 2011 interview for The Film That Changed My Life.


LaBute's first produced play, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times (1989) — a series of biting exchanges between two "everyman" characters in a bar – was staged from June 3–5, 2010 by MCC Theater as a benefit for MCC's Playwrights' Coalition and their commitment to developing new work. LaBute also directed the reading. Originally when it premiered in New York City at the Westside Dance Project, the entire audience stood up and booed afterward. One audience member cried out, "Kill The Playwright!"


In 1993, he returned to Brigham Young University to premiere his play In the Company of Men, for which he received an award from the Association for Mormon Letters. He taught drama and film at IPFW in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the early 1990s where he adapted and filmed the play, shot over two weeks and costing $25,000, beginning his career as a film Director. The film won the Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival, and major awards and nominations at the Deauville Film Festival, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Thessaloniki Film Festival, the Society of Texas Film Critics Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle.


In the Company of Men portrays two businessmen (one played by Eckhart) cruelly plotting to romance and emotionally destroy a deaf woman. His next film Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), with an ensemble cast including Eckhart and Ben Stiller, was a shocking portrayal of the sex lives of three yuppie couples in the big city.


His play Bash: Latter-Day Plays is a set of three short plays (Iphigenia in Orem, A Gaggle of Saints, and Medea Redux) depicting essentially good Latter-day Saints doing disturbing and violent things. It ran Off-Broadway at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre in 1999. Medea Redux is a one-person performance by Calista Flockhart. This play resulted in his being disfellowshipped from the LDS Church (i.e., losing some privileges of church membership without being excommunicated). He has since formally left the LDS Church.


LaBute's 2002 play The Mercy Seat was a theatrical response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Set on September 12, it concerns a man who worked at the World Trade Center but was away from the office during the infamous 2001 terrorist attack – with his mistress. Expecting that his family believes that he was killed in the towers' collapse, he contemplates using the tragedy to run away and start a new life with his lover. Starring Liev Schreiber and Sigourney Weaver, the play was a commercial and critical success. While hesitant to term The Mercy Seat "political theater", Labute said, "I refer to this play in the printed introduction as a kind of emotional terrorism that we wage on those we profess to love." He dedicated this edition to David Hare, in response to Hare's "straightforward, thoughtful, probing work".


LaBute directed Death at a Funeral, a remake of a 2007 British film of the same name. It was written by Dean Craig (who also wrote the original screenplay) and starred Chris Rock.


Critics have responded to his plays as having a misanthropic tone. Rob Weinert-Kendt in The Village Voice referred to LaBute as "American theater's reigning misanthrope". The New York Times said that critics labeled him a misanthrope, on the release of his film, Your Friends & Neighbors. Britain's Independent newspaper in May 2008 dubbed him "America's misanthrope par excellence". Citing the misanthropic tone of the plot in the films, In the Company of Men and The Shape of Things, critic Daniel Kimmel identified a pattern running through LaBute's work by quoting: "Neil LaBute is a misanthrope who assumes that only callous and evil people, who use and abuse others, can survive in this world." Critics labeled him a misogynist after the release of In the Company of Men.


The Unimaginable, a short play by LaBute, premiered as part of the Terror 2010 season at the Southwark Playhouse in London, UK from October 12 – 31, 2010.


He also took part in the Bush Theatre's 2011 project Sixty Six Books, for which he wrote a piece based upon a book of the King James Bible.


In 2012 Labute joined the Chicago-based storefront theatre company, Profiles Theatre as a Resident Artist.


In 2013, LaBute was named one of the winners of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Arts and Letters Awards in Literature.


His play, The Way We Get By, opened Off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre on May 19, 2015, starring Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski, with direction by Leigh Silverman.


In August 2016, the Utah Shakespeare Festival produced a preview of LaBute's play, How to Fight Loneliness in Cedar City, Utah, and announced its intention to stage the play during its 2017 summer season.


In February 2018, MCC Theater terminated its relationship with him ending his place as their playwright-in-residence and their plans to produce his next play Reasons to Be Pretty Happy in the summer.

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