His notable films include the Academy Award-winning Best Picture No Country for Old Men, as well as The Social Network, Lady Bird, The Truman Show, Moonrise Kingdom, School of Rock, Zoolander, The Hours, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. On Broadway, he has won fifteen Tony Awards for producing shows like The Book of Mormon, Hello, Dolly!, The Humans, A View from the Bridge, Fences, and Passion.
In 2012, Rudin became one of the few people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award, and the first producer to do so.
At the age of 16, he started working as an assistant to theatre producer Kermit Bloomgarden. Later, he worked for producers Robert Whitehead and Emanuel Azenberg. In lieu of attending college, Rudin took a job as a casting director and ended up starting his own company. His newly minted firm cast numerous Broadway shows, including Annie (1977) for Mike Nichols. He also cast PBS's Verna: USO Girl (1978), starring Sissy Spacek and William Hurt; and the mini-series The Scarlet Letter (1979) starring Meg Foster, Kevin Conway and John Heard; also, the films King of the Gypsies (1978), The Wanderers (1979), Simon (1980) with Alan Arkin and Resurrection (1980).
In 1980, Rudin moved to Los Angeles, taking up employment at Edgar J. Scherick Associates, where he served as producer on a variety of films including I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1981), the NBC miniseries Little Gloria... Happy at Last (1982) and the Oscar-winning documentary He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' (1983).
Rudin then formed his own company, Scott Rudin Productions. His first film under that banner was Gillian Armstrong's Mrs. Soffel (1984). Not long after, Rudin placed his production shingle in dormancy and joined 20th Century-Fox as an executive producer. At Fox, he met Jonathan Dolgen, a higher-level executive, with whom he would be working once again at Paramount Pictures years later. Rudin rose through the ranks at Fox and became president of production by 1986 at the age of 29.
His stint at the top of Fox was short lived, and he soon left and entered into a producing deal with Paramount. On August 1, 1992, Rudin signed a deal with Tri-Star Pictures but soon moved back to Paramount. Rudin's first look deal with Paramount Pictures lasted nearly 15 years, producing pictures including Addams Family Values.
After the resignation of Paramount's chairwoman Sherry Lansing in 2004 and nearly simultaneous departure of Jonathan Dolgen (then president of the company), Rudin left the studio and set a five-year first-look pact with Disney that allowed him to make movies under their labels Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Miramax Films, whose founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein had departed. Previously, Harvey Weinstein and Rudin had public confrontations during the production of The Hours (2002), which Rudin produced for Miramax Films after it became a studio subsidiary under Disney. Rudin later said he and Weinstein "are both control freaks. We both want to run our own shows. When I'm doing a Miramax movie, I work for him. And I don't like that feeling. I chafe under that. I especially chafe under it when I feel that I'm on a leash."
Scott Rudin has won fifteen Tony Awards (out of 42 nominations) and twelve Drama Desk Awards (out of 31 nominations) for his Broadway productions. Typically producing between two and five productions per year, he is one of Broadway's most prolific commercial producers.
His first Broadway play, David Henry Hwang's Face Value in 1993, was produced alongside Stuart Ostrow and Jujamcyn Theaters, and it closed after eight preview performances. He started a deal with Jujamcyn to develop and produce new plays for the theater chain. In 1994, Rudin won the Best Musical Tony Award for his production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Passion. The following year, he co-produced Kathleen Turner's Broadway comeback, Indiscretions, and Ralph Fiennes' New York stage debut in Hamlet. In 1996, Rudin produced the revival of the Stephen Sondheim and Larry Gelbart musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, for which Nathan Lane won his first Tony Award. His subsequent productions and co-productions have included Skylight, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, Seven Guitars, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Copenhagen, Deuce, The History Boys, Beckett/Albee, Closer, The Blue Room, Doubt, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Year of Magical Thinking, A Behanding in Spokane, God of Carnage, The House of Blue Leaves, and Exit The King.
In 2010, Rudin and Carole Shorenstein Hays produced the first Broadway revival of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fences, directed by Kenny Leon and starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Fences garnered ten Tony Award nominations and three wins, including Best Revival of a Play, Best Actor for Washington, and Best Actress for Davis. He would later produce the 2016 film adaptation of Fences.
The following year, Rudin was the lead producer for the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, which opened in March 2011 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre and won nine Tony Awards including Best Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Album. The production continues to run, having played more than 3,000 performances on Broadway.
Since 2011, Rudin has won Tony Awards for lead-producing Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (directed by Mike Nichols and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield), Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (starring Denzel Washington), David Hare's Skylight (directed by Stephen Daldry and starring Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy), Stephen Karam's The Humans, Ivo van Hove's staging of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge, and the revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler. Other notable productions include Larry David's Fish in the Dark, a hit comedy that took in "more than $13.5 million in advance sales at the box office [which] beats the previous record for a play, $13.05 million for the 2013 revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal," another Rudin production.
Rudin has withdrawn from two major Broadway shows while production was well underway. He left the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Clybourne Park in February 2012 ahead of an April opening, due to a feud with writer Bruce Norris that was unrelated to the play. At the time, the New York Post's Michael Riedel said, "[Rudin] does not suffer fools, especially ones who go back on their word." Jujamcyn Theaters president Jordan Roth ultimately produced Clybourne Park, and it won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play. In 2015, it was announced that Rudin would produce Groundhog Day, a musical adaptation of the film Groundhog Day, originally starring Bill Murray. Tim Minchin, who penned the award-winning adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, wrote the music and lyrics, and screenwriter Danny Rubin wrote the book. Rudin withdrew from the production in June 2016, citing creative differences with the production team. Groundhog Day opened on Broadway in 2017, was a financial failure, closing after just five months.
Sony Pictures Entertainment hack
On December 9, 2014, a major illegal breach of Sony's computer systems by "Guardians of Peace" hackers using Shamoon malware led to disclosure of many gigabytes of stolen information, including internal company documents. In subsequent news coverage SPE Co-Chair Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin were noted to have had an email exchange about Pascal's upcoming encounter with President Barack Obama that included characterizations described as racist. Both he and Pascal later apologized.
The two had suggested they should mention films about African-Americans upon meeting the president, such as Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave, The Butler, and Amistad which all discuss slavery in the United States or the pre-civil rights era. In the e-mail thread, Rudin added, "I bet he likes Kevin Hart." Rudin later said that the e-mails were "private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity." He added that he was "profoundly and deeply sorry."
Rudin is widely considered to be one of the more demanding bosses in the entertainment industry. He has been described as notoriously hot-tempered. John Gregory Dunne wrote about his abusive treatment of subordinates. In a 2008 interview with NPR's All Things Considered, Rudin acknowledged having a temper, but said he has grown up.
In 2012, Rudin became the first producer to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.
In January 2008, two of Rudin's productions—the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men, which they adapted from the Cormac McCarthy book of the same name, and Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, which was adapted from the Upton Sinclair novel, Oil!—were nominated for eight Oscars apiece at the 2008 Academy Awards, including a Best Picture nod for each of them. The two films shared the distinction of being the most nominated movies at that year's Oscar ceremony. Ultimately, No Country for Old Men won the Best Picture prize.
Rudin won Primetime Emmy awards for Little Gloria... Happy at Last and School of Rock, and both Primetime and Daytime Emmies for He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'. He won a Grammy award for The Book of Mormon.
At the 2011 Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards, Rudin became the only person ever to be nominated twice in one year. He was nominated (along with Dana Brunetti, Ceán Chaffin and Michael De Luca) for producing the Facebook biographical film The Social Network and was also nominated (along with Joel and Ethan Coen) for their remake of the classic western True Grit (2010). That same year, the PGA also awarded Rudin the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures which recognizes an individual's outstanding body of work in the field of motion picture production.
|2012–2014||The Newsroom||executive producer|
|2016–2018||School of Rock||executive producer|
|2017||Five Came Back||executive producer|
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Scott Rudin: "frankly, I was the only Jew on the creative team"
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