19 Facts About John Sayles


John Sayles has twice been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, for Passion Fish and Lone Star.


John Sayles attended Williams College with frequent collaborators Gordon Clapp and David Strathairn, as well as his longtime partner, Maggie Renzi.


In 1979, John Sayles used $30,000 he earned writing scripts for Corman to fund his first film, Return of the Secaucus 7.


In 1983, after the films Baby It's You and Lianna, John Sayles received a MacArthur Fellowship.


John Sayles put the money into the science fiction feature The Brother from Another Planet, a film about a three-toed humanoid who escapes bondage on another world and crash-lands in New York harbour; because he is Africanoid in appearance, he finds himself at home among the people of Harlem, being pursued by European-looking alien enslavers men in black.


In 1989, John Sayles created and wrote the pilot episode for the short-lived television show Shannon's Deal about a down-and-out Philadelphia lawyer played by Jamey Sheridan.


John Sayles received a 1990 Edgar Award for his teleplay for the pilot.


John Sayles has funded most of his films by writing genre scripts, such as Piranha, Alligator, The Howling, and The Challenge Having collaborated with Joe Dante on Piranha and The Howling, John Sayles acted in Dante's movie, Matinee.


John Sayles gets the rest of his funding by working as a script doctor; he did rewrites for Apollo 13 and Mimic.


That film's director, Steven Spielberg, later commissioned John Sayles to write a script for the fourth Jurassic Park film.


John Sayles has written and directed his own films, including Lone Star, Passion Fish, Eight Men Out, The Secret of Roan Inish, and Matewan.


John Sayles serves on the advisory board for the Austin Film Society.


In early 2003, John Sayles signed the Not In Our Name "Statement of Conscience" which opposed the invasion of Iraq.


In February 2009, John Sayles was reported to be writing an HBO series based on the early life of Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


In February 2010, John Sayles began shooting his 17th feature film, the historical war drama Amigo, in the Philippines.


John Sayles's first published story, "I-80 Nebraska", won an O Henry Award; his novel, Union Dues, was nominated for a National Book Award as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award.


John Sayles has been the recipient of the Eugene V Debs Award, the John Steinbeck Award and the John Cassavetes Award.


John Sayles was honored with the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Writers Guild of America.


Actors who have regularly worked with John Sayles include Maggie Renzi, David Strathairn, Joe Morton, Chris Cooper, Mary McDonnell, Vincent Spano, Kevin Tighe, Josh Mostel, Tom Wright, Gordon Clapp and Angela Bassett.