Director Michael Lehmann is best known for his quirky, jet-black comedies that span feature films and episodic television.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Lehmann studied painting and philosophy, graduating from Columbia University then moved on to study at the University of Tuebingen in Germany before receiving an MFA from the USC School of Cinema.
Lehmann began his Hollywood career working for Francis Ford Coppola at Zoetrope Studios, supervising video cameras on One From the Heart (1982) and The Outsiders (1983). But it was his USC short film, The Beaver Gets a Boner, and another short, Ed’s Secret Life, picked up by NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” that led to a production deal with New World Pictures and his first feature directing assignment, the award winning Heathers, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.
Since then Lehmann has directed numerous feature films, including the notorious Hudson Hawk, with Bruce Willis, and Meet the Applegates, which features actors dressed as giant beetles living in a suburban American home like any other family. Airheads, The Truth About Cats and Dogs with Uma Thurman and Janeane Garofalo, and 40 Days and 40 Nights have followed. His latest feature film, Because I Said So, starring Academy Award winner Diane Keaton, pop star Mandy Moore, and Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham was released in February 2007.
Among Lehmann’s television credits are episodes of “Homicide,” “The West Wing” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” for which he received both an Emmy and Cable Ace Award nomination. He was also the executive producer of Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. Recently, he has directed several episodes of HBO original series “True Blood” with Anna Paquin, “Californication” with David Duchovny and “Big Love,” starring Bill Paxton and Chloë Sevigny.