Peter Jackson
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  • Faith: Unknown
  • Career: Author
  • Birthday:  October 31, 1961

Peter Jackson is a screenwriter, film director, and producer. He's best known as the writer, director, and producer of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the "Hobbit" trilogy, both of which are adapted from the novels of the same name by J.R.R. Tolkien. Other notable films include the critically lauded drama "Heavenly Creatures,” "The Frighteners,” "King Kong,” "They Shall Not Grow Old," and "The Beatles: Get Back." He's the fourth highest-grossing film director of all time, and his films have made over $6.5 billion worldwide.

Jackson started his career with the horror comedy "Bad Taste" and "Meet the Feebles" before filming "Braindead." He shared a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay with his partner Fran Walsh for "Heavenly Creatures," which brought him to mainstream prominence in the film industry. Jackson has been awarded three Academy Awards for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. His other awards include three BAFTAs, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, and four Saturn Awards, among others.

Jackson's production company is called WingNut Films, and his most regular collaborators are co-writers and producers Walsh and Philippa Boyens. He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002 and was later knighted by Sir Anand Satyanand, the Governor-General of New Zealand, at a ceremony in April 2010. In 2014, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Peter Jackson was born in New Zealand in 1961. His parents, Joan and William, were immigrants from England. As a child, Jackson was a film fan, growing up on Ray Harryhausen films and finding inspiration in TV series like "Thunderbirds" and "Monty Python's Flying Circus." After a family friend gave the Jacksons a Super 8 cine camera with Peter in mind, he started making short films with his friends.

Jackson has long cited "King Kong" as his favorite movie, and, at around nine years old, he tried to remake it using his stop-motion models. Also, as a child, Jackson made a WWII epic called "The Dwarf Patrol" seen on the "Bad Taste" bonus disc, which featured his first special effect of poking pinholes in the film for gunshots and a James Bond spoof called "Coldfinger." Most notable, though, was a 20-minute short called "The Valley," which won him a special prize because of the shots he used. Jackson attended Kapiti College, where he expressed no interest in sports. His classmates also remember him wearing a duffel coat with "an obsession verging on religious." He had no formal training in filmmaking but learned about editing, special effects, and makeup primarily through trial and error.

As a young adult, Jackson discovered the work of J.R.R. Tolkien after watching "The Lord of the Rings," an animated movie by Ralph Bakshi that was a part-adaptation of Tolkien's fantasy trilogy. He left school at 16 to work and save money to buy film equipment. After two years, he bought a 16 mm camera and started shooting a movie that later became "Bad Taste."

What religion is Peter Jackson?

It’s unknown if Peter Jackson identifies with any specific religion. In one interview discussing how Tolkien’s faith impacted his work, Jackson said, "I’m not a Catholic, so I didn’t put any of that personally into the film on my behalf, but I certainly am aware that there were certain [religious] things that Tolkien was thinking of. We made a real decision at the beginning that we weren’t going to introduce any new themes of our own into The Lord of the Rings. We were just going to make a film based upon what clearly Tolkien was passionate about."

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