Richard Lagravenese's Career

Richard Lagravenese is the writer-director of the inspirational tale, “Freedom Writers,” starring Hilary Swank as a charismatic teacher.

Lagravenese was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is a theatre graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Experimental Theatre Wing.

He began his screenwriting career with his original screenplay “The Fisher King,” directed by Terry Gilliam. The film went on to earn five Oscar nominations, including Best Screenplay, winning Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Mercedes Ruehl.

His subsequent screenwriting credits include: “The Ref,” directed by Ted Demme, “A Little Prioncess,” directed by Alfonso Cuaron, “Unstrung Heroes,” directed by Diane Keaton, “The Bridges of Madison County,” directed by Clint Eastwood, “The Mirror has Two Faces,” directed by Barbra Streisand, “The Horse Whisperer,” directed by Robert Redford, and Jonathon Demme's “Beloved.”

LaGravenese made his directorial debut with his original screenplay for the critically acclaimed “Living Out Loud,” starring Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito and Queen Latifah. His documentary, “A Decade Under the Influence,” co-directed by his partner, the late Ted Demme, explored the breakthrough films and filmmakers of the 1970s, and earned an Emmy nomination for best documentary.

LaGravenese participated in the film project, “Paris Je t'Aime,” in which twenty different filmmakers from around the world created twenty individual short films about Paris, integrated into one full-length feature. LaGravenese segment stars Fanny Ardent and Bob Hoskins.

He is currently filming “P.S. I Love You,” a love story based on the best selling novel by Cecelia Ahearn, starring Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler,Kathy Bates, Harry Connick Jr., and Jeffrey D Morgan.

LaGravenese lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.