• Jeff Baena is an American film director and screenwriter, born in Miami, Florida in 1977
• He studied film at New York University and moved to Los Angeles to become a production assistant with Robert Zemeckis
• He went on to work with David O. Russel, and wrote and directed his debut film "Life After Beth" in 2014
• He has written and directed several other films, often collaborating with his partner Aubrey Plaza
• His net worth is estimated at $3 million
Early life, family, educational background
American film director and screenwriter Jeff Baena, was born on 29 June 1977 in Miami, Florida USA. He grew up in a traditional Jewish household in South Florida, later moving to study film at New York University. His love for movies began at a young age – growing-up, he would watch local art films and be inspired by the art of cinema.
He currently lives and works in California.
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@alisonbrie’s grandmother struggled with paranoid schizophrenia, and inspired her performance in the new film “Horse Girl.” “For me, it became this exploration of what is my personal fear of having mental illness in my bloodline? How does that manifest itself through me when I experience bouts of depression?” Brie and director Jeff Baena stopped by @kcrw to talk about the new film. 📸: @wutevrchris #alisonbrie #horsegirl #jeffbaena #npr #pressplay #kcrw
Who is Aubrey Plaza?
Aubrey Christina Plaza is a comedian, television actress and producer. She was born on 26 June 1984 in Wilmington, Delaware USA, to David and Bernadette Plaza, and has two sisters, Natalie and Renee. She had her start in acting when she began performing sketch comedy and improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City; in 2006 when she was still a student there, she guest-appeared in “30 Rock.”
Aubrey is best known for her starring role as April Ludgate in the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation”, whom she portrayed from the show’s start in 2009 to its finale in 2015.
She also starred as Shadow King/Amahl Farouk and Lenny Busker from 2017 to 2019, in the FX drama series “Legion.”
She has appeared in several movies in supporting roles, but has also starred as the lead character, the first in the 2012 comedy, “Safety Not Guaranteed” as Darius Britt. A few other movies wherein she had starring roles include “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” from 2010, 2014’s “Life After Beth,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” in 2016, and in 2018 “An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn.”
She was a guest judge in an episode of “Food Network Star” in 2011, and has lent her voice to Lifetime’s television film “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” as Grumpy Cat.
thank you @AmericanAir for flying me in style to a secret location to shoot a very secret video for the #SpiritAwards here we goooooo 😈@filmindependent #WeFlyBeyond pic.twitter.com/eomOW8gvNN
— Aubrey Plaza (@evilhag) January 11, 2020
Aubrey’s net worth is estimated at $6 million, as of early 2020.
Career of Jeff Baena
Following his graduation from New York University, Jeff moved to Los Angeles, and became a production assistant to Robert Zemeckis, working with him on several films. Zemeckis has worked on major films including “Back to the Future” and “Forrest Gump,” for which he won an Academy Award in 1994. Robert is recognized for his work in aiding the evolution of modern performance capture methods, leading him to receive both criticism and praise for his special effects. When Robert mentored Jeff, he learnt the basics of filmmaking by assisting in numerous films.
Jeff then went to work as an assistant editor for David O. Russel, a director and writer best known for his work on “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Hustle,” and the biographical film “The Fighter.” David has been nominated for three Academy Awards during his career. After working together for a year-and-a-half, Jeff sustained an eye injury when he was involved in a minor car accident; during his recovery, David would go over story ideas with Jeff to help take his mind off his injury, and keep him in positive spirits. Their chats led them to work together on four scripts, one such being “I Heart Huckabees” which was released in 2004, an independent film starring Dustin Hoffman, Naomi Watts, Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law and Isabelle Huppert. The film received positive reviews and praise for being a unique story.
Jeff hoped that “Joshy” would be his directorial debut, but collaborator and actor, Adam Pally was forced to drop the project for personal reasons. In 2003, Jeff began to write the zombie comedy, “Life After Beth,” which was his debut film as director, released in 2014 at the Sundance Film Festival, and starring Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick and Molly Shannon. In an interview, Jeff stated that nobody could have played the lead character better than Aubrey, adding that the script did not begin manifesting into a movie until Aubrey accepted the role. The zombie rom-com earned a nomination for a Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and Jeff received critical acclaim for the film.
He eventually wrote and directed “Joshy,” which was released in 2016, premiering on 24 January 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival, and starred Aubrey Plaza, Thomas Middleditch, Alison Brie and Lauren Graham. Hulu later bought distribution rights of the film, but didn’t achieve commercial success even though it was filled with brilliant acting, and had a compelling storyline, following a man grieving his girlfriend’s death after she commits suicide.
In January 2017, the raunchy medieval comedy, “The Little Hours” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival – it was only released to the public in June 2017. Jeff wrote and directed the film, and Aubrey was a producer.
The movie was roughly based on “The Decameron” by Boccaccio, and follows a 14th-century nun in Italy; and stars Aubrey Plaza, Dave Franco, Alison Brie, John Reilly, Molly Shannon, Kate Micucci and Fred Armisen. The movie received positive reviews despite its low budget. Critics praised the actors’ performances, and said that the plot was ‘refreshing.’
Jeff co-wrote “Horse Girl” with Alison Brie, who starred in the film – Jeff also produced and directed it, and which premiered in January 2020 at the Sundance Film Festival. Alongside Alison, Debby Ryan, Molly Shannon, John Reynolds, John Ortiz and Paul Reiser all star in the movie.
In 2012, Jeff portrayed himself in the Mark Webber film, “The End of Love”, and in 2015 he appeared in “Digging for Fire” as BB Gun Friend.
Jeff began dating Aubrey in 2011, and the pair live together and often work together too. They keep details about their relationship very private, only posting photos of one another on special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries, and only doing interviews together if the questions are strictly about their work.
Even though Aubrey stars in many of his movies; Jeff told IndieWire that he knows where his career is going, but not where hers is headed.
He does not feel that it is his place to tell her what she should or should not do professionally, and only shares his opinion if she asks for it, ‘I’ll just never offer it without being asked first.’
In 2018, Aubrey was seen out with Justin Theroux, and the media speculated Jeff’s split with her, but the pair put the rumours to rest when they attended several events together. They live a quiet and apparently peaceful life together in California, and prefer having their friends over at their house to going out.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
He loves playing tennis and is an official member of the Interstate 5 Tennis Association.
Jeff Baena – Ospite LFFEC17.
Posted by Lucca Film Festival e Europa Cinema on Wednesday, April 5, 2017
He enjoys having friends over at his house, and playing games such as Battlestar Galactica and Settlers of Catan. In an interview, Audrey spoke about their low-key personalities and nerdy tastes. His two favourite movies growing up were “8 ½” and “A Clockwork Orange,” both of which his father found ‘weird,’ but they inspired Jeff to learn about and pursue filmmaking.
Jeff has dark brown eyes and black hair. He is 5ft 6in (1.68m) tall and weighs 172lbs (78kgs).
Net worth and salary
As of early 2020, his net worth is estimated at least $3 million.