Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson

Oct. 31st, 1961
Born in
Pukerua Bay, North Island, New Zealand
5' 6 1/2"

Peter Jackson's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed TV Show
Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed
Sunday Morning Shootout TV Show
Sunday Morning Shootout

Main Movie Roles

2009 - The Lovely Bones
2007 - Hot Fuzz
2005 - King Kong
2003 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2002 - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
2001 - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
1996 - The Frighteners
1994 - Heavenly Creatures
1992 - Braindead
1987 - Bad Taste

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Peter Jackson
Himself - Guest
[Complete List]


Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8mm movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies, which he made with his friends. They were usually short, but they already had the spectacular trademark that would make Jackson famous: impressive special effects, made at a very low cost. For example, for his film "World War Two" which he made as a teenager, he used to simulate a firing gun by punching little holes into the celluloid, so that, once projected, the gun gave the impression of displaying a small fire. Jackson's first step towards the more serious filmmaking came with an entry in a local contest to stimulate amateur and children's film. For this film, he used stop-motion animation to create a monster that ruins a city in the style of Ray Harryhausen. Unfortunately, he didn't win. When Jackson was 22, he embarked on an movie making-adventure that would change his life. This film, Bad Taste (1987), was begun as any other Jackson film, in an amateuristic style, at a low budget and using friends and local people to star in his film. Jackson himself did nearly everything in the movie, he directed, produced, filmed and starred in it, in a number of roles, amongst them that of the hero, "Derek". And everything was filmed on a second-hand, $250 camera. It took Jackson and his friends four years to complete the movie. What had started out as an joke in a group of friends, then became a cult-classic. A friend of Jackson who was working in the movie industry convinced him the film had commercial prospects and arranged for it to be shown at the Cannes film festival, where it won a lot of acclaim, as well as a number of prizes. The movie soon became a hit because of its bizarre humor and overdose of special-effects, some realistic, some hilarious because of their amateuristic look. After the success of Bad Taste (1987), Jackson became recognized as a director and the door to fame and fortune was opened. He gave up his job at a local photographer's shop and became a well-known director of horror-movies, after the success of his first professionally made movie, Braindead (1992).

  • Owner of production companies WingNut Films, Weta Limited and Three Foot Six.
  • Three of his collaborators have had connections to the material being filmed, outside the context of the film being made. 'Ian Holm' (qv), whom he cast as Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings, was cast because he had played Frodo in the BBC radio adaptation. That adaptation was written by 'Brian Sibley' (qv), who is a cousin of his wife, 'Fran Walsh' (qv). In _Heavenly Creatures (1994)_, 'Kate Winslet' (qv) plays Juliet Hulme, who would later be known as real-life mystery novelist 'Anne Perry (I)' (qv). Winslet has a sister, 'Anna Winslet' (qv), who appears as Dora in _The Cater Street Hangman (1998) (TV)_ (qv), which was based on one of Perry's novels.
  • The London Daily Mail reported (December 5, 2003) that Jackson was so fond of _King Kong (1933)_ (qv) that he once cut up his mother's old fur coat and used it to make a model of the great ape; also that he consulted with 'Andy Serkis' (qv) on the script of his version of the movie.
  • Both of his parents died during production of The Lord of the Rings.
  • 2007 - Ranked #16 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.
  • Started writing a re-make of _King Kong (1933)_ (qv) in 1996, which went through several drafts, until in 2003 he made one that was greenlighted by Universal.
  • He left school at the age of 17 and started working on a Wellington newspaper.
  • Has worked with three generations of Astins: 'John Astin' (qv) (_The Frighteners (1996)_ (qv)); John's son, 'Sean Astin' (qv) (The Lord of The Rings Trilogy); and Sean's daughter, 'Alexandra Astin' (qv) (_The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)_ (qv)).

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