What is Damien Chazelle’s Net Worth?
Damien Chazelle is a French-American director, producer and screenwriter who has a net worth of $20 million. Damien Chazelle is best known for his films “Whiplash,” “La La Land,” “First Man,” and “Babylon,” among others. For “La La Land” he won the Academy Award for Best Director. At the time he was 32 years old and that made him the youngest person to win Best Director in the history of the the Oscars, so far.
Chazelle was born on January 19, 1985 in Providence, Rhode Island to parents Bernard and Celia Chazelle. His father, a French-American, worked as a professor of computer science at Princeton University and was originally born in France while his mother, originally from Canada, taught medieval history at The College of New Jersey. He was raised in a Catholic family in Princeton, New Jersey, though he attended Hebrew school for four years as his parents were not satisfied with the quality of education at the local Sunday school.
He attended Princeton High School where he played drums in the school’s studio band under a very intense teacher who would later inspire Chazelle when he created the music teacher character in the film “Whiplash.” Following high school, he enrolled at Harvard University where he studied filmmaking, graduating in 2007. While at Harvard, he formed the indie-pop group Chester French along with friend Justin Hurwitz.
Chazelle’s debut feature, “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” was born out of his senior thesis project at Harvard, which he had created with Hurwitz. The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2009 and received a number of awards on the festival circuit before it was released by Variance Films. Upon its release, it opened to positive critical reviews. Chazelle then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in filmmaking. He worked during his early years in Los Angeles as a writer for hire and working on projects like “The Last Exorcism Part II,” “Grand Piano,” and “10 Cloverfield Lane,” among other films.
During this time, he was also working on the script for the film which would become “Whiplash.” Chazelle was initially hesitant to make the film as he felt the script was so personal to his own story, though he eventually change his mind. The script was picked up by Right of Way Films and Blumhouse Productions, who first suggested that Chazelle turn his film into a short film as proof-of-concept. He followed this advice and produced an 18-minute short film that was accepted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it received positive reviews. This led to the full film being financed and ultimately made. The final cut was released in 2014 to rave critical reviews. “Whiplash” received five Oscar nominations and ultimately won three of them.
Chazelle’s success with “Whiplash” gave him the momentum and attention needed to fund his next project, the musical “La La Land.” He cast Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in the film’s lead roles. The film was opened the Venice International Film Festival in August of 2016 and was released in the United States in December. It also received rave critical reviews and a number of prestigious awards. It was nominated for a total of 14 Academy Awards. Chazelle himself received the Golden Globe and Academy Awards in the Best Director category. These wins made Chazelle the youngest director to win each award at the age of only 32. The film was also a massive commercial success, grossing over $151 million in the United States and Canada and almost $300 million worldwide. The film was one of the most profitable releases of 2016.
In 2018, the film “First Man” was released, which Chazelle had directed. The film starred Ryan Gosling, whom Chazelle had developed a good working relationship with since Gosling had also starred in “La La Land.” The film was based on the biopic book “Film Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by author James R. Harden. It was received very positively by the critics, continuing Chazelle’s success.
Chazelle then worked in television, directing the first two episodes of the May 2020 musical drama television miniseries, “The Eddy.” During this time, he was also working on his next film, “Babylon.” The film is set in 1920s Hollywood and was set to be released in 2021. However, various changes to the cast and the COVID-19 pandemic affected the release date. The film was ultimately released broadly in January of 2023 and features cast members Margo Robbie, Brad Pitt, Jean Smart, and Li Jun Li, among others. The reviews for the film were not as favorable as Chazelle had received in the past and it also did not do well as the box office, receiving less than $5 million during its opening weekend.
In 2010, Chazelle married producer Jasmine McGlade. They remained together until their divorce in 2014. Sometime afterward, he began dating Oliva Hamilton, a Princeton University graduate and former consultant at McKinsey & Company. In October of 2017, the couple announced their engagement and were married in September of 2018. The following year, they announced that they would be having a son together who was born in November of 2019.