His mother wanted him to join the priesthood and he almost entered a seminary at 14, but a member of the clergy dissuaded him.
Served as director of the Royal Court Theatre in London from 1982 to '85.
Breakthrough film was Trainspotting (1996), which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Won Best Horror Film at the 2003 Saturn Awards for 28 Days.
Won the National Convention of Theatre Owners' ShoWest Award for International Filmmaker of the Year in 2005.
Once told his children that if he won the Academy Award for Best Director, he would accept it in the spirit of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh; he made good on his promise in 2009 by hopping up and down at the podium after receiving his Oscar.
Turned down a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his work as the artistic director of the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
2008, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Winner
2009, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Winner
2008, Toronto International Film Festival — People's Choice Award: Winner
2009, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Director: Winner
2009, BAFTA Film Awards — Outstanding British Film: Nominee
1995, BAFTA Film Awards — The Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the Year: Winner
1996, BAFTA Film Awards — The Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the Year: Nominee
2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Outstanding British Film: Nominee
2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Nominee
2010, Oscar — Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Nominee
2011, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Nominee
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2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Director: Nominee
2010, Oscar — Best Motion Picture of the Year: Nominee
2009, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Director: Winner
2008, Directors Guild of America Awards — Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: Winner
2011, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Nominee