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Talking Movies

The reinvention of Ace Ventura director Tom Shadyac

Ace Ventura director Tom Shadyac’s films made more than $2bn – but then he turned his back on Hollywood. Tom Brook finds out about his remarkable transformation.

Tom Shadyac was a Hollywood director who had it all. The 1994 comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective thrust him into the spotlight and he went on to make six more films. Collectively his movies earned more than $2bn (£1.3bn).

But then he became disillusioned and began to give up his material gains.

The director’s new value system really took shape after a biking accident in 2007 that left him with a severe concussion; it was a difficult period during which he contemplated his own mortality. But he recovered and formed the philosophy that is articulated in his new book, Life’s Operating Manual, and the documentary I AM.

A remake of The Intouchables – a French comedy released two years ago – is the vehicle that will soon bring Tom Shadyac back into to the world of feature film directing. 

In the meantime, he has been busy making it his business to tell the world about his transformation. He met Talking Movies’ Tom Brook to discuss.

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