The Lowdown: Things You Didn’t Know About J. J. Abrams

May 7, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

Step aside, James Bond, there’s a new international man of mystery in town. Yes, he may be a vertically challenged Jewish nerd from New York, but when it comes to plot twisting, cliff-hanging and suspense mongering, J. J. Abrams is the man of the moment.

Best known as one of the creators of ‘what the fa..?’ mystery drama Lost, he has also written, produced and directed a number of film and TV hits including Alias, Mission Impossible III, Fringe, hand-held monster movie Cloverfield, Asteroid-exploding blubbfest Armageddon, and, most recently, added his own take to legendary science fiction series Star Trek. Quite a CV.

Fortunately, unlike his screen creations, Abrams isn’t quite so secretive, so here’s the low down on the inspired nerd that made Sci-Fi cool again.

1. J.J. Abrams full name is Jeffrey Jacob Abrams.

2. As a child, Abrams purchased a “Magic Mystery Box”, which he has never opened. He has used this box as inspiration for many TV shows, using its theme of mystery as a way to keep people hooked.

3. J.J. Abrams has said that he found working with Leonard Nimoy, on the eleventh Star Trek film in the franchise, to be “intimidating”. It had also been revealed that Nimoy will guest star on Fringe. Abrams revealed: “Working with him was intimidating and wonderful. It didn’t even occur to me I would get to work with him again.?

4. Like so many people working in the film industry today, Abrams cites Star Wars as one of his greatest influences. He said: It’s the personification of good and evil and the way it opened up the world to space adventure, the way westerns had to our parents` generations, left an indelible imprint. So, in a way, everything that any of us does is somehow directly or indirectly affected by the experience of seeing those first three films.

5. While attending Sarah Lawrence College, he used the Alvin Sargent screenplay Ordinary People as a guide for writing his own scripts.

6. Abrams was named as one of Fade In magazine’s “100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know” in 2005.

7. Abrams gave Alias star Jennifer Garner a pink bicycle for her birthday. She would often greet the production crew by ringing the bells on the bike’s handlebars.

8. Master of the easter egg, in the opening frames of Cloverfield you can see a logo of the DHARMA initiative – the shady research project featured in Lost.

9. Abrams’ parents, Gerald W. and Carol, are television producers.

10. Abrams’’ first foray into film was the 1982 science fiction/horror movie Nightbeast for which he was a composer and sound effects editor.

Jack McKay

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