Payne is a two-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and a three-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director.
He later lived a few months in Medellin, Colombia, where he published an article about social changes between 19.
A short time after getting his MFA from UCLA Film School—and after his successful thesis film, The Passion of Martin had attracted industry attention—Payne got a writing/directing deal with Universal Pictures.
The ensuing screenplay, which was turned down, would ultimately become About Schmidt.
Payne worked in various capacities on films and television before he co-wrote and directed his first full-length film, Citizen Ruth (1996).
; born February 10, 1961) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer, known for the films Election (1999), About Schmidt (2002), Sideways (2004), The Descendants (2011), Nebraska (2013), and Downsizing (2017).
His films are noted for their dark humor and satirical depictions of contemporary American society.
In 2014, The Location Managers Guild of America honored Alexander with their inaugural Eva Monley Award for his masterful use of location as another character.
Payne married Canadian actress Sandra Oh on January 1, 2003, after dating her for three years, and directing her in Sideways.
Payne returned to directing in 2011 after a seven-year hiatus with the film The Descendants, starring George Clooney.
He also co-wrote the screenplay, winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
His films sometimes include scenes of historical landmarks, black and white photographs, and museums, and he often uses amateur actors for minor roles.