Name at birth: Adam Spiegel
Spike Jonze earned an Oscar nomination for directing his first feature film, 1999's Being John Malkovich, and then won an Oscar 14 years later for writing the film Her. Spike Jonze got his start as a photographer in the late 1980s for Freestylin', a skateboarder magazine. That led to a career making short films and music videos in the '90s, while co-founding Homeboy and Dirt magazines, as well as the company Girl Skateboards. The success of Being John Malkovich came as Jonze's video career was in bloom, and that same year he appeared in a supporting role in Three Kings (alongside Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney), made the news for marrying Francis Ford Coppola's daughter, filmmaker Sofia Coppola, and managed to co-create the lowbrow TV franchise Jackass (with Johnny Knoxville). Inventive and rambunctious, Jonze has won many awards for his popular music videos, a portfolio that includes The Beastie Boys ("Sabotage"), Björk ("It's Oh So Quiet"), Weezer ("Buddy Holly"), Fatboy Slim ("Praise You" and "Weapon of Choice") and Kanye West ("We Were Once a Fairy Tale"). Likewise, he's earned respect in the advertising industry for innovative commercials for the likes of Nike, Adidas, Ikea and The Gap. His second feature film, Adaptation (2002), starred Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, and his third feature film was an adaptation of Maurice Sendak's book for children, Where the Wild Things Are (2009). Jonze also wrote and directed the 2013 film Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson, and won an Oscar for best original screenplay.
His name comes from a nickname he had as a teenager working in a BMX bike shop… Spike Jones was also the name of an American drummer and bandleader of the 1940s who did raucous parodies of popular songs… Spike Jonze and Sofia Coppola were married in 1999 and filed for divorce in late 2003… It’s Jonze himself who is the goofy dancer with a boombox in the video for “Praise You”… Christopher Walken is the star of the video “Weapon of Choice.”