Michael “Mike” Cormac Newell, born on March 28, 1942, is an English film director and producer. Born in Hertfordshire, Mike’s parents were both amateur actors. Mike attended Cambridge University and followed his studies there with the intention of going into theater. He has since enjoyed a long career working on films such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Four Weddings and a Funeral, the latter of which earned him a BAFTA for Best Direction in 1995.
Mike is married to Bernice Stegers, with whom he has three children.
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Mike was the first British director of the Harry Potter films following the departures of Chris Columbus (US) and Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico). In an interview with Empire, Mike explains that he had read the earlier books and was approached by Warner Bros. about his interest in directing one of the films. He immediately agreed and advocated for keeping the fourth book from being split into two films.
They presented me with this 1000-page novel. The first question was whether I thought I could make two movies out of it, and I said I didn’t think there was enough plot. We decided to make one movie and I had to find a form for it, so off I went and came up with a thriller idea.
In the same interview, Mike admits that joining the Harry Potter franchise was a bit daunting at first and that he initially felt as though he “didn’t belong.” By the end of filming though, Mike remembers a very positive experience, reflecting that:
… we were all very happy with one another and I look back on it as being a very happy time. It was a long time: it was two and a half years… But, as I say, I look back on it now with tremendous happiness – I’m proud of it and I liked all the people, we all got to fall in love in the end and it was good.
In 2011, Mike was part of the collective team who accepted the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema for the Harry Potter film series. Mike can be seen speaking about his work on Goblet of Fire in several of the DVD extras for the film.
Mike has been nominated for several awards over the course of his career. Notably, Mike was awarded the BAFTA for Best Direction and the BAFTA Film Award in 1995 for his work directing Four Weddings and a Funeral. Additionally, he received his first BAFTA TV Award nomination in 1977 for his work on Red Letter Day. Mike has also earned other notable awards from the Cannes Film Festival in 1985 for Dance with a Stranger, the London Critics Circle Film Awards in 1995 for Four Weddings and a Funeral, and the Art Directors Guild in 2012, which was a shared award with the cast and crew of the Harry Potter films for their shared contributions to cinema. Overall, Mike has received acclaim for his work directing and writing in film and television.
- Mike attended St. Albans School, which boasts of famous alumni, physicist Stephen Hawkings, and lyricist Tim Rice.
- The University of Lincoln bestowed Mike with an honorary Doctorate of Arts in 2007.
- His voice can be heard at the start of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as the radio announcer the caretaker listens to before going to inspect the Riddle House.
Mike Newell Interview ReykjavikMike Newell Interview Reykjavik
Director Mike Newell Interview - Harry Potter Studio Tour OpeningDirector Mike Newell talks to us on the red carpet at The Making Of Harry Potter Studio Tour Grand Opening at Leavesden Studios. Mike Newell directed Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire and talks about what fans can expect from this exclusive look behind the scenes of the wizard world of Harry Potter. He also shares his best memory from being on set and has a special message to all the devoted Potter fans out there. Check out our other videos for full coverage of the Harry Potter studio tour launch and many other exciting red carpet events. Please subscribe and follow us on Twitter @RedCarpetNewsTV Presented & Post by Russell Nelson Camera by Bernadette McIntyre With Thanks to Romley Davis
Mike Newell Interviewed at the Goblet of Fire PremiereHP4 director Mike Newell is interviewed at the premiere.
I don’t like the term chick flick. I think it denigrates a movie. It has overtones of talking down to women, like they are second best. We don’t call ‘The Last Samurai’ a guy flick, do we?
– Mike Newell