Paul Thomas Anderson is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. Being an distinctive filmmaker of his generation, he was initially praised as a wunderkind after the release of the dramas Boogie Nights and Magnolia.
Anderson was born to Edwina and Ernie Anderson, a disc jockey, and television and radio announcer/voiceover artist. Interested in film-making at a young age, Anderson was encouraged by his father to become a filmmaker. Anderson attended a number of schools, got involved in film-making at a young age and never really had an alternative plan to directing films. He made his first movie when he was 8 years old. Anderson spent two semesters as an English major at Emerson College, and only two days at New York University before he began his career as a production assistant on television movies, music videos and game shows in Los Angeles and New York City.
Anderson dated (and frequently collaborated with) singer Fiona Apple for several years during the late 1990s and early 2000s. He has been in a relationship with actress and comedian Maya Rudolph since 2001. They live together in the San Fernando Valley with their four children