Gus Van Sant Jr
- Category : 1952-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Distraction 1
American filmmaker. Van Sant's 1986 movie, "Mala Noche, "gained him critical attention.. In 1989, he released "Drugstore Cowboy, about drug addicts, and the film won Best Picture and Best Director awards from the National Society of Film Critics. In 1991, his movie, "My Own Private Idaho" starring Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix, clinched his reputation as someone who could effectively capture on film the fringes of society. In 1994, his "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" and his "To Die For" in 1995 were less successful. In addition to his movies, he also directed a Red Hot Chili Peppers movie video. His mainstream breakthrough was "Good Will Hunting" in 1997.
The son of a traveling salesman, Van Sant moved quite a lot during his childhood. Interested in filmmaking and painting as a young man, he attended Rhode Island School of Design in 1970 and was introduced to avant-garde directors such as Andy Warhol. He moved to Los Angeles in 1976 and became production assistant to writer-director Ken Shapiro. In 1983, he moved to New York to work in an advertising agency, saving $25,000 with which he financed "Mala Noche." The film won the year's "Best Independent Film" citation from the Los Angeles Times. When he couldn't get approval from major film studios, he moved to Portland Oregon where he became associated with an independent production company, Avenue, and made "Drugstore Cowboy.' In 1997, he achieved mainstream acceptance with his award-winning film "Good Will Hunting," starring and writt4n by friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as well as Robin Williams.
Van Sant is openly gay.