Brett Ratner has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most successful director with eight feature films grossing over one and a half billion dollars worldwide in a short amount of time.
At 26 years old he directed his first feature film, the surprise box office hit comedy Money Talks, starring Charlie Sheen and Chris Tucker. His second film, the action comedy Rush Hour, starred Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker and earned $250 million worldwide which propelled the extremely popular and lucrative Rush Hour trilogy with Rush Hour 2 grossing more than $342 million worldwide and most recently Rush Hour 3 featuring an acclaimed international supporting cast.
Following the success of Rush Hour, Brett directed the romantic fantasy drama The Family Man, a critical and box office hit starring Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni. Ratner made his first suspense thriller with his fifth feature film Red Dragon, the Silence of the Lambs prequel starring Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes and Emily Watson. Ratner’s sixth feature film, After the Sunset, starring Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, and Don Cheadle was also successful in theatres nationwide. Ratner’s work has been recognized with many awards including an MTV Award for Best Fight Sequence for Rush Hour 2 as well as a TONY Award for producing Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on Broadway.
Last year, Ratner shattered several box office records with the release of the third installment of the popular X-Men film series. X-Men: The Last Stand opened with a staggering $123 million in just four days, the biggest Memorial Day weekend in history. Its $45.1 million opening day marked the second-biggest single day box office ever, and the film grossed more than $400 million worldwide to date.
Raised in Miami Beach, Ratner dreamed of being a filmmaker since he was 8 years old. After enrolling in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts at age 16, Ratner became the department’s youngest film major. While attending NYU Film School, he made Whatever Happened to Mason Reese, an award-winning short film that received funding from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. Ratner’s big break came after he screened his film for hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, launching a successful career in music videos. In his career Ratner directed more than 100 videos for a variety of artists including Madonna with which he won an MTV Video Music Award for “Beautiful Stranger”, Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson, Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Wu-Tang and many others.
In addition to success in film and music, Ratner has also segued into book publishing and photography. Through his Rat Press imprint, he published the controversial book, Naked Pictures of My Ex-Girlfriends and authored Hilhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures, which was released in October 2003. His photographs have appeared in Vanity Fair, Interview and Heeb magazine, and have graced the covers of Vogue Homme, V-Life and Haute Living. Brett has also shot advertising campaigns for fashion companies like Baby Phat, Jimmy Choo and Jordache.
Brett contributes more than his artistry to the community. He also contributes his time and energy towards philanthropic causes he is passionate about. Ratner is currently on the boards of Best Buddies and Chrysalis, receiving the Spirit of Chrysalis Award for his dedication and leadership in helping economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals change their lives through jobs. Brett is also on the Board of Governors for the We Are Family Foundation. He also serves on the Dean’s Council of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and most recently, Ratner became the youngest member of the Board of Trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center & Museum of Tolerance.
Brett Ratner currently resides in Los Angeles.