Sacha Gervasi

Sacha Gervasi

Born Alexander Gervasi in London, England on an unspecified date in 1966, Sacha Gervasi came from a family of significant figures in international affairs: his father, Sean Gervasi, was an economic advisor to President John F. Kennedy, while his grandfather, Frank Gervasi, covered World War II for the Hearst International News Service and later served as chief of information for the Marshall Plan in Italy. Sacha received his education at the independent Westminster School, then served as roadie for the venerable and long-suffering Canadian metal band Anvil, whom he had befriended in 1981 during a tour of England before studying modern history at King's College London. During this period, he worked with Ted Hughes, England's poet laureate and former husband of Sylvia Plath, at the Arvon Foundation, an organization devoted to the support of creative writing. Gervasi then went to play drums in the British rock band Future Primitives, but was fired from the group over a growing drug habit before they achieved widespread fame in 1993 under their new moniker, Bush.After gaining sobriety, Gervasi worked as a journalist and film editor for various British publications before heading to Los Angeles in 1995 to attend the graduate screenwriting program at the UCLA Film School. Four years later, a script penned with his friend, Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson, was purchased by Warner Bros. and made into the mockumentary comedy "The Big Tease" (1999). Though only a modest success, the film attracted the attention of the major studios, which led to Gervasi's work as an uncredited script doctor, as well as the script for Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal" (2004), starring Tom Hanks. The following year, he reunited with the remaining members of Anvil, which had lapsed into obscurity after decades of failed opportunities, to direct a documentary on their rise and fall. "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" (2008) followed the band's core members, guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner, as they embark on a humiliating tour of Europe before attempting to record a new album. The documentary's message of perseverance and dedication struck a chord with moviegoers and critics alike, capturing an Emmy, Independent Spirit Award and major festival awards, as well as re-igniting Anvil's career. Gervasi was also briefly in the news during this period as the purported father of Spice Girl Geri Halliwell's daughter, Bluebell Madonna Halliwell. In 2009, Gervasi served as screenwriter in residence at UCLA before writing and executive producing "Henry's Crime" (2010), an independent comedy-thriller starring Keanu Reeves and Vera Farmiga. The following year, he was tapped by producer Tom Pollack of Montecito Pictures to rewrite and produce "Hitchcock" (2012), a film version of author Stephen Rebello's non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of "Psycho" (1990). The rights to the property were owned in part by Montecito Pictures producer Tom Pollack, who was a fan of "Anvil" and invited Gervasi to pitch his take on the film. Despite his lack of experience as a dramatic film director, Gervasi won over the producers by focusing the film on the relationship between Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife, Alma (Helen Mirrren), who served as both his professional collaborator and guiding hand on the difficult project, while also tolerating his alleged obsessions with leading ladies Vera Miles (Jessica Biel) and Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson). Released in November 2012, the film quickly became a frontrunner in the Oscar race's acting categories. By Paul Gaita