Nat Faxon '97 Wins Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Descendants

Nat Faxon '97 (left), with fellow writers Jim Rash and Alexander Payne.
Nat Faxon '97 (left), with fellow writers Jim Rash and Alexander Payne.

Actor and screenwriter Nat Faxon ’97 won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants during the Feb. 26 Academy Awards. The award, which he received with co-writers Alexander Payne and Jim Rash, is given to the writer of a screenplay adapted from another source (usually a novel, play, short story, or TV show but also sometimes another film). Faxon, who majored in theatre at Hamilton, started comedy troupe Bobby Peru. He was profiled in the Spring 2007 Alumni Review article “Roll Credits.”

While a student at Hamilton, Faxon appeared in Moe's Lucky Seven, directed by Professor of Theatre Carole Bellini-Sharp, Oresteia, directed by Gerry Large (former visiting professor) and Lysistrata and The Master and Margarita, both directed by Adrian Giurgea (former visiting professor).

Of Faxon's lead role in Moe's Lucky Seven, Bellini-Sharp commented “(it was) a serious role requiring a kind of sageness; Nat was great to work with, easy going, smart, generous with his fellow actors.”

In the Alumni Review profile, Faxon was asked why he chose Hamilton. “I wanted a full experience — a liberal arts education where I could be a theatre major but do other things, too,” he said. 


“I spent my junior year in California at Pomona College taking theatre classes and performing. That's when I first got involved with The Groundlings (LA improv company where such actors as Jon Lovitz, Lisa Kudrow and Phil Hartman got their start). I came back my senior year with even more enthusiasm for Bobby Peru, and we started doing bigger and bigger shows. What was great was that a lot of the people who came to see us weren't in my social circle, so I got to know people from all across campus.”


Bellini-Sharp recalled that “when he went to Pomona for the semester he used Shakespearean sonnets he had worked on in my Theatre 202 class.  Pomona has a great theatre program, and a much bigger one than ours.  But once they got a look at Nat, even for one semester, they cast him in at least two leading parts in major shows,” she said.

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