Rachel Winter is the Academy Award nominated producer of the acclaimed film “Dallas Buyers Club.” Based on a true story, the powerful film earned six Academy Award nominations including best picture, winning three of them including lead actor for Matthew McConaughey and supporting actor for Jared Leto. The film also received accolades from the Producers Guild of America, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe Awards and the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics Choice Awards.
Last month, Winter wrapped principal photography on her directorial debut, “The Space Between”, a feature film starring Kelsey Grammer, Jackson White and Paris Jackson, written by Will Aldis. Earlier this year she produced the feature film “Krystal”, directed by William H. Macy. The film stars Rosario Dawson, Macy, Kathy Bates, Felicity Huffman, and rapper T.I. and was released on April 13th. Winter also produced the indie drama “Stealing Cars,” inspired by true events associated with the juvenile justice system. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and earned the festival’s Zeitgeist Award and was released by Sony Worldwide.
Winter has several projects in development including the untitled LeBron James biopic for Universal, which she will produce with LeBron James and Maverick Carter, and a feature based on the life of daredevil motorcycle icon Evel Knievel at Paramount, written by William Monahan (Academy Award winning writer of “The Departed”). She is also producing “The Chameleon” which is set up at Netflix with Christopher McQuarrie attached to direct a script by Terence Winter and Carl Capotorto. Her previous film credits include “Brooklyn Rules,” “Wayward Son”, “Bury Me in Kern County”, and “The Lather Effect’”. On the television side, Winter has projects set up at A & E Studios, FX and Disney.
Why did you choose to study at UCSB?
I had done a summer program at UCSB in high school and fell in love with everything about the school, IV and Santa Barbara. It became my first choice for college and I never looked back.
Reason We're Proud to be Gauchos
"The school is way harder than people think! It's sort of thought to be a party school and it is - but academically it is very challenging (and rewarding) and I made good grades, worked hard and feel like I started my life in a very special place."
How did you get into producing films?
Soft core porn - I'm not kidding. The only person I knew in the movie business made those kinds of movies. I worked my way up in production - PA, cable wrangler etc up to 2nd AD. Caught a break with a legit producer, then another, and then moved into development. After about a few years I decided to give it a shot and produce a film.
How did your experience at UCSB shape you as a person?
I think it was the first time I learned gratitude and sort of got introduced to the movie version of myself. I somehow knew it was going to be a singular time in my life - the air, the sea, the cliffs, the eucalyptus trees, riding my bike, having it stolen and crashing it, all part of it. I used to call my parents and thank them for sending me to school at UCSB.
Favorite restaurant in Isla Vista when you were a student?
Smart Cookie - everyone loved Freebirds but I'm a sweets person.