Paul W. Downs
Downs in 2018
Born (1982-11-21) November 21, 1982 (age 41)[1]
Alma materDuke University
Occupations
  • Writer
  • actor
  • director
Years active2007–present
SpouseLucia Aniello
Children1[3]

Paul W. Downs (born November 21, 1982) is an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He is the co-creator, co-showrunner and star of the critically-acclaimed HBO Max series Hacks, for which he has received a Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody Award, among others. Downs first gained attention for his role in the Comedy Central series Broad City, which ran for five seasons and for which he was also a writer, director and executive producer.

Career

Downs has been creating digital shorts with Lucia Aniello under the moniker Paulilu since the pair met at the Upright Citizens Brigade. In 2012, they made a web series called Paulilu Mixtape for Above Average Productions, a division of Broadway Video.

From 2014–2019, Downs played Trey Pucker on the Comedy Central sitcom Broad City. Trey is a fitness instructor and the boss turned romantic interest of Abbi Abrams (played by Abbi Jacobson) at Soulstice.

On April 29, 2015, it was announced that Downs and Aniello would be writing a female spin-off of 21 Jump Street.[4] On June 22, 2015, it was announced that the duo sold their script for Move That Body, a feature film acquired by Sony. Retitled Rough Night and released in 2017, Aniello directed, while Downs co-starred opposite Scarlett Johansson in the film.[5]

In 2016 he wrote and starred in his own 30-minute episode of the sketch show Netflix Presents: The Characters.[6] On April 20, 2016 Downs starred in the Comedy Central miniseries Time Traveling Bong alongside Broad City co-star Ilana Glazer.[7]

In 2018, Downs co-starred in Netflix’s summer comedy Like Father opposite Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer, and Seth Rogen.[8]

Downs is showrunning and co-starring in the HBO Max show Hacks, starring Jean Smart. The first season of Hacks garnered 15 Emmy nominations and 3 wins, including “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series,” “Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series,” and Jean Smart won “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.”[9] The series won two Writers Guild of America Awards in the categories of “Comedy Series” and “New Series,”[10] and Aniello won a Directors Guild of America Award in the category of “Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series.”[11] The series also took home two Golden Globe Awards for “Best Musical or Comedy TV Series” and “Best Television Actress in a Musical or Comedy”.[12] Hacks was honored as one of the “Outstanding Television Programs of the Year” at the American Film Institute Awards[13] and won a 2022 Peabody Award.[14] Season 1 of Hacks also received various award nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards,[15] Critics Choice Awards,[16] Producers Guild of America Awards,[17] and the Gotham Awards.[18]

In its second season, Hacks received 17 Emmy nominations and 3 wins, including “Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series,” “Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Contemporary Costumes.”[9] The series won a Writers Guild of America Award in the "Episodic Comedy" category,[19] and was honored as one of the “Outstanding Television Programs of the Year” at the American Film Institute Awards for its second consecutive year.[20] Jean Smart also won a Critics Choice Award for “Best Actress in a Comedy Series” for her second consecutive year.[21] The series was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards,[12] two Writers Guild of America Awards,[22] two Screen Actors Guild Awards,[23] and a Producers Guild of America Award.[24]

More recently, he and Aniello struck a deal with Warner Bros. Television.[25]

Personal life

Raised in Sussex, New Jersey, Downs attended the Pingry School.[26]

Downs studied theater at Duke University[26] where he did improv as a member of Duke University Improv (DUI).[27] He lives in Los Angeles with Aniello, his wife and comedy partner.[28][29]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2021
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Hacks (as Executive Producer) Nominated [9]
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Hacks(Episode: "There Is No Line (Pilot)")
(Shared with Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky)
Won [9]
Writers Guild of America Awards Comedy Series Hacks Won [10]
New Series Hacks Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Hacks (as Executive Producer) Won [12]
AFI Awards Outstanding Television Program of the Year Hacks Won [13]
Peabody Awards Peabody Award, Entertainment Honoree Hacks Won [30]
2022
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Hacks (as Executive Producer) Nominated [9]
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Hacks(Episode: "The One, The Only")
(Shared with Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky)
Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Episodic Comedy Hacks(Episode: "The One, The Only")
(Shared with Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky)
Won [31]
Comedy Series Hacks Nominated
SAG Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Hacks (Shared with Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Mark Indelicato, and Megan Stalter) Nominated [32]
Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television Hacks (as Executive Producer) Nominated [33]
AFI Awards Outstanding Television Program of the Year Hacks Won [34]

References

  1. ^ "Heart and high jinks mix in the raucous summer comedy 'Rough Night'". Los Angeles Times. April 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "'Rough Night's' Comedy Couple on Tackling "Men-Only" Genre". The Hollywood Reporter. June 14, 2017.
  3. ^ "Jean Smart Dedicates Critics Choice Award to Showrunner Who Directed 'Between Contractions'". March 14, 2022.
  4. ^ Kit, Borys (April 29, 2015). "Female '21 Jump Street' in the Works With 'Broad City' Writers". TheHollywoodReporter.com. THR. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 22, 2015). "Sony Wins R-Rated Spec Comedy Auction With 'Broad City' & '21 Jump Street' Spinoff Scribes Aniello & Downs". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  6. ^ Rose, Lacey (February 1, 2016). "Netflix Orders Innovative Sketch Series 'The Characters' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Hibberd, James (January 6, 2016). "Time-traveling bong TV series finally ordered". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "In Like Father, a Sweet and Summer-Perfect Arrival on Netflix, It's All Smooth Sailing". Vogue. August 3, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Hacks: Awards & Nominations". Television Academy. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Littleton, Cynthia (March 20, 2022). "'CODA,' 'Don't Look Up,' 'Hacks' and 'Succession' Win Top Prizes at 2022 Writers Guild Awards". Variety. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  11. ^ Chuba, Kirsten (March 12, 2022). "DGA Awards: Jane Campion and 'The Power of the Dog' Take Top Honor". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  12. ^ a b c "Hacks, Golden Globes". Golden Globes. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  13. ^ a b "HACKS – AFI Movie Club". AFI. April 1, 2022. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  14. ^ Schneider, Michael (June 7, 2022). "'Hacks,' 'Philly D.A.' Among Second Round of Peabody Awards 2022 Winners (FULL LIST)". Variety. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  15. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 12, 2022). "SAG Awards Nominations: 'House Of Gucci', 'Power Of The Dog', 'Succession', 'Ted Lasso' Top Lists". Deadline. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  16. ^ Pedersen, Erik (December 6, 2021). "Critics Choice TV Nominations: 'Succession' Leads Field As HBO Edges Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  17. ^ Pedersen, Erik (January 27, 2022). "PGA Awards Nominations: 'Licorice Pizza', 'Don't Look Up', 'Dune', 'King Richard' & 'CODA' Among Pics Vying For Marquee Prize". Deadline. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  18. ^ Lang, Brent (January 27, 2022). "'Passing,' 'The Lost Daughter' Lead 2021 Gotham Awards Nominations (Full List)". Deadline. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  19. ^ "2023 Writers Guild Awards Winners & Nominees". WGA.org. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  20. ^ Pedersen, Erik (December 9, 2022). "AFI Awards TV: First- & Second-Year Shows Dominate As 'Better Call Saul' Bucks Trend". Deadline. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  21. ^ Pedersen, Erik (January 15, 2023). "'Everything Everywhere All At Once' Takes Best Picture At Critics Choice Awards – Complete Winners List". Deadline. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  22. ^ "2023 Writers Guild Awards Winners & Nominees". WGA.org. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  23. ^ Davis, Clayton (January 11, 2023). "SAG Awards 2023 Nominations: 'Banshees' and 'Everything Everywhere' Tie for Most Nods in History". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  24. ^ Davis, Clayton (January 12, 2023). "PGA Awards Nominations: 'The Whale' and Four Blockbuster Sequels Recognized, Films Directed by Women Shut Out". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  25. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 30, 2021). "'Hacks' Co-Creators Lucia Aniello & Paul W. Downs Ink Overall Deal With Warner Bros. Television Group". Deadline. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  26. ^ a b Horowitz, Steven J. "Paul W. Downs' Feminist Ideals Are in His Work, Not on a T-Shirt", Esquire, June 19, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2022. "Comedy and acting have always been Downs' calling. Native to Sussex, New Jersey, he attended the private institution The Pingry School for his high school years, participating in its acting program and swimming, the latter of which he continued at Duke University for a short spell."
  27. ^ "Paul W. Downs". ucbcomedy.com. Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy. Retrieved March 7, 2015.[dead link]
  28. ^ Marotta, Jenna (March 4, 2015). "Broad City's Paul W. Downs on His Character's Big Reveal, Voicing Abbi's Stuffed Animal, and Writing the Pegging Episode". vulture.com. Vulture. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  29. ^ "Lucia Aniello". imdb.com. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  30. ^ "Peabody Awards Announces 30 Winners". June 21, 2022. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  31. ^ "2023 Writers Guild Awards Winners & Nominees". Writers Guild of America. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  32. ^ Davis, Clayton (January 11, 2023). "SAG Awards 2023 Nominations: 'Banshees' and 'Everything Everywhere' Tie for Most Nods in History". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  33. ^ "Nominations in Motion Picture and Television Program categories announced". January 12, 2023. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  34. ^ "AFI Awards 2022". Retrieved April 13, 2023.