Peter Spears
Born (1965-11-29) November 29, 1965 (age 58)[1][2]
Alma materNorthwestern University[3]
  • Actor
  • screenwriter
  • film director
  • film producer
Years active1991–present
SpouseBrian Swardstrom[4]

Peter Spears (born November 29, 1965) is an American actor and filmmaker. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Overland Park, Kansas.[1] Spears is best known for winning an Oscar for producing Nomadland (2020), and for producing film Call Me by Your Name (2017). He directed the underground cult-favorite short film Ernest and Bertram, which portrayed Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie as gay lovers, and developed the television series Nightmare Cafe and John from Cincinnati.[5]


In 2020, Spears founded his own production company, Cor Cordium. The company has multiple projects in development across film and television. Recent films include Bones and All, directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Timothée Chalamet, and Drift, starring Cynthia Erivo, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. On Swift Horses, directed by Daniel Minahan and starring Daisy Edgar-Jones, Jacob Elordi, Diego Calva, Will Poulter and Sasha Calle, will be released in 2024.[citation needed] [6]

Spears's most successful production is Nomadland, which won an Oscar at the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony in 2021. The film also won the BAFTA, Golden Globe, PGA Award, and the Golden Lion at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.[citation needed] Spears also produced the critically acclaimed 2017 film Call Me by Your Name, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.[1][7] He directed the underground cult-favorite short film Ernest and Bertram, which portrayed Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie as gay lovers in a loose parody of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour.[8][9]

In addition to his career as a film director and producer, Spears is also an actor, appearing in films such as Call Me By Your Name, Something's Gotta Give, The Opposite of Sex, and Father of the Bride Part II, as well as several television series, including Friends and E.R. He was most recently seen in the film Sublet.[citation needed]

Spears also co-founded OutSet: The Young Filmmakers Project, a collaboration between the Outfest Film Festival and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. The 6-month film lab selects a group of diverse 16-to-24-year-old emerging filmmakers to share their stories through film, by embarking on courses in screenwriting, pre-production, production and post-production, mentored by industry experts. The program culminates in the filmmakers' final thesis projects presented at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival.[citation needed]

Personal life

Spears is married to talent agent Brian Swardstrom, and the couple splits their time between upstate New York and California.[10]


As actor


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Father of the Bride Part II Dr. Wagner
1998 The Opposite of Sex Dr. Allen
2003 Something's Gotta Give Danny Benjamin
2017 Call Me by Your Name Isaac[11][12][13] Also producer
2020 Nomadland Peter Also producer
2020 Sublet David


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Pink Lightning Greg TV movie
1992 Murder Without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story Student Proctor TV movie
1992 Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story Peter TV movie
1993 Quantum Leap Doug Bridges / Reiser Episode: "Dr. Ruth"
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Robert Benchley Episode: "Young Indiana Jones and the Scandal of 1920"
1993 Café Americain Mark Durgin Episode: "Pilot"
1994 Matlock Barry Feldman Two episodes
1994 Cries from the Heart Jeff TV movie
1996 ER Episode: "Baby Shower"
1996 Friends Joel Episode: "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding"
1997 The Love Bug Young Dr. Stumpfel TV movie
1999 Love Boat: The Next Wave Jeff Blessing Episode: "Blind Love"
2001 Some of My Best Friends Terry Two episodes
2004 CSI: Miami Josh Dalton Episode: "Deadline"

As writer

Year Title Notes
2002 Ernest and Bertram Short film
also director[14]

As director

Year Title Notes
2002 Ernest and Bertram Short film
directorial debut
2007 Careless

As producer


Year Title Notes
1996 Scream, Teen, Scream! Short film
2014 Until We Could Short film
2017 Call Me by Your Name Won - Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay / Nominated – Academy Award for Best Picture
2020 Nomadland Won – Academy Award for Best Picture[15]
2022 Bones and All
2023 Drift
TBA On Swift Horses


Year Title Notes
1992 Nightmare Café Co-developer
Creative consultant
Executive producer
2007 John from Cincinnati Co-developer
Creative consultant
Executive producer


  1. ^ a b c "Movie generating Oscar buzz was produced by Shawnee Mission South grad". The Kansas City Star. January 17, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  2. ^ "Brian Swardstrom post". November 29, 2015. Archived from the original on 2021-12-24. [brianswardstrom "Happy birthday to my hubby, @pjspears. Peter, You have added so much depth, humor, fulfillment and joy to my life, I can't imagine it without you. Here's to your 50th birthday and to many more. I love you."]
  3. ^ "American Music Theatre Project Premiers Hilarious Rock Musical". Northwestern University. Retrieved 15 August 2016
  4. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (February 13, 2017). "Berlinale: Luca Guadagnino on Why 'Call Me by Your Name' Strikes Such Deep Chords". Variety. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  5. ^ "Produced By: New York". Producers Guild of America. October 28, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "On Swift Horses" (Press release).
  7. ^ "These are the Oscar best-picture nominees that got the biggest bump at the box office". Business Insider. January 29, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  8. ^ "Sesame Street legal: Furore over Bert and Ernie gay flick". Apr 10, 2002. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  9. ^ Goodridge, Michael (July 23, 2002). "The best films you can't see: Ernest & Bertram is the latest in a series of acclaimed queer films banned from public view because their makers stepped on some famous toes". The Advocate.
  10. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (2021-02-22). "Making of 'Nomadland': How Frances McDormand and Chloe Zhao Created a Story That "Crossed Cultural and Generational Lines"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  11. ^ Smith, Bonne. "Mongrel Presents: Call Me by Your Name" (PDF) (Press release). Toronto, Ontario: Mongrel Media. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  12. ^ "'Call Me by Your Name' Author Opens Up About the Film Adaptation". Graduate Center. City University of New York. November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  13. ^ Ford, Rebecca (November 10, 2017). "Oscars: Best Picture Contenders on Staging Car Chases and How to Pivot When Plans Go Awry". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  14. ^ "20 Banned Movies: Ernest and Bertram (2002)". Complex. 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  15. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (February 12, 2019). "Chloé Zhao's 'Nomadland' Starring Frances McDormand Lands At Fox Searchlight". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 27, 2020.