Ron Nyswaner
James Schamus and Ron Nyswaner.jpg
James Schamus (left) and Ron Nyswaner (right) in 2009
Born (1956-10-05) October 5, 1956 (age 66)
Occupation(s)Film director, writer

Ronald L. Nyswaner (born October 5, 1956) is an American screenwriter and film director.[1] He has been nominated for numerous awards including an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award.

He is known for his screenplays Smithereens (1982), Philadelphia (1993), The Painted Veil (2006), Freeheld (2015), My Policeman (2022). He is also known as a writer and producer of the Showtime series Ray Donovan (2013-2015), Homeland (2017-2018), and the upcoming series Fellow Travelers.

Early life and education

Nyswaner was born in Clarksville, Pennsylvania.


Nyswaner wrote his first screenplay for the Susan Seidelman film Smithereens. After two other notable screenplays for Swing Shift and Mrs. Soffel, he gave his directorial debut with The Prince of Pennsylvania in 1988, a film with Keanu Reeves and Fred Ward.

Nyswaner, who is openly gay[2] and an activist for gay rights, has often worked on movies with the subjects homosexuality, homophobia, and AIDS. In 1993, he came to worldwide prominence for his screenplay to the Academy Award-winning movie Philadelphia, directed by Jonathan Demme. It earned him nominations at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, and the BAFTAs.

After several years of working for television, he wrote the screenplay for the 2006 film The Painted Veil which is based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham. He received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award and won the award of the National Board of Review in 2006.

From 2015 to 2017, he was an executive producer for the Showtime TV series, Homeland.

In 2015, Nyswaner directed a documentary film, She's the Best Thing In It, featuring Mary Louise Wilson, which he coproduced along with Jeffrey Schwarz and Neda Armian.[3]



As a Director

Year Title Notes
1988 The Prince of Pennsylvania
2012 Why Stop Now?
2015 She's The Best Thing in it Documentary

As a Writer

Year Title Notes
1982 Smithereens
1984 Mrs. Soffel
1989 Gross Anatomy
1990 Love Hurts
1993 Philadelphia
2003 Soldier's Girl
2006 The Painted Veil
2015 Freeheld
2022 My Policeman


Year Title Notes Ref.
2006 Filthy Gorgeous Television movie
2013-2014 Ray Donovan wrote 4 episodes; also co-executive producer
2015-2018 Homeland wrote 9 episodes; also co-executive producer
2020 Murder on Middle Beach Co-executive producer only
TBA Fellow Travelers Screenwriter and executive producer [4]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Project Result
1989 Independent Spirit Awards Best First Feature The Prince of Pennsylvania Nominated
1988 Deauville Film Festival Critics Prize Nominated
1993 Academy Award Best Original Screenplay Philadelphia Nominated
1993 Golden Globe Awards Best Screenplay Nominated
1993 British Academy Film Award Best Original Screenplay Nominated
1993 Writers Guild of America Award Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2006 Independent Spirit Award Best Screenplay The Painted Veil Nominated
2006 National Board of Review Best Screenplay Won
2015 SXSW Film Festival Grand Jury Documentary Prize She's The Best Thing in It Nominated
2015 Woodstock Film Festival Audience Award Won
2014 Writers Guild of America Award New Series Ray Donovan Nominated
2016 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Drama Series Homeland Nominated


In 2004, he published Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir, which chronicles his relationship with alcohol, drugs, and hustlers.


  1. ^ The New York Times
  2. ^ Nyswaner, Ron (2004), Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir, Advocate Books, ISBN 1-55583-889-8
  3. ^ Setoodeh, Ramin (December 18, 2015). "SXSW Doc 'She's the Best Thing In It' Sells to GoDigital (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  4. ^ Otterson, Joe (July 11, 2022). "'Bridgerton' Star Jonathan Bailey Joins Matt Bomer in Showtime Limited Series 'Fellow Travelers'". Variety. Retrieved July 12, 2022.