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From Struggling Drummer to Youngest Oscar-Winning Director: Damien Chazelle's Life and Net Worth

Chazelle's career started with the feature, "Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench," which he created while he was studying in Harvard University.
Cover Image Source: Damien Chazelle | Getty Images | Maria Moratti
Cover Image Source: Damien Chazelle | Getty Images | Maria Moratti
Name Damien Chazelle
Net Worth $20 Million
Sources of Income Screenwriting, producing, editing
Gender Male
Date of Birth Jan 19, 1985
Age 38 
Nationality American
Profession Cinematographer, screenwriter, producer,  director

French-American director, producer, and screenwriter, best known for his films like "Whiplash," "La La Land," "Babylon," and "First Man," Damien Chazelle has earned a net worth of $20 million. He won his first Academy Award for Best Director at the age of 32 and was the youngest person to win the Best Director in the history of Academy Awards as of 2024. He wanted to make films from a very young age and struggled as a jazz drummer while he was in high school. His first film "Whiplash" was loosely based on his experiences as a jazz drummer.

 Damien Chazelle | Getty Images |  Stefania D'Alessandro
Damien Chazelle | Getty Images | Stefania D'Alessandro

Most of Chazelle's net worth can be attributed to his career as a screenwriter, producer, and editor. Chazelle started off with the feature, "Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench," which he created while he studying at Harvard University. The film later premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009 and then received some awards on the festival circuit before it was released. He later moved to Los Angeles to start his career in filmmaking and started working as a writer for hire who worked on projects like "Grand Piano." He later started working on the script for the film which would become "Whiplash," which was picked by Right of Way Films and Blumhouse Productions and was initially supposed to be made into a short film. However, the film was later produced and the official cut was released in 2014.

He then cast Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for the movie "La La Land." The film was later nominated for a total of 14 Academy Awards and he received the Oscar for best direction. The film opened at the Venice International Film Festival in August 2016 and was released in the United States in December. His next project was "First Man" which was released in 2018 and starred Ryan Gosling. He has also worked in television and directed the first two episodes of the 2020 musical drama miniseries, "The Eddy."


Chazelle was born on January 19, 1985, in Rhode Island to parents Bernard and Celia Chazelle. His father was a professor of computer science and his mother was a teacher of history. He later went to Princeton High School where he learned to play drums and formed the indie-pop group called Chester French along with friend Justin Hurwitz. 

Chazelle married producer Jasmine McGlade in 2010 but they got divorced in 2014. He is now married to actress Olivia Hamilton since 2018. 

Academy Awards- Nominated for five Academy Awards for the movie, "Whiplash" in the year 2014. Won three Academy Awards. 

BAFTA Awards- Nominated in 2016 for "La La Land"; Winner in 2016 for "La La Land"

Golden Globe Awards- Nominated in 2022 for "Babylon"; Winner in 2022 


What did Damien Chazelle study at Harvard?

He studied filmmaking in the Visual and Environmental Studies department at Harvard and graduated from the university in 2007.

What is Damien Chazelle's best movie?

He is best known for films like "Whiplash," and "La La Land."

How old was Damien Chazelle when he got his Oscar?

Chazelle was only 32 years old when he won his first Academy Award. 

Was "Babylon" a flop?

"Babylon" received mixed reviews and did not earn a lot.