Edward's debut as a film producer was on the movie Legends of the Fall which he also directed.
Edward was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship to study theater abroad. As additional income, he wrote articles for magazines while he was studying in Europe.
As of 2007, Edward has been honored with several awards including three Emmys, the Humanitas Prize, the Writers Guild of America Award, two Peabody Awards, a Directors Guild of America Award and the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Award from the American Film Institute.
Edward is a contributor to periodicals, the New York Times being one of them.
Edward is the author of the book Literature and Liberalism: An Anthology of 60 Years of The New Republic.
Edward appeared in the 2002 movie Women vs. Men.
Edward married former actress and writer Liberty Godshall on October 24, 1982.
Edward graduated from Harvard University with a BA Literature degree in 1974. He then attended the American Film Institute in 1975.
Edward won an Oscar for Best Picture in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love which he co-produced.
Edward is five feet and seven inches tall.
Edward: It seems that almost every time a valuable natural resource is discovered in the world-whether it be diamonds, rubber, gold, oil, whatever-often what results is a tragedy for the country in which they are found. Making matters worse, the resulting riches from these resources rarely benefit the people of the country from which they come.
Edward: (on the story of "Blood Diamond") There is something universal in the theme of a man trying to save his family in the midst of the most terrible circumstances. It is not limited to Sierra Leone. This story could apply to any number of places where ordinary people have been caught up in political events beyond their control.
Edward: There is no reason why challenging themes and engaging stories have to be mutually exclusive-in fact, each can fuel the other. As a filmmaker, I want to entertain people first and foremost. If out of that comes a greater awareness and understanding of a time or a circumstance, then the hope is that change can happen.
Edward: I don't think movies can ever be too intense, but people have to understand why you're showing them the things you are showing them.
Edward: Sometimes when we weep in the movies we weep for ourselves or for a life unlived. Or we even go to the movies because we want to resist the emotion that's there in front of us. I think there is always a catharsis that I look for and that makes the movie experience worthwhile.
Edward: I look at modern life and I see people not taking responsibility for their lives. The temptation to blame, to find external causes to one's own issues is something that is particularly modern. I know that personally I find that sense of responsibility interesting.
Edward: (on tackling the American Civil War in "Glory") There is a segment of the American population that has been excluded from the national myth, and that should be redressed.
Edward: I have nothing against diamonds (or rubies or emeralds or sapphires). I do object when their acquisition is complicit in the debasement of children or the destruction of a country.
Edward: (on the movie "Blood Diamond") To me this movie is about what is valuable. To one person it might be a stone; to someone else, a story in a magazine; to another, it is a child. The juxtaposition of one man obsessed with finding a valuable diamond with another man risking his life to find his son is the beating heart of this film.
Edward: (on the reaction of the international diamond industry to "Blood Diamond") Well, we knew that there were things that had happened in the past that people would have rather forgotten, but their job is the image of their product and the notion that they have devoted many, many millions of dollars to that image is not surprising.
Edward: I think one of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.
Edward: (on Hollywood portraying Arab-Americans as the villains) I think it's too easy often to find a villain out of the headlines and to then repeat that villainy again and again and again. You know, traditionally, America has always looked to scapegoat someone as the boogie man.
Edward: Film is finally very over-simplified in two hours. How complex a political discussion can you give? How dimensional a portrait can you provide?
Edward: (on doing "The Last Samurai") On the set, American crew working with Japanese culture is also mixing cultures, so I think this is the best story for our two cultures to collaborate on.
Edward: Samurai culture did exist really, for hundreds of years and the notion of people trying to create some sort of a moral code, the idea that there existed certain behaviors that could be celebrated and that could be operative in a life.