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#ReleaseTheArnoldCut Social Media Rallies Around 'Big Little Lies' Director Andrea Arnold In Midst Of Behind-The-Scenes Drama

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Who Is Andrea Arnold? New Details About Oscar Winning Director And Behind The Scenes Drama On 'Big Little Lies'

Andrea Arnold was born in Dratford, Kent, England on April 5, 1961. She was born to young parents who separated early in her life. She left school at 16 to pursue a career in acting. After years of success she decided that she felt more comfortable behind the scenes. She began writing and directing her own movies. She is now an Academy Award winner, and the director of the second season of HBO's hit drama, Big Little Lies. But what do we really know about her? Lets ask ourselves, who is Andrea Arnold?

1. Childhood

She was born in Dratford, Kent, England in 1961 to two high teenaged parents. Her mom was 16 and father was 17. They tried to stay together for her sake but split up early in her life. She grew up on what is called a council estate, which is a form of British housing. She spent her time playing outside, and helping care for her younger siblings. She started writing at an early age. When she was 10-years-old she wrote a play about the horrors of the slave trade. A few years later, while in school for dance, she wrote a performance piece about which she said: "I took quotes from the Diary of Anne Frank and read them aloud as I moved around the room. All the other kids would just put on some pop music and dance. I remember the examiners sitting there looking at me, perplexed." It seems that from the start she was destined for greatness.


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2. Early Career

After dropping out of school at 16, Arnold proclaimed she wanted to be an actress. After a few years of auditioning, she booked her first job at age 18 working for a children's TV show called No. 73. She was the host and an actress on the program. She worked there for 10 years before deciding to pursue writing. She was quoted saying: "Television was great fun and I went along for the ride, but I never felt that comfortable in front of the camera". She moved from England to California to study Directing at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. The rest is history!


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3. She is an award winning film maker

She won an Academy Award for her short film Wasp in 2005. It was a film about a single mother with four children (sound familiar?) who didn't want her children to get in the way of her pursuit of love. She won the Jury Prize at Cannes for three different short films, Red Road, Fish Tank and American Honey. 


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4. Music is a big part of her work

While she is a writer and a directer she often thinks about the music in her films. She is easily moved by music and she thinks it is a good way to get the audience emotionally invested in her stories. In an article written by The Independent, she was quoted saying: "Music is a hugely important part of my life..."There’s not a day goes by where I don’t start by playing music, or have it as some part of my day. Emotionally, it can completely change the way I feel or it can accentuate the way I feel; I dance a lot, for real. So anything I write is always going to have music and dancing because it’s just part of my life. I can’t really imagine making a film that doesn’t have dancing in it, actually. As I’m going on, there’s more dancing — maybe I’m getting happier."


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5. She thinks filmmaking is reflective of her own life

She tries to bring parts of her personality into her directing. She uses her own experiences to create relatable worlds for her audiences. She told Filmmaker magazine: "What I love about filmmaking is that everything I’ve ever done in my life, it all seems to come into the filmmaking. Anything I’ve done. Dancing is something I used to do and when you’re working with cameras and actors, it is a bit like putting movement together and it reminds me of dancing, the choreography between actors and cameras. So that’s what I loved about it when I started. Everything I’ve ever done now makes sense. It isn’t redundant anymore."


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6. There is some drama behind the scenes this season of Big Little Lies

The shows creator David E. Kelley and the director of season one Jean-Marc Vallee are frustrated with Arnold's vision for season two. They felt that her aesthetic didn't quite match that of season one. They ended up hiring a second editing staff to re-cut what she had already done, and ordered some reshoots.

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7. Social Media and other female directors are standing behind her.

People are up in arms that a show all about strong women standing together and supporting one another, undermined its female director at the whim of her male superiors. The director of When They See Us tweeted out "We are lucky to have you." And a trending hashtag over the weekend has been #releasethearnoldcut. It seems that a lot of people are banding together in support of Arnold. Maybe one day will they will #releasethearnoldcut and we will be able to see what she was going for.


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Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who writes about love, relationships, self-care, spirituality and astrology.