Shawn Alex Thompson’s first foray into show biz came as a circus performer dangling from a burning rope fifty feet in the air while struggling to free himself from a straight jacket.
From those auspicious beginnings, Shawn migrated into stand-up comedy, then acting, and finally writing and directing. Shawn’s first film, a short titled My Beautiful Cigarette, premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival and was included in the Smithsonian Institute’s tribute to the Fest.
Shawn wrote and directed his first feature, Dinner At Fred’s, for George Harrison’s legendary Handmade Films. The film starred Parker Posey, Christopher Lloyd and Gil Bellows, and was an official selection of multiple film festivals worldwide.
Today, Shawn is regarded as one ofCanada’s preeminent single camera directors, garnering two wins and an astonishing seventeen Gemini, Canadian Comedy, and Directors Guild Award nominations.
Shawn’s directorial talents were tapped to establish ground breaking series in both comedy and drama, including the quirky cult hit Puppets Who Kill, critical darling Less Than Kind, Murdoch Mysteries, HBO Canada’s drama The Line, starring Edward Asner, Sharon Lawrence, and Linda Hamilton, and Living In Your Car and Call Me Fitz, also for HBO.
As an actor Shawn studied with legendary teacher Uta Hagen and has worked with an eclectic range of talent from Rod Steiger to John Waters, for whom Shawn originated the role of “Corny Collins” in John’s hit Hairspray.
Besides features, Shawn’s writing credits include sketch comedy, (The Newz) sit-coms, (An American in Canada) science fiction, (Outer Limits) and the MOW (30 Years To Life) forParamount television. Shawn, along with partner Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) optioned the best selling thriller No Time for Goodbye, which they have adapted into a major motion picture to be helmed by Shawn. Puppets Who Kill is also being developed into a feature film with Shawn set to direct and produce.
He also wrote and directed the short film An Insignificant Man.