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Nicole Kassell (born 1972) is an American film and television director who is noted for her work on films such as The Woodsman and on TV in series such as Vinyl.

Nicole Kassell
Nicole Kassell

Alma materTisch School of the Arts, New York University
Occupationfilm and television director
RelativesLauren Kassell


Early lifeEdit

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she received her degree from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.[1] While a student there, she made three short films, including The Green Hour, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002.



A year earlier, she had won the Slamdance Screenplay Competition[2] for her first feature-length project, The Woodsman (2004 film),[1][3] adapted from Steven Fechter's 1997 minimalist play she had seen staged at The Actors Studio in New York City. Her enthusiasm for it convinced Lee Daniels, one of the producers of Monster's Ball, to help her get funding for the film version. When he approached Kevin Bacon, the actor was so impressed by the script, about a convicted child molester forced to deal with social prejudice and the fear he will not be able to control his dark urges after he's released from prison, that he suggested he star in the movie opposite wife Kyra Sedgwick. The Woodsman competed at Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival, was featured in the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, and eventually was released to the public in 2004. Kassell's second feature film, A Little Bit of Heaven, a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson and Gael García Bernal, had its first release in February 2011 in the UK.

She has adapted Arthur Miller's play The Ride Down Mt. Morgan for the big screen. The project has been in pre-production since 2004 and will reportedly feature a cast that includes Diane Keaton, Emily Blunt and Michael Douglas if it goes into production. Douglas would also serve as executive producer.


Kassell has directed episodes of the series Cold Case and 3 lbs (both on CBS), The Closer (on TNT), The Killing (on AMC), Vinyl (on HBO)[4][5] and The Americans (on FX). She also is writing an adaptation of the book Bad Medicine for HBO.

In 2018 it was announced that Kassell will direct the pilot for the Watchmen.[6][7]

Kassell recently signed with WME.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Going out on a limb". LA Times. LA Times. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Slamdance Names Ten Winners of Screenplay Competition". Indie Wire. Indie Wire. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Released From Prison but Never Really Free". NY Times. NY Times. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Nicole Kassell on". Indie Wire. Indie Wire. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Seasoned TV Directors Field Wide Array of Job Offers". Variety. Variety. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Watchmen' Is A Go: Damon Lindelof's Pilot Picked Up To Series By HBO". Deadline. Deadline. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Watchmen' HBO Series Taps Nicole Kassell to Direct Pilot". Variety. Variety. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  8. ^ "WME signs director Nicole Kassell". WME. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 August 2018.

External linksEdit