July 1, 1965
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Born in the Netherlands but raised in Norway, director Harald Zwart was obsessed with filmmaking at an early age. Like a lot of working directors, he made home movies as a child. Later, he studied filmmaking at Amsterdam's Dutch Film Academy, and went on to work on a number of high- profile commercials for companies like BMW and Sky Television. He also directed a number of short films and music videos for groups like A-Ha. Feature film directing was what Zwart wanted to do most, though, and his debut was the military action movie "Commander Hamilton," starring Peter Stormare as an elite Swedish soldier who hunts down a band of Russian weapons smugglers bent on unleashing nuclear devastation on a major city. Mark Hamill and Lena Olin co-starred. Three years later in 2001, Zwart made his Hollywood debut with the offbeat black comedy "One Night at McCool's," starring a lusciously vampy Liv Tyler as a femme fatale and Matt Dillon, John Goodman, and Paul Reiser as the men who fall for her. Zwart, who has a penchant for light yet exciting popcorn fare, followed his U.S. debut with the action comedy "Agent Cody Banks" and the slapstick sequel "The Pink Panther 2." In 2010, Zwart's remake "The Karate Kid" was released, starring Jaden Smith and the legendary Jackie Chan in the roles that Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita made famous in the original 1984 movie.