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Taylor Sheridan

Taylor Sheridan
Born United States
  • Actor
  • screenwriter
  • director
Years active 1995–present
Known for Sons of Anarchy, Sicario, Hell or High Water

Taylor Sheridan is an American actor, screenwriter, and director.[1][2][3] He is most known for his role as David Hale on the FX television series Sons of Anarchy, and writing the screenplay for the Denis Villeneuve-directed Sicario (2015), for which he received a Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.[4] He also wrote the screenplay for Hell or High Water (2016), starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and Ben Foster, which was released in August 2016 and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

He made his directorial debut with Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, the script for which he also penned, set for release in 2017.


Sheridan started his career in acting, appearing in small films and in recurring roles in TV shows such as Veronica Mars, Walker, Texas Ranger and most notably, as David Hale in Sons of Anarchy.

Sheridan made the transition into screenwriting after he turned 40.[5] His first feature was the Denis Villeneuve-directed Sicario, which Sheridan has said was his first script he ever wrote. Sicario revolves around Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an FBI agent who is enlisted to a government task force to bring down the leader of a powerful and brutal Mexican drug cartel. It also starred Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro. The film received critical acclaim, with a 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes,[6] and received a number of nominations, including a Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay for Sheridan.[7]

Sheridan wrote Comancheria after Sicario. Comancheria sold first but was stuck in development for quite a few years, appearing on the Black List in 2012. It was later retitled Hell or High Water and was released in August 2016, starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster, and again received critical acclaim.[8][9] For his screenplay, Sheridan received a large amount of awards attention, earning BAFTA, Golden Globe Award, and Academy Award nominations.[10][11]

Sheridan has made his directorial debut with Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, the script for which he also penned, set to premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January 2017. The plot follows an FBI agent (Olsen), who teams with a veteran game tracker (Renner) to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation. Prior to its premiere, The Weinstein Company, who acquired the distribution rights during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival,[12] dropped the film.[13] However, the company later finalized its deal to distribute the film.[14]

On September 15, 2016, Deadline reported that Sheridan has been set by Sony Pictures and Escape Artists to script the American remake of the Matthias Schoenaerts starrer Disorder, a 2015 French film directed by Alice Winocour. Escape Artists' Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch and Tony Shaw will produce the remake and David Beaubaire is overseeing it for the studio. No director has been set yet.[15]


As an ex-actor, Sheridan has explained that the amount of expositional dialogue he read for television caused him to form an "allergy to exposition" in his writing. He has also said that he looks for "absurdly simple" plots in order to focus solely on character.[16]

He is known for toying with the form and structure of a screenplay in his work. In Sicario, Sheridan incorporated a "five-act structure and a five-act structure within that." He believes in the intelligence of the audience, and uses the structure and context of his stories as a way to subvert expectations: "I look at each movie as, ‘How am I breaking the rules this time?’"[17]

Personal life

Sheridan grew up on a ranch in Cranfills Gap, TX. His family lived minimally, not having a stereo system in their house; his parents would sit in their station wagon, which had an 8-track player, listening to music to pass the time. Had they not lost the property in the early 90s, Sheridan said "I would still be living there."[18]

After failing out of Texas State University, a talent scout offered Sheridan the chance to go to Los Angeles and pursue an acting career.

Partial filmography

Year Title Writer Director Actor Role Notes
2005–2007 Veronica Mars Yes Danny Boyd
2008–2010 Sons of Anarchy Yes David Hale
2011 Vile Yes
2015 Sicario Yes
2016 Hell or High Water Yes Yes Cowboy Cameo[19]
2017 Wind River Yes Yes
TBA Soldado Yes

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Project Result
2015 Austin Film Critics Association Best Original Screenplay Sicario Nominated
2015 San Francisco Film Critics Circle Best Screenplay Nominated
2015 Kansas City Film Critics Circle Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2015 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Feature Debut
Best Writing
2016 Seattle Film Critics Best Screenplay Nominated
2016 Writers Guild of America Award Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2016 Gotham Awards Best Screenplay Hell or High Water Nominated
2016 Golden Globe Award Best Screenplay Nominated
2017 Writers Guild of America Award Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2017 Academy Awards Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2017 Saturn Awards Best Film Screenplay Pending


  1. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (April 19, 2012). "Ex-'Sons Of Anarchy' Actor Taylor Sheridan Sells Script To Sidney Kimmel Entertainment". Deadline. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  2. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (October 28, 2015). "'Sicario' Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan on the 'Answerless Problem' of the Drug War". Variety. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ "'Sicario' writer Taylor Sheridan discusses the idea behind the sequel". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (January 6, 2016). "'The Martian,' 'Straight Outta Compton' Land Writers Guild Nominations". Variety. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  5. ^ DP/30: Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan, October 6, 2016, retrieved January 28, 2017 
  6. ^ "Sicario", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2017-01-29 
  7. ^ "'Trainwreck,' 'Steve Jobs' Among WGA Screenplay Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  8. ^ "Hell or High Water", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2017-01-29 
  9. ^ "Hell or High Water", Metacritic, retrieved 2017-01-29 
  10. ^ Brown, Tracy. "Golden Globes 2017: Complete list of winners". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  11. ^ Shoard, Catherine (2017-01-10). "Bafta nominations 2017: La La Land dances on but Arrival and Nocturnal Animals hot on its heels". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  12. ^ "Cannes: Weinstein Co. Nabs Jeremy Renner Drama 'Wind River'". The Hollywood Reporter. May 14, 2016. 
  13. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (January 9, 2017). "Sundance: Weinstein Company to No Longer Distribute Jeremy Renner's 'Wind River' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 9, 2017. 
  14. ^ Thompson, Anne (January 27, 2017). "Sundance Deal Scorecard: Why 2017 Festival Sales Are in Overdrive". Indiewire. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  15. ^ "'Sicario' Scribe Taylor Sheridan To Script French Remake 'Disorder'". Deadline. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  16. ^ The Hollywood Reporter (2016-12-17), 'Hell or High Water' Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan: "I'm Allergic to Exposition" | Close Up With THR, retrieved 2017-02-28 
  17. ^ "Write The Movie They Won't Make: "Hell or High Water's" Taylor Sheridan". Co.Create. 2016-12-12. Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  18. ^ Barnes, Brooks (2017-02-09). "Taylor Sheridan on His Oscar-Nominated Screenplay for 'Hell or High Water'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  19. ^ "Taylor Sheridan On The Drug War And His Evolution From 'Sons Of Anarchy' Actor To 'Sicario' Screenwriter". Uproxx. March 3, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 

External links