- Both of his parents are college professors, teaching at schools like Yale and Princeton.
- Wanted to be a jazz musician before deciding to focus on filmmaking.
- Based the film Whiplash on his own experiences in his high school jazz band.
- Went to college and eventually roomed with frequently collaborator Justin Hurwitz.
- La La Land, only the third feature film he director, broke the record for most Golden Globe award wins and tied the record for most Oscar nominations for a single film.
- Was the youngest person to win Best Director at the Golden Globes and at the Academy Awards with his 2017 win for La La Land.