The director behind The Full Monty (1997), Peter Cattaneo was responsible for one of the biggest sleeper hits of the 1990s. A comedy about a group of out-of-work Sheffield steel workers who take to stripping to earn money, the film mixed broad humor with a candid look at the bleak effects of post-Thatcherite unemployment, and did so with enough skill to win over critics and audiences alike. It earned $195 million worldwide, a more than respectable gross for a film that was shot over 40 days for around $3.5 million.
Born in England in 1964, Cattaneo first became involved with directing while a student at the Royal College of Art, where he made an award-winning music video, a commercial for Miller Lite, and Dear Rosie, a live action short that earned a 1990 Oscar nomination. Following his 1989 graduation, Cattaneo began directing for television, helming a series with titles such as "Diary of a Teenage Health Freak" and "The Full Wax." In 1995, he directed Loved Up, a BBC Screen Two film that was broadcast on television. Starring Lena Headey and Ian Hart, it was a drama about an 18-year-old waitress (Headey) who becomes involved with a young raver (Hart) who introduces her to ecstasy and drug dealing.
Shortly after making Loved Up, Cattaneo received the script for The Full Monty and, drawn both to its obvious humor and more serious economic undertones, immediately set about getting it made into a film. Its ensuing commercial success and four Oscar nominations -- including Best Director and Best Picture -- established Cattaneo as one of the film industry's most exciting new players. In 2000, he embarked on a follow-up project, Lucky Break. A comedy about a group of inmates who stage a musical to cover up their escape, it was treated with eager expectation by fans of the Cattaneo's previous work.