Mendes, 39, is honoured for his 'lifetime' of achievement

Click to follow

Sam Mendes has declared himself undeserving of the Directors Guild lifetime achievement award after being awarded it at the ripe old age of 39.

Sam Mendes has declared himself undeserving of the Directors Guild lifetime achievement award after being awarded it at the ripe old age of 39.

Mendes, who has collected awards with frightening regularity since he was voted the Critics Circle Most Promising Newcomer in 1989, came to prominence when he won an Oscar for the film American Beauty six years ago.

Last night Mendes was unable to collect the prize from his friend Kevin Spacey, the actor, at the second annual Directors Guild of Great Britain awards ceremony at the Curzon Mayfair. The director is in Mexico filming Jarhead - based on the memoirs of a 1991 Gulf war Marine - and sent a speech in a video.

"I feel extremely grateful to the Directors Guild - I'm very surprised. I feel very undeserving," he said. "I feel the award is a bank loan, which I'll take out and pay back by the end of 20 years. By then I'll feel more deserving."

The organisers defended the young age of its choice for the award: "The guild likes the idea of being bold enough to recognise formidable achievement in a body of work, no matter the age of the individual."

Others who were given recognition included the theatre director Simon McBurney, co-founder of the Complicité company, and the film directors Bill Condon for Kinsey, Walter Salles for The Motorcycle Diaries Shane Meadows, for Dead Man's Shoes and Pawel Pawlikowski for My Summer of Love.

Comments