M. Night Shyamalan

 

Shyamalan was born in a Hindu household in Puducherry, India. His father, Nelliyattu C. Shyamalan, is an Indian Malayali physician belonging to a famous “Thiyya” tharavad from Mahe, Kerala. His mother, Jayalakshmi, is a Tamil Indian and an obstetrician and gynecologist by profession. In the

1960s, after medical school (at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research in Puducherry) and the birth of their first child, Veena, his parents moved to the United States. His mother returned to India to spend the last five months of her pregnancy with him at her parents? home in Chennai (Madras). Shyamalan spent his first six weeks in Puducherry, and then was raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, an affluent suburb of Philadelphia. He attended the private Roman Catholic grammar school Waldron Mercy Academy, though he was a Hindu (they chose it for disciplinary reasons), followed by the Episcopal Academy, a private Episcopal high school located at the time in Merion, Pennsylvania. Shyamalan earned the New York University Merit Scholarship in 1988. Shyamalan went on to New York University?s Tisch School of the Arts, in Manhattan, graduating in 1992. It was while studying there that he adopted Night as his second name. Shyamalan had an early desire to be a filmmaker when he was given a Super-8 camera at a young age. Though his father wanted him to follow in the family practice of medicine, his mother encouraged him to follow his passion. By the time he was 17 the Steven Spielberg fan had made 45 home movies. Beginning with The Sixth Sense, he has included a scene from one of these childhood films on each DVD release of his films, which he feels represents his first attempt at the same kind of film (with the exception of Lady in the Water).In 1993, Shyamalan married psychologist Bhavna Vaswani, a fellow student whom he met at NYU and with whom he has two daughters. The family resides on a sprawling estate in Willistown, Pennsylvania, near Shyamalan’s usual shooting site of Philadelphia. His production company, Blinding Edge Pictures is located in Berwyn, PA.

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