Jon Brion has brought a singular musical voice to Paul Thomas Anderson’s films Hard Eight, Magnolia, and Punch-Drunk Love. He has scored some of the past decade’s other unforgettably unorthodox films, such as Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, and David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees. He has also written music for the hit comedies The Break-Up and Step Brothers, the gothic animated feature, ParaNorman, Judd Apatow’s This is 40, Pixar’s Blue Umbrella short, Jon Brion’s music was most recently featured in Paramount Pictures’ crime drama The Gambler starring Mark Wahlberg and Judd Apatow’s hit comedy Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer. Up next for Brion is Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Wilson starring Judy Greer, Laura Dern and Woody Harrelson.
Brion showed musical promise from his beginnings in New Jersey, and formed a band out of high school. He played with artists like Aimee Mann and The Wallflowers before becoming a producer—and sometimes songwriter—for Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, and Kanye West (among others). “When I was eight or nine,” recalls a prescient Brion, “I said to myself, ‘It’s really good that I’m going to spend the rest of my life making music, because it will always be above me. There will always be something else to learn.’”