Born to Dr. Wolf Forster, a German doctor, and his wife Ulli Forster. He was born in Germany, but grew up in Davos Switzerland.
Attended New York University's film school from 1990 to 1993.
After his studies in New York, he moved to Los Angeles.
Is the youngest of three brothers. His oldest brother Wolfgang committed suicide in 1998. His brother Peter is a lawyer.
Moved to Davos, Switzerland with his German parents, when he was a small child.
Was a student of the famous Institut Montana Zugerberg in Switzerland, then an all-boys school.
Invited to join AMPAS in 2005.
Declined a $500,000 offer to direct a film despite having no income at the time and living from money he borrowed from friends. He didn't believe the script was good and was afraid his reputation as a director would suffer.
Was offered the job of directing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), but declined and did Finding Neverland (2004) instead.
Has directed Halle Berry (for Monster's Ball (2001)) and Johnny Depp (for Finding Neverland (2004)) in Oscar-nominated performances. Halle Berry is so far the only actor to win an Oscar under his direction, having won the Best Actress Oscar.
His father died from cancer in 1998.
Considering himself Swiss, he is the first non-Commonwealth director to helm an Eon-produced Bond film.
Became honorary citizen of Davos (November 2007) and now has a German and a Swiss citizenship.
Supported a Swiss HIV prevention campaign together with Renée Zellweger (2005).
The first movie he saw in cinema was Apocalypse Now (1979).
Turned down the chance to direct Brokeback Mountain (2005).