Attended NYU Film School but dropped out before graduation to promote his first documentary Hated: GG Allin & the Murder Junkies (1993).
Originally meant to direct Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006); however, he quit the production after shooting the infamous rodeo/"Star Spangled Banner" scene, due to creative differences with Sacha Baron Cohen.
A co-creator of the New York Underground Film Festival (along with Andrew Gurland), Phillips was an expert at playing the media and causing sensation. He made a name for himself with Hated: GG Allin & the Murder Junkies (1993) and latched on to the controversy surrounding the documentary ChickenHawk (1994).
Has cast Matt Walsh in most of his movies.
Frequently uses the music of Bill Withers and Wolfmother in his movies.
Born on the same date as Nicole de Boer.
His father Peter was born in Blaby, Leicestershire, England, to Jewish emigrant parents, Norbert E. Bunzl, who was born in Prague, and Anna (Fuchs), who was born in Zboriv, Ukraine.
Attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts with Andrew Gurland.
Directed 1 actor to an Oscar win: Joaquin Phoenix, who won for Joker (2019).
He is the first director to receive an Oscar nomination for directing a comic book film.