Biography of George Tillman Jr.

George Tillman Jr. is an American director, screenwriter, and producer. He has directed Soul Food, Men of Honor, the Barbershop series, as well as the biopic Notorious and The Hate U Give. He is known for directing, producing, and writing films about the black American experience, and was nominated for a Black Reel Award for Best Director and Best Screenplay for Notorious in 2009.

Tillman grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he developed an early interest in film. Starting as a writer, his early film influences were so-called Blaxploitation films from the 70s like Claudine and Five on the Black Hand Side. The first film he worked on was Mo' Money with Damon Wayans, where he was a set dresser. In 1994, he directed his first feature film Scenes for the Soul, which, in spite of some interest from Hollywood producers, did not receive mainstream distribution. He then made Soul Food, the film that catapulted him to success. Next came Men of Honor, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr.

While Men of Honor was a challenge for Tillman, it was a major success, generating $85 million. He followed this up with the Barbershop series, which was a major success with both black and white audiences. His next films were Notorious, a biopic of the Notorious B.I.G., Faster, starring Dwayne Johnson, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, starring Anthony Mackie and Jennifer Hudson, The Longest Ride, an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks book, and The Hate U Give, an adaptation of a popular Young Adult novel by Angie Thomas.

Study Guides on Works by George Tillman Jr.