What’s in a name? Is there a more cliché Shakespeare quote for hack internet writers to turn to when they need to start another uninspired article? Well, after 15 minutes of staring at a blank word document with my marijuana smoke-addled eyes, I got nothing better. And I’m going to double down on the clichés by following that up with “the devil is in the details.” I’m sorry, there’s too much meta-commentary here, let me just start over.
What’s in a name? Well, the devil is in the details when it comes to two colossal Hollywood directors – Paul Thomas Anderson and Paul W. S. Anderson. These two workhorses of the silver screen have necessitated the use of their middle names because two directors being named Paul Anderson would be confusing. Though they share a name, their films are utterly disparate. Today we’re going to take a brief look at the two Paul Andersons, their films, and, of course, Paul Anderson tattoos. Well, tattoos of Paul Anderson movies, we have no clue what either of these guys look like.
On one hand you have Paul Thomas Anderson, a master auteur responsible for critically acclaimed masterworks such as Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, and The Master. Each of these films is packed with depth and symbolism. And Paul Thomas Anderson is known for getting amazing performances out of his actors. Daniel Day Lewis picked up an Oscar for his turn in There Will Be Blood , and several other actors have garnered nominations for their work in Anderson’s films.
Then there’s Paul W. S. Anderson who is responsible for nothing but popcorn entertainment. His films are often based on other source materials, whereas P. T. Anderson wrote most of his films from original ideas. Paul W. S. Anderson is responsible for big screen adaptations of Mortal Kombat, Alien VS Predator, Resident Evil, The Three Musketeers, and a remake of Death Race. However, the best Paul W. S. Anderson film came from an original idea from screenwriter Philip Eisner – Event Horizon. His films aren’t critically acclaimed like another Paul Anderson’s, but they are usually more fun to watch.
We have run into a handful of people who think the two Paul Andersons are the same director. We wish that were true. If there were just one Paul Anderson with both men’s filmographies under his belt, he would be the undisputed greatest director to ever live. But, alas, they are not the same person and we felt a duty to bring this to the world’s attention.
Aside from their films, the men are very different people. Paul Thomas Anderson is American, whereas Paul W. S. Anderson is English, though both reside in California. Paul Thomas Anderson only has one middle name while Paul W. S. Anderson has two (William and Scott). And unlike Paul Thomas Anderson, Paul W. S. Anderson isn’t in a long term relationship with Maya Rudolph. But that’s ok, because he’s dating Milla Jovovich, which isn’t too shabby.
So now that you know the difference, why not check out some cool tattoos highlighting the works of the two Paul Andersons? Each of these tattoos is a wonderful homage to a movie that no matter how you cut it was directed by a man named Paul Anderson.
If these Paul Anderson tattoos leave you hungry for more of both directors’ work, you’re in luck. Next year will see the release of the Paul W. S. Anderson-directed adaptation of the hit video game Monster Hunter while Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (which Daniel Day Lewis has stated shall be his final film) will arrive in theaters later this year.