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The longtime head of film for Working Title Films, Debra Hayward recently transitioned into an exclusive deal to work as executive producer on a slate of films. The restructuring follows her being creatively responsible for Working Title's motion pictures, in conjunction with U.S. counterpart Liza Chasin.
Ms. Hayward joined Working Title in 1989 as producer's assistant on such films as Pat O'Connor's Fools of Fortune and Nick Ward's Dakota Road. She then segued into development, working on such diverse features as Hanif Kurieshi's London Kills Me and Vincent Ward's Map of the Human Heart.
Her credits as executive producer include Beeban Kidron's Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Michael Lehmann's 40 Days and 40 Nights; Richard Loncraine's Wimbledon; Daisy von Scherler Mayer's The Guru; Kirk Jones' Nanny McPhee, written by and starring Emma Thompson; and Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley.
Ms. Hayward has co–produced, among other films, Sydney Pollack's The Interpreter; Richard Curtis' Love Actually; Peter Howitt's Johnny English; Paul and Chris Weitz' About A Boy; John Madden's Captain Corelli's Mandolin; Sharon Maguire's Bridget Jones's Diary; Peter Hewitt's The Borrowers; and Shekhar Kapur's Academy Award–winning Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett.
As development executive, she was instrumental in bringing to the screen such films as Roger Michell's Notting Hill; Jake Scott's Plunkett & Macleane; Lawrence Kasdan's French Kiss; David Anspaugh's Moonlight and Valentino; Mario Van Peebles' Panther and Posse; and Mike Newell's smash Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Ms. Hayward is currently executive–producing Joe Wright's Atonement, starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Romola Garai; and Shekhar Kapur's The Golden Age, starring Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush, and Samantha Morton.