Keith Everett
lesley paterson

The Amazing Story Of The Scottish Female Fireball – Hollywood Film Director, Who Used To Wait Tables At The Oscars

Lesley Paterson was born in Sterling, Scotland 42 years ago, when she was a was a little girl, she told her father she wanted to play rugby with the boys. Her words were “There’s mud, there’s boys, I get to beat up on them – I want to have a go”.

All Quiet On The Western Front

Back then, most female sport was confined to netball and hockey, so a girl wanting to play rugby was unusual. Her dad however, encouraged the young Lesley and put her name down for rugby practice. She impressed the coach and won a place in the boys team. She became captain of that team eventually and the only girl.

Her team ended up winning the Scottish championships.

She was just 10 at the time.

She was a tough cookie. Often getting into fights with her brother, she learned to defend herself and in her words “kick the sh*t out of him”.

At 13 her father introduced her to the local Triathlon club, “I’d go out on these 50-mile bike rides when I was 14 years old with a bunch of plumbers, welders and builders. I just loved that. If you don’t keep up your’e dropped. Tough sh*t”. At 16 Lesley became a triathlon champion, her nimble figure, ferocious speed and determination looked unstoppable.

In the early 2000’s a technical change in the Triathlon rules, meaning you had to be a top swimmer too to qualify (she wasn’t), meant that her attempt at the 2002 Commonwealth games was doomed. She retired and ended her professional Triathlon career.

Lesley Paterson Reinvented Herself At 21

At 21 years of age she graduated in drama from Loughborough University, got married to husband Marshall, moved to California and got an MA in Theatre.

She did just about any job that came along, even selling ice cream at one stage. She even made a small appearance in David Gray’s video for his song “Alibi”. She admits she was a poor actor.

By her mid-20s, she had discovered what she really wanted to do – write and produce movies. She teamed up with Stokell, a former journalist, to write screenplays. Both of them adored the German anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque and published in 1928. 

However, all was not good.

After many attempts at trying to get this film made, they were in Minus equity, they owed thousands. Actors came and went, many left because of money shortages. Lesley and Marshall remortgaged their home to try and keep the film on track.

Patterson attempted to try her hand once again in Triathlons to raise money, this time sticking to off-road triathlons, competitors ride the course in advance, so they know the terrain. She was legally able to enter these competitions and did so, on one occasion breaking her shoulder but carrying on anyway.

Lesley Paterson is a gutsy fireball that doesn’t know when she’s beat..

Lesley Paterson – Grit, Determination And 9 Oscar Nominations

After winning several $20,000 prizes and re-financing her production company, she eventually got the film made and it was released in 2022.

All Quiet on the Western Front” has been nominated in nine Oscar categories including best picture and best international feature, as well as best cinematography, production design, visual effects, sound, makeup and hairstyling, original score and adapted screenplay.

Lesley Paterson had a job waiting tables at the Oscars many years ago, today she is set to become a leading female light in the Hollywood movie community. She has spent years overcoming pain, frustration and other people’s opinions to wrestle her demons to the ground. Lesley Paterson is set to become one of Hollywood’s greats, and it all started the day she DECIDED to live her dream.

I hope you enjoyed this story, if it inspired you please do let me know in the comments below.

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