Graduated from Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles. Was a fisherman in New Bedford, MA as a short career until he decided to drive cross country to Hollywood. Mother is from Norway. Father is from Brooklyn. Won both his Oscar and a 'Razzie' award the same weekend in 1998: He took Best Screenplay for L.A. Confidential (1997) and Worst Screenplay for Kevin Costner's The Postman (1997). When asked backstage at The Academy Awards about winning both "honors," Helgeland declared he'd like to display them both side-by-side on his mantle to remind him of the Quixotic nature of Hollywood. He then made good on his promise, permitting the founders of The Razzies to present him his Worst Screenplay dis-honor in his production offices as Warner Bros. studios later that year. He was only the fourth person in Razzie history to voluntarily accept one of their statuettes. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The November 14, 2003 draft of the screenplay for The Bourne Supremacy (2004) credits Brian Helgeland for a rewrite. He is not credited in the final film.