Academy award-winner Evan Hayes did his hometown of Wellesley proud on Oscars night when he took home the coveted statue for Best Documentary Feature as a producer of Free Solo. This is the first Academy Award for the Los Angeles resident, who lived in Wellesley for part of his growing-up years. Free Solo is a form of rock climbing climb without the safety benefit of ropes, harnesses, or protective equipment. The documentary tells the story of free-solo climber Alex Honnold’s successful 2017 ascent of El Capitan Wall at Yosemite National Park in Nevada.
We’ve heard from a couple residents that Hayes attended Hunnewell Elementary School, Wellesley Middle School, and Wellesley High School, although he doesn’t list those august institutions on his LinkedIn profile. He does, however, list Philips Exeter Academy. A quick look at that exclusive 4-year private day and boarding school’s website and main Facebook page didn’t make mention of Hayes. So who really loves you, Evan? Wellesley, that’s who.
Hayes’ mother, Mary Forte Hayes, was principal at Wellesley High School from 1987 – 1996.
Some other movies the 41-year-old producer has worked on: He Named me Malala (2015) Everest (2015), Contraband (2012)
If anyone knows how to get in touch with Hayes, let us know. We’d love to get in line to interview him.
Free solo, Wellesley style
True story: once many years ago I saw people climbing the craggy rock wall at the Wellesley Hills train station. I can’t remember if they were using safety gear, but I do remember thinking, “Hmm. Wonder if those train rails are live?” This was before the advent of cell phones cameras, so you’ll just have to believe me.