Addison O’Dea: All You Need to Know about the Celebrated National Geographic Traveler

Addison O’Dea is an American filmmaker who has done tremendous work in the fields of anthropology, religion, and technology. Though his name might not sound familiar, his work is, as you’ll soon discover how his contributions have helped shape human civilization.

O’Dea’s Early Life and the Murder of his Father

Addison O’Dea was born in New York Hospital on the 5th of June 1979 to his father, Hugh Patrick Gannon Greenway O’Dea, and his mother Sara O’Dea. His father passed away in 2007 at the age of 69 after he was killed in Louisville Kentucky, but his mother is still alive.

The filmmaker has two other siblings; Patrick Gannon Greenway O’Dea and John Remsen Varick O’Dea, both of whom a younger than him.

Addison O’Dea’s Education

The brothers attended the Dwight School located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where Addison O’Dea enrolled in the International Baccalaureate. O’Dea attended New York University where he graduated with a BSc.

Though they were from New York, the family traveled internationally extensively, and this planted seeds of passion for anthropology in the young O’Dea.

Addison O’Dea’s Career

Work with National Geographic

O’Dea worked at National Geographic for some time as a contributing editor before venturing into filmmaking and documentaries. He has produced a number of virtual reality documentary films that focus on various religions voodoo from West Africa and Islam where he focused on ancient libraries of the Quran dotted around the Sahara.

Action Movie

In 2019, Addison O’Dea partnered with the award-winning filmmaker and director Eugene Jarecki to shoot an action movie set in the Sahara desert. The movie, which had a Tuareg character as the protagonist, was given the working title “Tuareg Project”.

Music Documentary and Feature Film

O’Dea is involved in the music documentary series Beat Nation as a writer and producer. The documentary which is currently in post-production was also produced by Australian-American videographers Nabil Elderkin and Mattia Bogianchino.

Writer and Director of Discovery TRVLR

In 2021, O’Dea was recruited to direct a feature film financed by Endeavor Content titled Unlikely Heroes.

He also worked as a writer and director for Discovery Inc. and Google’s documentary series Discovery TRVLR where he traveled all seven continents and revealed various rituals and special traditions in some of the remotest parts of the world.

On his travels, Addison O’Dea focused on a “Guru, Renegade, Explorer, or Entertainer” in each society he explored and documented their unique customs, religion, and life-threatening quests.

He focused on the distinctive different cultures and urged his viewers to appreciate them instead of forcing western ideals on them. For example, the idea of the “Defying Convention” in Communist Vietnam was very different from the same idea in Catholic Mexico.

Discovery TRVLR was a 36 series episode and is the biggest virtual reality project of Discovery Inc and remains O’Dea’s largest project to date.

Speaking to the magazine Filmmaker about his project Discovery TRVLR, O`Dea said, “A core tenet of TRVLR is access, getting into closed communities that are otherwise not open to visitors. Given how popular the travel genre is, you have to work harder as a producer and director to seek out these communities and earn their trust. That meant we were shooting in locations that required negotiations for safe passage through gangland and armed security”.

Addison’s Personal Life

Relationship with Minnie Driver

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Rumors of Addison started dating the Good Will Hunting actress, Minnie Driver, started making the headlines in February 2019. However, it took the couple till September of the same year to confirm their relationship. This was confirmed by Minnie Driver during the 2019 Emmy Awards after party.

The paparazzi photographed the couple together as they attended the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on a Sunday night in 2020. Minnie Driver spotted a strapless Romona Keveza white dress complemented by jewelry from Chopard.

At the Beach with His Belle

The couple was once again spotted at a beach in Malibu in 2020 with Minnie Driver opting to go deep diving while Addison O’Dea kept to the sandy beach.

Addison O’Dea currently lives with his wife, Minnie Driver, and Minnie’s son, Henry Story Driver, from her previous marriage.

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