“I was the typical 19-year-old struggling with my identity and caught up in minutiae,” Jordan says. “Facing my mortality changed me.”
In 1996, Jordan Scott moved to Los Angeles from her native London, England, to study fine art at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. As an 18-year-old, the move symbolized an effort to step away from a family tradition of directing movies. Her brothers had already followed the path of their father, director Ridley Scott, and while interested in directing, Jordan was determined to allow herself the opportunity to explore other career paths.
Yet there is no denying the influences of our lineage and the circumstances beyond our control that shape our lives. As Jordan came to realize she was not destined to be a painter, she surrendered herself to her directing talents. And when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1997, she surrendered youthful rebellion to the sobering effect of facing a life-threatening illness. “I was the typical 19-year-old struggling with my identity and caught up in minutiae,” Jordan says. “Facing my mortality changed me.”
With a new focus and maturity, Jordan entered the world of directing commercials and making short films. She was traveling frequently, working long hours, and establishing her style and reputation. But in 2001, 24-year-old Jordan relapsed, facing a second battle with lymphoma.
While hospitalized in Los Angeles, her father researched options and hospitals, seeking out the most reputable treatment center worldwide. His research led him to City of Hope, where Jordan underwent an autologous stem cell transplant. “I am eternally grateful to Dr. Forman (Stephen J. Forman, M.D.),” says Jordan who, self-consciously laughing, describes herself as one of his particularly challenging patients. “I don’t like to be confined,” she explains. Nor at 28, does Jordan like to be defined - as a cancer survivor or the daughter of a famous director.
Yet, today, healthy, optimistic and fearless, she gratefully acknowledges the “unwavering strength and calmness” that she gained from her illness. And embracing her inherited talent and the influence of a great teacher, Jordan is enjoying success directing commercials and writing and directing short films. Her desire for the future? Feature films, naturally.