YA Actor Interview - INTERVIEW WITH JOSH BOONE, WRITER-DIRECTOR OF WRITERS | Young Adult Mag
Publishing Date: 2/20/2014
First-time writer-director Josh Boone wrangled such an amazing cast for his upcoming feature Writers, including Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Kristen Bell as well as younger favorites Logan Lerman and Lily Collins, he feels like somebody should pinch him. “I was really lucky!” Boone gushes. “Jennifer Connelly has been one of my favorite actresses since I was a teenager. I never thought she would do this…I keep expecting to get hit by a bus!” He is especially grateful, since he depended on his cast for more than just their pretty faces. “The thing that I told everyone when we came in was that if we ended up just shooting what I had written, I’d be disappointed.” As a first time director, he wanted his cast improve on the project he was bringing to the table. “I wanted everybody to contribute something.” And Boone, clearly, is thrilled with the results.


 

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In the film, Kinnear (known for his role in the acclaimed Little Miss Sunshine, a similarly intimate family portrait) plays a respected but somewhat troubled writer who fixates on his ex wife (Connelly), and their story interplays with that of their children. For structural purposes, “I used Woody Allen’s Hannah and her Sisters as a model,” Boone says, citing both Allen and Cameron Crowe as his defining filmmaking influences.

But derivative this film isn’t. “[Writers] has a lot of autobiographical and personal stuff in it, which made is easier to write in some ways,” Boone says. “A lot I drew from my own life.” And life has ramped up considerably for Boone in the two years it took to bring Writers off the page, as it were, and onto the big screen. “It’s been a whirlwind. I had a daughter around the time that this movie started coming together, so I feel kinda like I had two babies – I had the movie and then I had my daughter. It’s definitely been one of the most eventful and craziest years of my life!”

If Boone sounds slightly emphatic, remember: he’s a writer himself, and this film is essentially about a family of writers. The movie, naturally, has many writerly and literary influences, even including an appearance by one of his favorite authors of all time: the extremely popular and successful but still sometimes underrated Stephen King, playing himself. “I was raised by evangelical Christians, and I wasn’t allowed to read Stephen King when I was a kid so I would hide The Stand and It in the boxsprings under my bed.”

It’s decidedly a good thing Josh Boone kept reading those scary stories, in spite of strict parents, now that King is actually in his debut film. “Stephen King will always hold a special place in my heart,” Boone says, emphatically.

Writers will be premiering this month at the Toronto International Film Festival, with a release date to follow in early 2013.

 —DH


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