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Published on Jun 30, 2011
Part 1: Writer, screenwriter, and director Nora Ephron has been nominated three times for an Academy Award for Original Screenplay, and has not only written but produced and directed the romantic comedies, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, and Julie and Julia. She is also an essayist, and her most recent collection is entitled: I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections. In this, the first of a two-part interview, Ephron discusses her life and her published work. The daughter of two Hollywood screenwriters, she recounts how she learned the art of telling funny stories at the family dinner table. She also discusses her mother's descent into alcoholism, an event that began when Ephron was fifteen. She traces her work as a journalist and essayist, a career that included stints at Newsweek, the New York Post, and Esquire. Finally, Ephron discusses Heartburn, her comic roman à clef, in which she rendered hilarious her very unfunny predicament of being pregnant and cheated on by her husband, and I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections (2010) which showcases her frank but always funny musings about aging and the vagaries of memory.
Part 2: In this, the second of a two-part interview, Nora Ephron discusses her career as a screenwriter and director. Ephron has been nominated three times for an Academy Award for Original Screenplay, and has not only written but produced and directed the romantic comedies, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, and Julie and Julia. As a practicing journalist, Ephron wrote twelve unproduced screenplays until her collaboration with Alice Arlen, Silkwood, became her first major produced movie. She credits director Mike Nichols and cinematographer Sven Nykvist with teaching her invaluable lessons in the art of movie making, and wryly observes that she should have been intimidated by her first experience of movie making but wasn't. Ephron notes that scenes that appear hilarious during taping don't necessarily come across as funny on film. Citing director Rob Reiner, she compares the experience of making a movie to giving a party: you invite a lot of people to the production and let them do what they do best. Ephron praises the talent and intelligence of Meryl Streep and says she would have loved to have made a movie with Audrey Hepburn.