Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

TIFF Preview: First-Time Writer-Director Josh Boone Talks 'Writers,' Starring Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly and Lily Collins

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood August 9, 2012 at 6:45AM

"Writers," directed by first-time feature filmmaker Josh Boone, has its world premiere in the Special Presentations section of TIFF 2012. Greg Kinnear stars as a successful writer estranged from his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly) and dealing with his kids' coming-of-age: 19-year-old daugher Samantha (Lily Collins) is already celebrating her first book publication, though her love life isn't quite so functional, and 16-year-old son Rusty (Nat Wolff) is in the throes of a troubled first relationship.
3
Lily Collins and Greg Kinnear in "Writers"
Lily Collins and Greg Kinnear in "Writers"

"Writers," directed by first-time feature filmmaker Josh Boone, will have its world premiere in the Special Presentations section of TIFF 2012. Greg Kinnear stars as a successful writer estranged from his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly) and coping with his kids' coming-of-age: 19-year-old daughter Samantha (Lily Collins) is already celebrating her first book publication, though her love life isn't quite so functional, and 16-year-old son Rusty (Nat Wolff) is in the throes of a troubled first relationship.

"Writers" co-stars Kristen Bell, Logan Lerman and Stephen King (as himself), and was shot on location in beach town Wilmington, North Carolina.

TOH! sat down for a short phone interview with Boone. Highlights from the conversation below.

On being a first-time writer-director:

"The script was pretty autobiographical, as far as my parents' divorce. I tell people that the script is like my hope chest -- I put everything in there that I believe and care about... I tried to write something really personal, so that I could actually sit down in a room with people and make a very solid case for why it had to be me who was directing it. I couldn't probably make, as a first-time director, a good argument for why I'm the guy to direct a horror movie or a sci-fi movie, but I felt that if I really filled the script with personal things, then I could make a good case [for directing 'Writers']."

On lucking out with casting:

"I was very, very lucky. Jennifer Connelly is literally --  for year and years -- my favorite actress, I still can't believe that I got to work with her. Stephen King was a god to me when I was a kid, and I got to work with him in this. We got original music by Bright Eyes, one of my favorite bands... I met Lily Collins very early in the process. We had a phone conversation while she was shooting 'Mirror Mirror,' and she came after this role for probably six months."

On working with Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly:

"It was like summer camp. All these actors, especially Greg and Jennifer, contributed so much to scenes and to their characters... There's three major scenes where [Kinnear and Connelly] are together in the movie... For one of the last scenes we did, I brought a version of it to them and we went through it, and Jennifer and Greg both came up with ideas that -- the scene's still the same scene -- but the ideas that they brought to it did major plot things for their characters that told the story better and resolved the situation between them that I definitely couldn't have done without all their experience."

The Woody Allen influence:

"'Hannah and Her Sisters' is one of my favorite movies, and I used that as a structural stepping stone to figure out how to structure the movie, and how to tell multiple stories, because we tell [the film's story] over the course of a year... This is very much in the mold of a Woody Allen film, there's a lot of talking. It's really actor-based and character-driven. So the focus was always on the camera being there to support the actors, and not the other way around."

This article is related to: Toronto International Film Festival, Jennifer Connelly, Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, Interviews


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.