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Emma Forrest makes Variety’s ‘10 to Watch’

by Danielle Berrin

August 3, 2009 | 8:16 pm

I gotta give a shout out to my gal Emma Forrest who turned a broken heart into sweet, sweet Hollywood revenge. Boyfriends beware! Her triumph came in the form of a screenplay, “Liars (A-E),” penned in just three days following a bad breakup with actor Colin Farrell (well at least that’s the rumor), which she promptly sold to producer Scott Rudin.

Last week, Variety profiled her in their “10 to Watch” feature, which highlights up-and-coming screenwriters. Well, duh. We’ve been following Emma for a long time and so if I were to say, ‘We saw it comin’!’ you’d have to believe me. 

More from the Variety profileby Adam Dawtrey:

Don’t date Emma Forrest if you’re afraid to see yourself immortalized in her next script.

“I’m from the Nora Ephron school,” she confesses. “Everything is copy. Every guy I get involved with for five minutes knows I’m going to write about him.”

She wrote “Liars (A-E)” this spring in just three days following the breakup of her yearlong relationship with actor Colin Farrell. A couple of weeks later, the script was sold to Scott Rudin and Miramax. Richard Linklater is attached to direct, and shooting is slated for fall.

“It came like a fever dream. I was afraid to stop writing because I was so afraid to lose it,” she recounts.

Forrest has always been quick off the mark. Born and raised in London with an American mother (TV writer Judy Raines) and a British father, she landed a column for the London Times when she was only 15.

“It was supposed to be about my generation, but the problem is that I live with a melancholy for things I never experienced, so I would write about Leonard Cohen and pretend that’s what my friends were talking about,” she says.

She wrote her first novel, “Namedropper,” at the age of 18 and has since published three more.

She moved to New York at 20, and for the past couple of years she’s been living in Los Angeles. But her projects are getting made on both sides of the Pond.

Among them, “Know Your Rights,” inspired by another breakup, is in the works at Film4. And “Love Minus Zero,” an adaptation of Nikita Lalwani’s novel “Gifted,” is in development at BBC Films.

Emma writes on her blog that she was slightly misquoted. What she really said was:

“If I talk to you for more than five minutes, I’m probably going to write about you” - an interpolation of a Taylor Swift quote (viva Nashville!) I mentioned here before. And it’s true: my friends, family and lovers, not to mention the mailman, the bikini waxer, and this construction worker who once yelled something crazy at me on 8th avenue, are all in my writing in some form or another. Men become women, women become men, 40 year olds become wise beyond their years 16 year olds - there’s even one short story where I combined an ex-boyfriend with a cat. The point is, everything I write is real experience strained through wild imagination.

She also adds that she loves Scott Rudin and would like to stroke his beard all day—which is just, kinda weird. On the other hand, if that’s what it takes to get him to buy your screenplay, then Emma has something to teach aspiring screenwriters everywhere.

More Hollywood Jew on Emma Forrest:
What’s doing ‘Damage?’
Emma Forrest bares her soul
Emma Forrest strips, Heeb style

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Danielle Berrin writes the Hollywood Jew blog, a cutting edge, values-based take on the entertainment industry for jewishjournal.com. A Los Angeles Times profile dubbed her...

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