My “Nick Hornby” Google Alert used to trigger a couple times per month; these days Hornby’s hot, and I’m overwhelmed by the flood of interviews.
And because this blog is the online home of an unrepentant Hornby Fanboy, I’m saving you the heartbreak of wading through the pile of shallow, unreflective interviews with Nick (note the first-name basis).
Instead, I’m pointing you towards two winners.
Which, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll read (Nice computer/smartphone you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.)
Be Nice to the People You Meet
In this Globe and Mail interview, Hornby describes the circuitous route to his recent Hollywood successes, including a glimpse at the kind of party most of us will never see:
Hornby filled his plate, then turned around and froze. “I didn’t know where to sit,” he says. “On one sofa, George Clooney was in conversation with Jennifer Aniston. Meryl was talking to Spielberg. What was I to do, plunk myself into the middle?” He ended up next to Adam Sandler; they talked sports. But he also met a producer who would later option Hornby’s novel Juliet, Naked. As they chatted, a woman on another sofa turned their way: Witherspoon.
He not only met the producer who optioned Juliet Naked, he also met Reese Witherspoon, who later chose Hornby to adapt Strayed’s Wild (a book I couldn’t finish) into the much-nominated-for-awards movie.
He also tells us how a painful, defining moment from his life made it into the An Education screenplay (his mother discovered his father had a child with another woman).
And how a director amusingly said the moment lacked drama.
Score one for the writer.
Hornby wanders in and out of his work life in a wholly engrossing interview with Eleanor Wachtel of CBC radio.
Essentially, this Hornby interview makes me want to drop copywriting and become a screenwriter, despite the fact I have no discernible talent for it (and I look pretty dumb in a clip-on ponytail).
Which suggests the 52-minute interview is as good as I thought it was.
Why Hornby’s Hot
In just the last few years, Hornby:
- He adapted Cheryl Strayed’s Wild memoir into a successful movie starring Reese Witherspoon
- His latest novel has released to glowing reviews (Funny Girl)
- He adapted Colm Toibin’s novel into another critically acclaimed movie (Brooklyn)
- He’s working on a BBC TV series
Keep writing (maybe you’re next on the hot seat), Tom Chandler.