Nancy Meyers is late. Since her first film, 1980’s Private Benjamin, she’s never gone more than five years without writing and/or directing a new one—and she usually just needs two or three. But it’s been six years since It’s Complicated, so a new Meyers joint is—to many—reason to rejoice. Mostly because, ahhhhhhhh oh my god more beautiful kitchens, but also because, ahhhhhhh oh my god more Nancy Meyers interviews!
She sat down with New York Magazine for a lengthy chat in which she discussed the return of “girl power,” her love for The Bachelorette, and why The Intern was the hardest movie she’s ever written.
On how “men have gone from men to boys and women have gone from girls to women”:
They’ll wear like the same T-shirt, same kind of shorts, same sneakers, and I just remember when men didn’t dress like their 4-year-olds...It’s a problem...And Hollywood has done its part in the last ten years of selling that guy as a leading man. And he’s not. The childish man who can still get the interesting, smart women? And people say I write aspirational
On not writing another romance, and why The Intern is not a romcom:
I never wanted to write another scene in a restaurant between a man and a woman. I think David Mamet said, “There’s always the scene in a restaurant where the woman gets to talk.” I just didn’t have it in me to write one more of those things...And I felt I’d covered that subject pretty well.
On the difference between male and female leads:
Over the years, it’s been hard to get male movie stars to be in a movie if a woman’s the lead, where a great, great movie star, a woman, will be in a movie where the man’s the lead. So there’s just not parity there, we’re not on equal footing.
On Mel Gibson:
He was [a flirt]. But he flirted in the nicest way. He didn’t make anybody uncomfortable. But on the last day, he did take me in his arms and kind of bent me over, like it was Clark Gable time. He gave me a really big kiss on the lips, but just sort of like a going-away thing. I did not see it coming, and I’m sure I froze. I was just so uncool. As cool as he was was how uncool I was.
On Jack Nicholson:
I love Jack.
On Diane Keaton:
I love her. She is my friend. She’s a real asset to a person’s life.
On those HOUSES:
I know it’s there. I know I spend a lot of time on it. I like houses. You can see it from my own place. I even like paintings of interiors. If you look around my house, you’ll see there’s a lot of interior paintings...I don’t know what it is. I’m not alone in being fascinated by how people live.
On the new generation of women in Hollywood:
Tina, Lena, Amy, Mindy, Kristen Wiig — they’re all writers who have created their own shows and movies and have created a new kind of female lead....They’re a bit self-destructive and self-deprecating, but they are also adorable — sorry if that’s a word that might offend, but to me they are. Yet that’s never the card they like to play. I’m so impressed with all of them. Girl power is coming back in a really great way.
On The Bachelorette:
There is nothing more compelling.
On why she started directing (in addition to writing):
You only want to be the passenger in the car for so long.
On pitching The Intern:
My last movie was in 2009, and it’s just been a giant change between 2009 and 2015. I come along with a movie about a 70-year-old man working for a 30-year-old woman. You know, I can’t get Channing Tatum in this. And there are no really big women movie stars except for a couple of obvious ones that get movies made. The rest of them all fight for the same few parts. Anyway, it was hard.
On female directors:
Women can direct dinosaurs. Believe me.
It is precisely the kind of interview I wanted from Meyers—and there’s a beautiful Hamptons estate of gems in the full piece that I didn’t include here.
Nancy Meyers may have given me a childhood of expecting way way way too much out of my adulthood, but I don’t begrudge her for it. Not one little bit.
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