|Nora Ephron at Indigo|
Author. Screenwriter. Director. Jew-ish (moreso than Jewish). Bagel & Lox Lover. A New York City Girl through and through. Nora Ephron landed in Toronto today to promote her latest Book I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections, a Collection of Essays which reflect on her success and life as an Aging Woman. A v. youthful 69 years of age, Ephron sat before an intimate audience of Fans at Indigo Manulife Centre, telling some humorous stories about her Career and fielded questions afterwards.
Ephron reflected upon her experience writing and directing 2008's Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep. Despite Streep having been v. concerned with physically transforming into a six foot-tall Julia Child, Ephron felt that Streep aside from eventually looking the part, has the uncanny ability to mimic others' voices (including Ephron's), in her 1986 semi-autobiographical film Heartburn. She went on to say that Streep has a way of Acting that authentically embodies the character rather than being a "parody-of....in a Dan Akroyd type-way".
Having written some of the most important Screenplays of our time like When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, Silkwood and Sleepless in Seattle, Ephron claims modestly that the success of these films is not so much due to the Script or the Direction, but moreso the Actors. There have been times where she has lacked confidence in her own Scripts, but after seeing a talented Actor bring her work to life, jokingly she'd call herself a genius afterwards.
On her creative process, she tries to write at most four to five pages a day while in work mode. Ephron admitted that she prefers writing much more than directing in that the pressures of the Cutting Room while fun, are intense and stressful too. She feels that many Film Directors today are fearful of Writers and this if anything, hinders quality Filmmaking. She recalls the Films she saw as a child not having to go through the scrutiny and edits they do today; as an aside, she grew up in family of Filmmakers. It is for this reason that she feels Movies back then are superior than the ones being made today.
Ephron then proceeded to sign copies of I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections after an hour-long chat. I was lucky enough to get my Julie & Julia DVD signed after asking her Publicist nicely for an exception despite there being a buy-the-book requirement to get an Autograph. A number of Fans asked for Photographs with the thrice Oscar-nominated Screenwriter, although she had clarified that she was v. tired, thus denying those requests.
Host Heather Reisman of Indigo surprised Ephron by telling her that they would be having dinner with Margaret Atwood later in the evening, which she was ecstatic about as Atwood (along with Jane Austen) is one of Ephron's favourite Authors. I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections is now in stores.
View more photos of the appearance below:
(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)