Sep 24, 2015 4:55 PM
Nancy Meyers: People don't see my movies for plot twists
The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) Nancy Meyers knows who she is and who she isn't.
What she isn't is a filmmaker known for high-concept, ambitious stories or action sequences and stunts.
What she is, is a producer, writer and director known for "Something's Gotta Give," ''The Holiday" and "It's Complicated" who creates well-developed characters having relationships that unfold on screen.
"You don't come to my films for that amazing plot twist," she said in a recent interview. "I'm not trying to put myself down but the plot isn't sort of what stirs it all up. "
She says characters are "Where I put my energy. I want to make them people you care about. I just want to make them people you care about so you get invested as you tell the story. You're in with me."
In her new movie, "The Intern," opening Friday, Robert De Niro plays an older man who gets an internship for senior citizens at an e-commerce company, run by Anne Hathaway's character. They form a bond and learn from one another.
Associated Press: "The Intern" doesn't spend its time making fun of Robert De Niro's character because he's older. This movie is not a "let's make fun of the elderly" movie. Was that deliberate?
Meyers: There's an initial reaction of 'Seriously? You're coming to work in a suit and you're putting out your clock and your pen and pencil set, really?' You know there's that reaction at first but as soon as they engage with (his character) without doing much, he wins a lot of people over because he's a pretty solid guy.
AP: Another hallmark of your films is you have great sets. Design blogs love your sets and post screen shots of them. How do you create them?
Meyers: It's really character driven. ... I do a lot of this work now on Pinterest so I now have Pinterest boards, you know, if anyone wants to look at them, you'll see exactly how I developed it. 'This is the look I wanted.' (Hathaway's character) lives in Brooklyn. I kind of try to figure out how much money she makes so, how much would she be able to spend on furniture. You know, so there's Restoration Hardware and there's some things from Pottery Barn and then there's a nice piece and her arts are prints.
She's not a woman with original artwork in her house but she's got an eye. I kind of imagined that this person maybe had a friend that helped her do this because she's so busy. And when we were doing Bob's house, for example, all I ever cared about is I wanted to feel his wife in this house. He was married for 40 years. So, when he's in the kitchen there are lots of dishes and things that you know he didn't (buy). I said, 'This is not a bachelor pad. Don't give me a bachelor pad. This is a widower's home.' So it really comes from character and then from there when they show me, 'Do you like this or this?' I'll pick this and then it ends up being, you know, we do get a color palette and a lot of work's put into it but honestly, it's character-based."
AP: There's talk of a remake of "Private Benjamin" starring Rebel Wilson. What do you think of that? (Meyers co-wrote the original starring Goldie Hawn.)
Meyers: I've heard about it. Not crazy about the idea. Hope that ours remains the one and only 'Private Benjamin.' I don't think every movie has to get remade.
AP: Do you know what your next project will be?
Meyers: I actually do. It's a film with Steve Martin.
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