Breakthrough director Ryan Murphy

Hollywood Awards honoree

It was 1997 when Murphy hit Daily Variety’s front page with the news that Steven Spielberg had optioned his script, “Why Can’t I Be Audrey Hepburn.” “All you need is one yes,” says the writer-turned-helmer. “There can be lots of no’s, but then the one yes.”

Four years ago, right after his series “Popular” ended and he shot the “Nip/Tuck” pilot, Murphy read reviews of Augusten Burroughs’ memoir, “Running with Scissors,” only to find, “They didn’t want me to meet with him because Oscar-winning directors were circling it. I demanded a meeting with Augusten and I guess they thought I was so crazed they said yes.”

Now with Brad Pitt as a producer, “Scissors” stars Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes and Alec Baldwin.

Murphy was intimidated by the talent but not the job. “The thing about being a movie director and showrunner for a series is they’re the same gig: The buck stops with you and you have to have leadership. I’d had a couple of years of rallying the troops mode and this felt similar to me.”

Of Bening, he says, “It is the most difficult role of her career, playing a bipolar manic depressive lesbian bisexual poet. She was incredibly well prepared.”

Next up, the kid who was president of the Meryl Streep Fan Club at Indiana U. will direct Streep — and Bening and Sharon Stone and Paltrow — in the women-of-Watergate drama “Dirty Tricks.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety