Hilary Winston: ‘Community’ writer makes good use of bad breakups

10 TV Scribes to Watch

Breakups have led to breakthroughs for comedy scribe Hilary Winston.

Winston, who recently joined the staff of ABC’s “Happy Endings,” got her first major writing gig (on “My Name Is Earl”) when a pilot she wrote in the wake of a romantic split impressed “Earl” creator Greg Garcia, who brought her on for the show’s entire run.

“I poured everything I had into that pilot — my point of view, what I thought my comedy was,” Winston says. “And Greg was like, ‘I have to have this person on my show.’ It was so amazing to feel discovered like that.”

For the past two years, she’s been a co-executive producer on “Community,” where the same spirit of go-for-broke self-disclosure served her well. “It was a show about putting everything out there at the risk of falling on our faces,” says Winston. “We never backed down from anything.”

So when she came across a novel by another ex, in which she was referred to as “my fat-assed girlfriend,” she didn’t hesitate. She spun her feelings into a collection of personal essays titled “My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me.” It led to a sale of movie rights to Paramount and her first screenplay deal.

Even so, Winston isn’t about to forsake the smallscreen.

“The staffs I worked with helped shape my book — they’d listen to my stories, and help me see what the punchlines were,” she says. “When people talk about leaving TV for features, I think, ‘How could you ever give up the writers room?’ It’s a really magical place. And for me, it’s free therapy.”

Rising writers take biggest step
Alex Cary | Whitney Cummings | Lena Dunham | John Enbom | David Hudgins | Rolin Jones | Kyle Killen | Chris Provenzano | Emily Spivey | Hilary Winston

Filed Under:

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:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 TV News from Variety