×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kahn : ‘Perfect’ ending to classic Hollywood story

10 Screenwriters to Watch 2011: Lauryn Kahn

Last year, Lauryn Kahn was making her living as an assistant to multi-hyphenate Adam McKay of Gary Sanchez Prods., a shingle he co-owns with Will Ferrell. Last month, Kahn sold her comedy spec “He’s Fuckin’ Perfect” to Fox 2000 in a deal that is reportedly worth $1 million. Emma Stone is attached to star.

Kahn’s life is about to get a lot more interesting, but she admits the transition has taken some getting used to. “I’m still working out of the Gary Sanchez office and people keep saying things like, ‘Stop ordering lunch for everyone!’?”

After becoming McKay’s assistant five years ago, it didn’t take long for Kahn to realize that it was more than just a job; it was also a priceless opportunity to learn. “Every day was an improv lesson,” says the WME client.

If the office was her school, then McKay was her teacher. He saw a lot of comedic potential in the woman who was in charge of keeping his schedule, and encouraged her to enroll in improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade. Soon after, Kahn found herself writing, directing and appearing in shorts on FunnyorDie.com, the website founded by McKay and Ferrell.

Popular on Variety

After selling an untitled pilot a year and a half ago, Kahn began work on the outline for what would become “He’s Fuckin’ Perfect.” McKay read it, gave her notes, and then suggested she write the spec herself. “He told me, ‘The outline is really strong and you’ll have more creative control, so just do it.’ ”

He also gave her another piece of advice. “He said, ‘When you pay your $13 and sit down in a movie theater, what do you want to see? That’s what you write. Not what you think is gonna sell. Not what you think is gonna be big. Write what you want to see.’ ”

In the end, Kahn took McKay’s advice and wrote and sold the movie she wanted to see.

Now if Kahn could just stop ordering food for the rest of the office.

TEN SCREENWRITERS TO WATCH 2011:
Josh Appelbaum & Andrew Nemec | Jay Baruchel & Jesse Chabot | Justin Britt-Gibson | Neil Cross | Andrew Haigh | Kurt Johnstad | Lauryn Kahn | Paula Pell | Jon Spaihts | Brian Yorkey

More Film

  • My Zoe

    'My Zoe': Film Review

    There are two films in Julie Delpy’s ambitious, sharply-made but unbalanced “My Zoe.” There’s the scabrous relationship melodrama, about bitter exes sharing custody of a beloved child, which contains the story’s most potent emotions. And there’s the sci-fi-inflected ethical-dilemma grief movie, which houses its most provocative ideas. Both have much to recommend them, not least [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    The Big Lie of 'Richard Jewell' (Column)

    For a man who was so enraged at the administration of Barack Obama that he spent his 2012 Republican Convention speech lecturing an empty chair, Clint Eastwood has made a number of conventional, level-headed — one might even say liberal — political dramas. Films like “Invictus” and “J. Edgar” and “Midnight in the Garden of [...]

  • Oscar Isaac Star Wars The Rise

    Oscar Isaac Has Never Felt Like a 'Star Wars' Insider

    Unlike his “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” co-stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, Oscar Isaac had already established a long and acclaimed acting career before J.J. Abrams cast him as ace X-wing pilot Poe Dameron in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” including standout roles in 2006’s “The Nativity Story” and 2011’s “Drive,” and [...]

  • Les Arcs to Showcase New Projects

    Les Arcs to Showcase New Projects by Jonas Alexander Arnby, Agnieszka Smoczyńska

    Denmark’s Jonas Alexander Arnby, France’s Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, and Poland’s Agnieszka Smoczyńska are among up-and-coming directors from across Europe whose latest projects will be presented at the 11th Coproduction Village of Les Arcs Film Festival. This edition of Les Arcs Coproduction Village will showcase a total of 22 European projects spanning 19 countries. [...]

  • Chez Jolie Coiffure

    Film Review: 'Chez Jolie Coiffure'

    Shortly before the credits roll on “Chez Jolie Coiffure,” a customer in the eponymous hair salon asks her stylist, Sabine, if she has any plans to go home this year. Out of context, this sounds like the kind of standard, empty small talk one often makes while having one’s hair cut: what good movies you’ve [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content