‘Descendants’ earns Scripter Award

Screenwriters, novelist honored by USC Libraries

“The Descendants” took home the 24th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award on Saturday at an elegant gala held at the historic Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library on the college’s campus.

Although director Alexander Payne was unable to attend the ceremony, screenwriters Jim Rash and Nat Faxon were on hand to accept the award with novelist Kaui Hart Hemmings.

“This is such an honor to be part of something that puts books on a pedestal,” Rash told the crowd.

Faxon, who is an actor-writer like Rash, joked about finally being able to accept Payne’s choices in actors. “I think it was a good call casting George Clooney and not me,” he conceded.

USC alumnus and Directors Guild president Taylor Hackford and his wife, Helen Mirren, served as honorary dinner chairs. Hackford spoke eloquently about the delicate balance between remaining faithful to source material and creating a compelling script.

“It’s a real artform. And so important and fragile. But don’t be too conservative,” Hackford said.

Mirren talked about how crucial the library can be for actors researching a part.

“The books in this library are far more valuable than a page on Wikipedia,” Mirren said.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis accepted the Literary Achievement Award and said of his career choice, “You’ve got to be a little emotionally unstable to be in this profession,” but added that in order to be successful writers have to embrace the “ridiculous” nature of it.

The other Scripter finalists included “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “Moneyball,” both of which are up for adapted screenplay Oscars next weekend, and “A Dangerous Method” and “Jane Eyre.”

USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan served as mistress of ceremonies and expressed feigned dismay about how few movies have shown the exciting lives of librarians. “Where are all the library movies?” she asked, garnering laughs from the audience.

More Scene

  • Magic Johnson, Larry Bird

    Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Robin Roberts Honored at 2019 NBA Awards

    The NBA went Hollywood on Monday night, mixing basketball legends with a star-studded list of presenters including Samuel L. Jackson, Tiffany Haddish and “This Is Us” star Justin Hartley at the 2019 NBA Awards. Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal hosted the third annual award show, which aired live on TNT, kicking things off with a surprise [...]

  • Naomi Watts and Gretchen Carlson'The Loudest

    ‘The Loudest Voice’ Stars Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe Talk Roger Ailes

    Roger Ailes may have been the force behind the creation of Fox News, but the late newsman’s legacy will forever be his atrocious sexual harassment of several of the network’s female anchors and producers. Showtime premiered its new limited series “The Loudest Voice,” which chronicles Ailes’ rise and fall, on Monday night at the Paris [...]

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • Bebe Rexha

    Mumford and Sons, Sting, Ciara, Bebe Rexha Light Up Cannes Lions

    There was no shortage of excellent music at the 2019 edition of Cannes Lion. The international gathering of creatives drew top music brands – among them: Spotify, Live Nation, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM/Pandora, VEVO and Universal Music Group – and a slew of well-known acts to stages across the Croissette, to villas above the city and onto [...]

  • Patrick Wilson

    Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace on Scary Stories From 'Annabelle Comes Home' Set

    Tales of spooky occurrences on the sets of horror movies like “The Exorcist” and “Poltergeist” have circulated for years, and it looks like “The Conjuring” franchise is following in their footsteps in that regard. The cast of “Annabelle Comes Home” shared their unnerving stories from set at the film’s premiere on Thursday night at the Regency [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content