Three of my favorite people: Nora Ephron, Meryl Streep and Erin Carlson- what do they all have in common aside from Meryl starring in a few of Nora’s films? They both are the subject of Erin’s two AH-mazing books- I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy and Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep , two perfect literary escapes during this unknown and scary time. I have said it once and I will say it again, books are the best remedy while surviving this pandemic and Erin has chosen two women who not only provide fabulous content for her books, but are the cherry on the sundae for cinematic relief. I promise you any film choice from these two icons will be life changing and picking up these two books, well you can thank me later. Thanks Erin, for taking the time to be my latest Open Book and answering the questions us Nora and Meryl fans need to know ❤
I’ll Have What She’s Having ~ How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy via Amazon
A backstage look at the making of Nora Ephron’s revered trilogy–When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle–which brought romantic comedies back to the fore, and an intimate portrait of the beloved writer/director who inspired a generation of Hollywood women, from Mindy Kaling to Lena Dunham.
In I’ll Have What She’s Having entertainment journalist Erin Carlson tells the story of the real Nora Ephron and how she reinvented the romcom through her trio of instant classics. With a cast of famous faces including Rob Reiner, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Billy Crystal, Carlson takes readers on a rollicking, revelatory trip to Ephron’s New York City, where reality took a backseat to romance and Ephron–who always knew what she wanted and how she wanted it–ruled the set with an attention to detail that made her actors feel safe but sometimes exasperated crew members.
Along the way, Carlson examines how Ephron explored in the cinema answers to the questions that plagued her own romantic life and how she regained faith in love after one broken engagement and two failed marriages. Carlson also explores countless other questions Ephron’s fans have wondered about: What sparked Reiner to snap out of his bachelor blues during the making of When Harry Met Sally? Why was Ryan, a gifted comedian trapped in the body of a fairytale princess, not the first choice for the role? After she and Hanks each separatel balked at playing Mail’s Kathleen Kelly and Sleepless‘ Sam Baldwin, what changed their minds? And perhaps most importantly: What was Dave Chappelle doing … in a turtleneck? An intimate portrait of a one of America’s most iconic filmmakers and a look behind the scenes of her crowning achievements, I’ll Have What She’s Having is a vivid account of the days and nights when Ephron, along with assorted cynical collaborators, learned to show her heart on the screen.
Queen Meryl ~ The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds and legendary life of Meryl Streep via Amazon
A captivating and inspiring portrait of legendary actress Meryl Streep and her work, Queen Meryl explores the fearless icon’s trailblazing roles in film, her feminist activism, and the indelible mark she’s left on pop culture.
Meryl Streep is the most celebrated actress of our time. She’s a chameleon who disappears fully into each character she plays. She never tackles the same role twice. Instead, she leverages her rarified platform to channel a range of dynamic, complicated women–Joanna Kramer, Karen Silkwood, Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Katharine Graham–rather than limit herself to marginal roles for which other actresses must settle: Supportive Wife. Supportive Mother. Supportive Yet Utterly Disposable Love Interest. Streep will have none of that.
The once-awkward, frizzy-haired suburban teen blossomed into a rising ingénue on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama. She came of age during the women’s movement of the ’60s and ’70s, and has worn her activism on her sleeve even when it was unfashionable. When she reached 40, the age when many leading ladies fade away, Streep plunged forward, taking her pick of parts that interested her and winning a pile of awards along the way. Meanwhile, she remained an unlikely box-office draw, her clout even managing to grow with age: The Devil Wears Prada, starring Streep as the Anna Wintour avatar Miranda Priestly, scored $326 million worldwide.
Journalist and author Erin Carlson documents all of Streep’s Oscars, accents, causes, memes, friendships, and feuds; also exploring the “off-brand” forays into action-adventure (The River Wild) and musicals (Mamma Mia!), and how Streep managed to sneak her feminism into each character. In the spirit of nontraditional bestsellers like Notorious RBG and The Tao of Bill Murray, Queen Meryl is illustrated by artist Justin Teodoro and filled with fascinating lists and sidebars, delivering joy in homage to its unique and brilliant subject.
- What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?
Nora Ephron and Meryl Streep, of course! Plus, Oprah — for her good humor and great taste in books that make people think and feel all the feels.
- Current binge series?
My husband and I are watching old episodes of “30 Rock,” the critically acclaimed NBC comedy starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Dave has never seen the show, so I love seeing him belly-laugh at witty lines such as, “Never go with a hippie to a second location.”
- Last favorite book?
I loved The Herd by Andrea Bartz!
- What 3 things are a must for your purse? What type of bag do you carry?
I love my tan Phillip Lim 3.1 bucket bag, circa 2017. I never leave home without Fresh tinted lip balm, my iPhone and a hair tie, in case I want to do a ponytail!
- Must read magazine or newspaper column?
I love New York Magazine — the best ever.
- Last movie you saw?
Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
- Favorite or film you read/watched while researching Meryl and Nora?
Nora’s You’ve Got Mail is my ultimate, but I’ll always adore The Bridges of Madison County — an enduring love story that never fails to leave me in tears. Who doesn’t love a good cry every once in a while?
- Funnest fact you found out about Nora Ephron?
When researching the making of You’ve Got Mail, I learned from my interview with Greg Kinnear that director Nora and star Meg Ryan would crack each other up on the set, so deep was their mutual affection for one another. Meg was always dissolving into giggle fits while filming. Nora kept the mood on her movies as lighthearted and fun as her classic romantic comedies.
- Top 3 favorite blogs?
I love Cup of Jo, Jezebel and sometimes I still check up on EV Grieve, the blog chronicling life in the East Village, my former neighborhood in New York City. The latter is so esoteric that it will be really confusing to those who haven’t lived there, but I love it!
- Describe your writing space?
The desk in my office is fairly clean and uncluttered. I’m very easily distracted, and a minimalistic space helps me focus on writing.
- White, Red, Rose or no way?
Rose, all the way!
- Do you have a favorite book that you gift?
I love Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill. Perhaps I should rethink my definition of “gift.” The book is dark, but it’s a masterpiece told in Ronan’s engrossing self-deprecating narrative style. 10/10, would recommend.
- Current book that you wished they would make a movie out of in which Meryl would star and which character would she be?
I would love Meryl to play antihero and historical figure Thomas Cromwell in Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror & The Light. Come on, she can do anything! Play any character! And she loves a challenge.
- Top 5 favorite Meryl movies? Number 1 favorite Nora movie?
My No. 1 Nora movie is You’ve Got Mail, hands down. As for Meryl, here are my top five: The Devil Wear Prada, The Bridges of Madison County, Julie & Julia, Doubt and Silkwood.
- Current must have beauty product?
I love Goop’s Enriching Face Oil. It smells like a summer meadow in Tuscany, and leaves your skin soft and glowing.
- Royals- yes or no? If so, who is your favorite?
YES. I’m partial to Queen Elizabeth, but I love Meghan Markle, too.
- Favorite Instagram influencer?
Laura Brown, the editor of InStyle, is a great follow on Instagram. She’s funny, charming and doesn’t take herself too seriously.
- If you could name just one lipstick after a Meryl Streep movie, what would you call it and what shade would it be?
Using “The Devil Wears Prada” as inspiration, I would name a lipstick after Miranda Priestly’s withering insult, “Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.” The lipstick color would be rose pink.
- Current #TBR pile?
Rebecca Serle’s “In Five Years,” Andre Aciman’s “Find Me” and Delia Owens’ “Where the Crawdads Sing.” (I know, I know. I’m the last person to read this book!)
- Best advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing! The most important thing is persistence; if you’re working on a novel, carve aside time each day to write. It can be 500 words a day, or 200! Every little bit counts. If you write every day, in a year or less, you’ll have a manuscript. And that’s something to look forward to as you’re following an outline or making it up as you go along. If you need help with plotting, there’s no better guide than Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, which has proved invaluable as I write my debut novel, a romantic comedy.
- Favorite Nora Ephron book?
Heartburn is a classic. Delicious and vicious!
- Favorite Meryl Streep red carpet moment?
Meryl looked luminous in a vintage-style Chris March gown at the 2010 Oscars, proving that starlets come and go, but she will always be the true queen of the red carpet.
- Tell us about your “WHY” for both of these icons to be the center of your books?
Nora and Meryl are legends who prove women can have it all: an adoring husband and family, and a fantastic career. I wanted to learn the secret to their success, and offer fans of both a manual for how to achieve it.