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Women of Independent Miens

Nicole Holofcener, director of the film
Nicole Holofcener, director of the film "Friends With Money," made a splash at Sundance 10 years ago with her debut, "Walking and Talking." (Lucian Perkins - The Washington Post)

MH: But then I got offered a lot of serial killer movies. I was just looking at the reviews of "Basic Instinct 2" and I realized that when that script was circulating around a few years ago, I got sent that script. Which was a crazy girl and a serial killer. Then they decided to make it into an "Instinct" movie, but it wasn't that when it was circulating, I don't think.

NH: I just got offered to rewrite a script about a girl whose mother's getting married and she's jealous. It's just like "Walking and Talking." It's like, oh my God, I've done this. I'm the marriage-freak-out-single-girl writer, even this many years later.

Both of you married filmmakers. Has competition been an issue? How do you resolve those tensions?

MH: You know, my husband [writer-director John Walsh] does romantic comedies and it's hard for him, too. . . . It's also about my stuff maybe being higher-profile. He's very good about it, and he's kind of, he doesn't get insecure, I think it's a test of character for him, definitely [laughs]. We've actually written a TV pilot that we're showing to people now. There are a lot of things you have to work on, you don't want to get into the situation where one person feels they're doing all the work with the kids or that they're carrying everything while you go off and have glamorous movie time.

NH: It's harder to take care of kids than it is to make a movie. Right?

MH: Right.

What about you, Nicole?

NH: Well, I'm separated. We were both struggling filmmakers and I stopped struggling and he continued to struggle. That's certainly not why we're separated, I think plenty of couples -- hopefully your couple, Mary -- can survive that. . . . But I have friends who made movies when I made my first movie, men, who are still struggling to make their next movie. So it's not like men have it easy.

MH: No, that's absolutely true. Really talented people make great first movies. And are still trying to make those kinds of movies. So yeah, I think we probably both feel lucky that we've managed to get to the third. . . . Although Nicole, don't you think that now that the kids are older, now that they're in school, I think, 'Can we shorten this gap now? So the next one doesn't take five years?' I would like that.

NH: I know, me too. I know. As long as I shoot it in town, because I can't go anywhere with them now that they're in school and having lives. I don't want it to be five years. But I don't have any ideas for my next movie. That's what takes me so long.

How did you come up for the idea for "Friends With Money"?

NH: Nothing in particular, except that I was very aware of the disparity of incomes in all my friends and how it made me feel ashamed -- ashamed when I cared, ashamed when I was materialistic, jealous when I didn't have it, guilty when I did -- and that all my friends and family feel the same way and we're all so screwed up about money.


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