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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)

NH: And no boob jobs, right?

MH: And no boob jobs.

NH: And also they can't be muscular, right?

MH: Right, no gym.

One reason you've been able to make the films you've made is that you've had lucrative careers directing television. Is the television business different from the movie business?

NH: I had a really great experience with "Six Feet Under" and a really great experience with "Sex and the City." And good experiences with pilots. I really only had one bad experience on a television show, but I'm just so [bleeping] sensitive that I don't handle it well. I felt like there was no support, nobody was happy, it just was a really bad vibe and I thought, 'Life is too short to do this.' But when it's good, it's great, so I'm just more cautious.

MH: I had a very bad experience [recently] with a director of photography. I had an experience I've never had before; I went home one night and cried in my hotel room. I had asked him to change a lens and he refused.

NH: Oh my God, were the producers there?

MH: No, and I was so humiliated, I actually said, 'Call the producers to the set.' So they made him apologize. But I was treated very badly, and it affected the whole attitude of the crew towards me. There was one point before that lens-change thing where I asked him to move the camera, and he wouldn't move the camera. I said, I want to see the shot from back here. It was a scene with [an actress I'd worked with before] and finally she said, "Move the camera and show her the damn shot."

NH: [gasps] Good for her. Wow. . . . These things matter. If this D.P. was still there I wouldn't work on that show.

MH: No, you wouldn't want to work on that show. And to be honest, not changing a lens, that would not have happened if I was a guy. You would never say no to a male director. It's outrageous. . . . But Nicole and I would be on the streets without television. We are profoundly grateful both to television and the Directors Guild for collecting those wonderful paychecks. In fact, I have a meeting on "Prison Break," which I'm all excited about. . . . [It's filmed in Chicago] so it might be difficult. I may have to make special pleadings. But it's the summer so hopefully the family could come. My kids love hotel swimming pools.

NH: Of course! And the beds and the room service and --

MH: When I did "Big Love," it was in Valencia, and we stayed in the Marriott Courtyard, which is by the highway, and the kids are still talking about it.

NH: "Mommy's rich!"

MH: In the morning there's a buffet breakfast, and they thought it was the most exciting thing. They always say, "When are we going back there?"

NH: To Valencia.

MH: Yeah. By the freeway.

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