Inspirations: Emily Perkins
Emily Perkins co-wrote the screenplay for The Rehearsal, based on Eleanor Catton’s debut novel, premiering at the NZIFF on July 23.
● The writer I most admire is… I love writers whose work contains wildness, tenderness and audacity and if I had to choose one whose humanity I find astoundingly admirable it might be Primo Levi. He endured the unspeakable and was able to share it with enormous moral courage and integrity.
● My dream holiday destination is… Kyoto, Japan. It is magical and I’d like to go there several times a year, thanks, if someone can arrange it? I’m pretty sure you could visit a different set of gardens and temples each time.
● The book that changed my life was… Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. It bridged my childhood and adult reading. I was too young to really understand it, but the craziness and humour and seriousness all created an intoxicating effect I wanted more of. Books continue to constantly change my life.
● When I need to wind down… I love to walk, either in silence or listening to any of the brilliant free podcasts that seem to me a miracle of our time. I live near Wellington’s Botanic Garden, one of my favourite places to go. You can’t avoid steep hills here, but with good listening you can distract yourself from the climb.
● I feel most calm when I… Wake up on Boxing Day – the greatest and most underrated day of the year.
● The quote that always motivates me is… “Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are. You’ve been stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender,” by Rumi.
● My most prized possession is… A photo of my dad with my sister and me when we were small, taken by my mum. She was a photographer and the pictures she took through our childhood are among my best treasures. I loved to watch the transformations that took place in the developing room, aka our garden shed.
● My advice to my 16-year-old self would be… Put down the kitchen snips and go to a proper hairdresser. And don’t smoke. You like it too much. Aside from that, carry on, don’t try to avoid any of what’s coming.
● A perfect night with friends is… I just had a weekend with old friends at the Sherwood in Queenstown, a community hotel full of heart. We were surrounded by snowy mountains and late autumn colour. Musician Nadia Reid was playing and after her set we went back to our room and drank more and talked until two. That was pretty perfect.
THE FLOWER I LIKE ON MY KITCHEN TABLE IS… SWEET PEAS. THEIR SCENT IS SO ENTICING YET FLEETING, AS IF THAT SWEETNESS IS FOREVER ON THE VERGE OF FADING AWAY.