Starting over is a bitch
TV series of wife dumped for new, younger model is realistic depiction of movie industry’s social mores
Kagan learns – and maybe find yourself.
It’s a realistic depiction of the industry’s social mores, said writers and executive producers Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon.
“We knew two people who were in a Hollywood marriage that broke up and knew she was off the list,” McGibbon said. “Only one of them was going to (top agent) Ed Limato’s Oscar party and it was the more famous person, even though she herself was a producer.”
Grazer’s novel has a caustically comic edge that was eased for the miniseries, the pair said. Characters and subplots also were added to expand the story.
“The book is more cynical, and when we tried to put that in the screenplay it wasn’t likeable: a billionaire woman becoming a millionaire,” McGibbon said. “We had to make her more identifiable to any woman who was dumped
because she’s no longer what the guy wants and she has to start her life over again.”
Adds Parriott: “You don’t want to write about the tragedy of the woman who can’t get her manicure appointment anymore. We had to shift to make her someone you wanted to spend six hours watching.”
Which isn’t to say the miniseries plays it entirely straight. Having a skilled comic actress like Messing allowed the writers to layer in laughs, including a rehab-centre scene that Messing and co-star Judy Davis play to the hilt.
The series also stars Stephen Moyer, who plays a free-spirited beach-comber who rescues Molly from the ocean and who could be her romantic saviour.
Grazer, who also served as an executive producer on the series, was delighted when she heard that Messing was in the starring role.
“I was like, ‘My job is done’. She’s sort of incredible,” Grazer said.
Although Grazer prides herself on her relative detachment from the industry town she chronicles, her life became grist for the gossip mill when she and her husband briefly separated in 2006 and then reunited (only to divorce in 2009 – Gigi won a $13 million settlement).
Hollywood commentators were quick to see a link.
“It was the oddest thing; art imitating life imitating art. I wrote it maybe a year before our first separation and, then, there I was. But no lifeguard in sight,” she laughed. “Hopefully, my next work isn’t about Armageddon.”
The expectation would be that Grazer got the cold shoulder during the first separation. “In my case, the opposite happened. People surprised me at how kind they are.” – Sapa-AP