The A-List: James L. Brooks on his
latest film The Edge of Seventeen
By Iain Blair
James L. Brooks, the writer/director/producer, probably has a reinforced mantelpiece in his home. If not, he could likely use one. After all, he’s Hollywood royalty —
a three-time Academy Award winner and 20-time Emmy Award-winner whose films include Broadcast News, Terms of Endearment, As Good As It Gets and Jerry Maguire.
Brooks, who began his career as a writer, produced television hits such as Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, Lou Grant and The Simpsons. He produced his newest film, The Edge of Seventeen, for writer and first-time director Kelly Fremon Craig.
A coming-of-age comedy, it stars Hailee Steinfeld and Haley Lu Richardson as inseparable best friends attempting to navigate high school. Along with acting vets Kyra Sedgwick and Woody Harrelson, the behind-the-scenes team on The Edge of Seventeen includes DP Doug Emmett (The One I Love, HBO’s Togetherness) and editor Tracy Wadmore-Smith, ACE (About Last Night, How Do You Know).
I talked to Brooks about making the film and why post is everything.
You’ve made such a diverse slate of films. What do you look for in a project?
A writer with a specific voice. That’s always the main thing.
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