‘The Good House’, interview with writer Ann Leary

US author talks about the film adaptation of her novel with Meryl Streep, writing with husband comedian Denis Leary and her battles with alcohol.

“I realised from a young age that I drank differently from everyone else” says American author Ann Leary.

Her latest novel The New York Times bestseller The Good House which is being adapted to screen with Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro follows the life of a middle aged divorced woman whose drinking has spiralled out of control.

Unlike her main character Hildy, Ann Leary’s family (she’s married to comedian Denis Leary) did not stage an intervention.

But her drinking was a problem, Ms Leary tells The Green Room.

“In my own experience I blacked out from the first time I drank. I wouldn’t remember hours. And it wouldn’t be hours just sleeping, it would be hours at parties where I was chatting to people and afterwards not remembering anything.”

The writer took action herself and gave up drinking for good a few years ago.

Leary does most of her writing at home in Connecticut which proved problematic this summer when husband comedian and actor Denis Leary decided he would write there too.

“It was almost like a contest. He’s writing downstairs and I’m upstairs and he’ll ask ‘how’s the writing going’?  I’d know from his tone, he’d written a bunch of pages”

Eventually I said ‘this is the deal, just assume the writing is not going very well unless I say otherwise. Just don’t keep asking’. He went away for four weeks and I wrote about 100 pages, it was amazing.”


Listen to the interview


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