‘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

Rumored project: Meryl Streep and Sridevi together in Cowboys and Indians?

Wall and Leider are in the process of getting together three-time Oscar winner and eight-time Golden Globe winner, Meryl Streep, with our own powerhouse performer, Padma Shri Sridevi, the winner of five Filmfare Awards. Our source indicates that the film is titled Cowboys And Indians and will be directed by 43-year-old Amy Redford, daughter of Hollywood legend, Robert Redford.

Sixty three-year-old Meryl and 50-year-old Sri are reportedly being considered for stellar roles — one representing the cowboys and the other, heading the Indians. As we write, Meryl has “shown interest” and so has Sri. The B-Town diva was last seen in English Vinglish (2012) and her superlative performance in the film is perhaps one of the reasons for her being considered for the prestigious project.

Sri, we hear, is in the process of reading the screenplay. Her manager,Punkej Kharbanda, said, “Yes, we are happy to have received a communication about a project with Ms. Meryl Streep.”


Screen queen Meryl Streep is expected in South Africa in a month’s time to start shooting her new film, The Giver

Streep due in Mother City to shoot film

The film is actor and producer Jeff Bridges‘ adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1993 classic children’s novel of the same name.

The Cape Film Commission’s CEO, Denis Lillie, said he had met executives from the Weinstein Company in New York earlier this year to discuss the possibility of the deal.

Months later, and the 64-year-old is on her way to Mzansi.

Lillie said yesterday: “We are expecting them here [Cape Town] towards the end of September. We anticipate they will be shooting for six to eight weeks, depending on weather and locations.”

He said Durban had been mentioned in talks, although “they haven’t clarified this with us yet”.

The film reportedly centres on 12-year-old Jonas’s gradual disillusionment with an outwardly utopian futuristic society. Streep will play the film’s chief elder, who is “the authoritarian charged with keeping order”.

The deal is another coup for the Mother City, with Hollywood films shot in the city including Morgan Freeman-fronted Invictus, Safe House starring Denzel Washington and Zulu, starring Orlando Bloom. The upcoming Long Walk To Freedom, led by Idris Elba, was also shot in Cape Town.

Streep has won three Oscars, two Emmys, eight Golden Globes, two Baftas and two SAGs.


Exclusive Oscars news: Meryl Streep drops to supporting, takes on Oprah

Get ready for the ultimate diva smackdown at the next Oscars: Meryl Streep (“August: Osage County”) vs. Oprah Winfrey

Two years after winning Best Actress for “The Iron Lady,” Streep has agreed to drop down to the supporting race for her role as Violet, the pill-popping, booze-swilling momma in “August: Osage County,” a Weinstein Company source tells Gold Derby. That means Streep will compete against Oprah as the hooch-guzzling wife of the title star of “The Butler.”

Streep’s move is a shockeroo considering that role won Best Actress at the 2008 Tony Awards when Deanna Dunagan performed it on Broadway. Dunagan beat her costar Amy Morton, who portrayed Violet’s frazzled daughter Barbara. Now Julia Roberts, in the role of Barbara on screen, seems to have a clearer shot at a Best Actress victory without risking a split of “August” votes in that category. Roberts won the Best Actress Oscar in 2000 for “Erin Brockovich.” Oprah has never won an Academy Award, but was nominated in the supporting slot for “The Color Purple” (1985).

Streep has three Oscars: one for supporting (“Kramer vs. Kramer,”1979 ) and two for lead (“Sophie’s Choice” in 1982, “Iron Lady” in 2011). If she pulls off one more victory, she will tie Katharine Hepburn for most wins (four). Streep already holds the record for most nominations (17).

Streep’s gracious move may be good news for Roberts, but it’s rotten luck for “August” costar Margo Martindale, who portrays the role of Violet’s sister Mattie, which won the Tony Award for Best Featured (or Supporting) Actress for Rondi Reed on stage. Now past Emmy champ Martindale (“Justified”) must not only face off against Oprah, but Streep, too.


Meryl Streep circles Weinstein’s ‘The Giver’

EXCLUSIVE: Meryl Streep is poised to join Jeff Bridges and a fast growing cast in The Giver, an adaptation of the Lois Lowry novel that Phil Noyce will direct. Streep is in talks to join a shoot that starts in eight weeks in South Africa, in a co-production between The Weinstein Company and Walden Media. While there has been a plethora of movies involving dystopian young adult novel storylines, The Giver was ahead of its time, winning the Newbery medal in 1994. It was also a book widely read in Harvey Weinstein’s household by his daughters.

Streep will play the chief elder, the authoritarian charged with keeping order in a society that seems utopian. That control is endangered when a young man (Brenton Thwaites) is chosen to be the receiver of memories of life before the “sameness” movement which numbed the population and created conformism. Bridges plays the title character who delivers those memories that unlock a rebellion in the young man. The film is casting quickly, but landing Streep is certainly a coup for the film. Bridges and Nikki Silver are producing and Dylan Sellers and Julie Rapaport are running point on the picture for The Weinstein Company. CAA reps Streep.


Meryl Streep Circles Weinstein’s ‘The Giver’

Pic currently stars Jeff Bridges

Meryl Streep is in talks to join the cast of the Weinstein Company and Walden Media’s adaptation of The Giver starring Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites.

Phil Noyce is directing with Bridges and Nikki Silver producing.

Story is based on the popular Lois Lowry young adult novel which is set in a dystopian world that is uprooted when a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world. Streep would be playing the Chief Elder who keeps things in control.

Production is set to start this fall.

The CAA-repped Streep can be seen next in Weinstein’s August: Osage County.

Deadline Hollywood broke the news.