This is Part Two of a two-part interview with screenwriter Stewart Stern, who wrote the screenplays for Rebel Without a Cause, Sybil, and many other films. Part One of the interview covered Stern's career.
CINEMATICAL: Stewart, let's start by talking about your childhood, which profoundly impacted your writing. You and your mother never had a good relationship.
STERN: She did her best - she and my father never intended to have a baby so soon. They went on their honeymoon - boom! - she was pregnant; they never even had a chance to know each other, really, before they became parents. My mother was creative, she wanted to be an actress. She didn't really want to have a baby then. Her own mother, my Grandma Kaufman, was 47 when my mother was born; she had already used up most of her affection on the nine children she had before my mother. So my mother never learned how to be...how to be that way.
But when I made clay figures, my mother would run them off to a ceramic studio and get them glazed and fired. (Stern goes to his desk and pulls a small, green clay figure out of a drawer) This is an alligator I made as a kid...just a little clay figure, and look - she had it glazed and fired. (He hands me the figure to examine)
CINEMATICAL: It says on the bottom you were nine years old. This is remarkably well done for a nine-year-old.
STERN: I was always artistic. Marjorie (his younger sister) wasn't. She wanted to be, she tried so hard, but she just wasn't.