The Write Stuff interview series continues this week with Nancy Oliver. Nancy got her big break writing for one of my all-time favorite television shows -- Six Feet Under. She also wrote the script for the wonderful new film Lars and the Real Girl. The movie is about a young man named Lars (Ryan Gosling), his relationship with a sex doll, and how it affects those around him. Lars is in theaters now.
Cinematical: Take us through how you got your start as a writer.
Nancy Oliver: I have always written, since I was a little girl. I would rather have been a rock star, but that didn't work out. I got serious about it when I was about 21, which was a while ago. I had seen Saturday Night Live, and at the time I was acting in college, but nobody was casting me because I was totally wrong for everything. So seeing SNL, I started thinking I could do that. Alan Ball and I were friends in college so we put on our first show together and it took off from there. We had a theater company for a long time, and wrote and produced all our material.
Cinematical: Was the desire ever to get into another medium or would you have been happy doing that the rest of your life?
NO: I was interested in every kind of writing. I was possessed by theater because I had the means to do it, whereas to get to a camera is a different sort of path. I didn't head specifically for television or film until I had sort of already turned myself into a writer. I wanted to have a certain command of what I did and a certain knowledge of styles, and I just wanted to be able to handle myself technically and in terms of craft before I came to L.A.
Cinematical: And Six Feet Under was your first television gig? How did you get on there?
NO: Yeah, it was my first legit job. I had been writing content for the website for a year, and I had a job reading scripts for Alan. After the first two seasons, they changed up the writing staff, and I came on in the third season. We had worked together for over 20 years, but the job came as a big surprise to me. I didn't expect it and didn't go looking for it. And I was actually going back to Florida at the time, giving up on show business when the Six Feet Under job came through.