The Arty Semite

Watch Nora Ephron's Timeless Wit

By Simi Lampert

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To truly understand Nora Ephron, one has to see her wit and candor for oneself. We’ve compiled a few videos taken of Ephron interviews. These clips only brush the surface of her humor and wisdom. But they provide insight into the character of the woman who created some of our today’s greatest romantic comedies.

A funny thing happened on the way to elementary school today: In this 2010 interview with Author Magazine, Ephron discusses writing for the page and screen, her parents and what she would do if she couldn’t write (hint: it’s the central theme of one of her latest hits, “Julie & Julia”). Her parents wouldn’t hear their kids’ sad stories, and that, Ephron says, is how she became a writer.

At a 2004 tribute to Meryl Streep, Ephron spoke highly of her friend and frequent collaborator and explains why it’s great to have Meryl Streep play you in a movie. Full of self-deprecating jokes and spot-on lines about herself and Meryl Streep (“it’s a little depressing knowing that if you went to audition to play yourself, you would lose out to her”), Ephron manages to both steal the show and honor the work of Streep.

In this video Ephron invites Vogue critic Jeffrey Steingarten into her own kitchen to talk about food (“it’s all I care about”) and Julia Child (“she was so very amateurish at the beginning”). This brief clip explains Ephron’s Julie & Julia, and why it was the combination of everything she loved.

In 2010, Ephron answered questions about working in Hollywood and how her own personality gave rise to characters in “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” “The character most like me is Sally,” she said. “I’m very optimistic…and I make waiters unhappy.” Reading, writing, and directing are all candidly discussed by Ephron in this interview on Indigo.


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