Joel and Ethan Coen Spill Their Screenwriting Secrets to the Hollywood Reporter

The Oscar winners’ unorthodox, but highly effective approach to screenwriting by Tim Appelo in The Hollywood Reporter.

Joel and Ethan Coen flank Martin Scorsese. (AP photo)

The True Grit filmmakers explain their creative process, the usefulness of lunatic screenwriters and  why nurse sex can make good cinematic sense. Read Q&As with all 10 Oscar nominees in The Hollywood Reporter’s “Year of the Screenwriter” special issue. (Excerpt below).


The Hollywood Reporter: You never say what your work process is like. It’s a black box.

JC: We’re not in a black box. It’s a very social – other people are all around us when we’re working. Not when we’re writing.

THR: Tim Blake Nelson says you’re always passing books around your circle, your heads are always in stew of books and movies, an idea arises out of that, then you write it pretty fast.

JC: I don’t know. Head being in a stew of movies and books. I guess so, but not more than a lot of other people who have nothing to do with the movie business.

Ethan Coen: Actually, a lot of lay people probably see more movies than we do.

THR: What’s your daily work routine?

JC: We have a daily work routine in the sense that we come into the office, but I would call it a daily routine as opposed to a daily work routine. We don’t necessarily do any work when we get here.

Continue reading interview…

Or, to read even more about how the Coens made True Grit, how its $150 million success made them feel and which other Oscar nominated movie they really most wish they’d written, get THR’s “Year of the Screenwriter” special issue.

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