Mitchell Kriegman on ‘Being Audrey Hepburn’
In Being Audrey Heburn, Clarissa Explains It All creator Mitchell Kriegman introduces us to 19-year-old Lisbeth from New Jersey, who finds herself thrust into the spotlight after being spotted in Audrey Heburn’s dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Mitchell answers our questions about this super fun read (and about Clarissa, of course!).
First of all, we are so excited you’re responsible for Clarissa Explains It All. That defined so much of who we are today. How would Clarissa and Lisbeth, the heroine of Being Audrey Hepburn, get along?
I love this question! Lisbeth – certainly at the beginning of the story – would be completely intimidated by Clarissa. Lisbeth is pretty wallflower-ish to start, even though she has lots of ideas on the inside. So many things are issues for her – especially the opposite sex. By the end of the story, I think she’d have enough confidence to talk to Clarissa and not worry. Clarissa is light years ahead of her though on some level. But mostly, on the twenty something issues of finding what you want in the world they would definitely relate. Actually, now that I think of it if Lisbeth met Clarissa, Clarissa might really help her get out of her shell.
What would you like readers to know about Being Audrey Hepburn?
There are so many things! I’d want them to know that everything in the story–as amazing and impossible as they seem–could really happen. If you wear the right dress and are smart and present yourself you can talk to anybody and make things happen. I’d want them to know that all the people and the settings are totally real including real people in the story that Lisbeth meets. I’d want them to know about the real life mystery of Audrey’s dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s – the dress from the movie doesn’t exist! The answer is in the book. I’d want them to read the book for all the hidden Audrey names, numbers, stories, lines of dialog, tons of stuff. There’s an entire meta story in their about Audrey and her life. I’d want them to know that there are lots and lots of twists – some of them a little dark – in the last 30-40 pages. I’d want them to know that so many people tell me they stay up late to finish the book because they don’t know what’s going to happen. and if I keep going, I’ll give away the whole book!
Are you as much of an Audrey fan as Lisbeth?
Nobody is a bigger fan of Audrey than Lisbeth. She’s a superfan. I’m a student and admirer.
How does your novel writing process differ from your script writing process? And how are they the same?
Novels are so great because when you write them you get to live there. Everyday. Every morning you get up for months on end and write chapters and twists and stories and characters. Screenwriting and teleplays are written to a metronome that ticks and you have to deliver. I like directing scripts more than writing them. They aren’t really an end product unless you direct them. A novel is the entire package.
What can readers expect from you next?
Hopefully they’ll really like Clarissa’s Things I Can’t Explain . I think everyone will hope I deliver and even upset everyone’s expectations about Sam, Ferg, and mostly though about Clarissa. I hope she comes back into everyone’s lives as a living, breathing, beautiful, complicated soul. That’s my greatest hope. Oh and that it’s funny. I’m working on another secret writing project which is too early to announce but it will be darker and more disturbing than what I’ve done before. I am hoping that it all comes together to do a screen version of Audrey, which is in the works. I just don’t know what kind and size screen yet! And then there are more surprises to come from some of the other shows I’ve done and maybe some new ones. I’m busy!
What books are on your own nightstand?
Ok, literally on my nightstand is: an issue of Vanity Fair, an academic study of Audrey Hepburn by Rachel Moseley, a new Rick Remender graphic novel that is amazing called Low, another graphic novel by Terry Moore called Rachel Raising that’s also amazing, and a memoir by Marion Coutts entitled Iceberg. Then in my Kindle, I have so much to catch up on: Ocean at the End of the Lane, the second and third installment of the Southern Reach series by Jeff Vandermeer and Shirley By Suzanne Merrell. I’ll never get to it all and sleep. And I really like sleeping. Dreaming even more.
Learn more and order your copy of Being Audrey Heburn here.
MITCHELL KRIEGMAN has been published in The New Yorker, The National Lampoon, New York Press, Glamour, and Harper’s Bazaar. A winner of four Emmy Awards and a Directors Guild Award, he was also a writer for Saturday Night Live. Kriegman was the creator of the classic groundbreaking television series Clarissa Explains It All, as well as the executive head writer on Ren and Stimpy, Rugrats, and Doug.
There's nothing we love more at Shelf Pleasure than a ..
Author and Shelf Pleasure contributor Karen A. Chase on how ..
One of author Mary Miley’s favorite things about being a ..
Author and police psychologist Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D., weighs the pitfalls ..
Little known fact about Shelf Pleasure's Kristen: she's obsessed with ..
Although Debbie De Louise has been a librarian and avid ..