Nora Ephron: Stirring the Pot

Julie & Julia director-screenwriter-producer Nora Ephron addresses Julia Child's longtime homophobia and tackles the "tricky question" facing today's closeted gay actors.

BY Brandon Voss

August 06 2009 11:00 PM ET

A triple Academy Award nominee for her original screenplays Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally..., and Sleepless in Seattle, celebrated chick-flicker Nora Ephron has returned to the big screen after a four-year (post-Bewitched remake) absence to write and direct Julie & Julia, a stirring adaptation of Julie Powell's cooking memoir of the same name and Julia Child's autobiography My Life in France. (Unless you've been living in a lobster pot, you know that the film, which opens August 7, stars Meryl Streep as the famed chef and Amy Adams as the struggling writer she inspires.) More than 20 years after Ephron infamously became an accidental anti-AIDS activist, the Huffington Post blogger chats with Advocate.com about Child's well-documented homophobia — and directs gay actors on the pros and cons of coming out.

Advocate.com: How's it feel to have your name in the gay history books simply for canceling a 1987 appearance at New York's LGBT Community Center, which allowed for your substitute speaker, Larry Kramer, to make even bigger history?
Nora Ephron: Isn't that amazing? It's like that movie Sliding Doors: You think to yourself, What possible difference does it make if you're two minutes early or two minutes late to something? The major things that change your life are like the day you meet the person you fall in love with or the day you get a job that you might not have gotten. But as it turns out, one of the most important things I did was having a cold and ear infection one night and having to cancel a speech that Larry Kramer gave instead. Thrilled as I am that I get credit for Larry's having started ACT UP because of that speech, I do think it's ironic that one of my major historic contributions was just staying in bed. [Laughs] That's a little discouraging.

Do you recall what the topic of your speech was going to be that night?
I was probably just going to give my general "speech" — whatever it was during that period. I don't even think it was particularly gay-themed or anything. But Larry's was. [Laughs]

Tags: film

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