As a general rule and always out of nowhere, Emma Forrest will say the FUNNIEST and SILLIEST things. She started her career as a professional writer when she was 15 years old and living in England. At 21, she had her first novel published and has since written and released two more. Not too shabby! In unrelated news, she looks almost EXACTLY like Keisha Castle-Hughes, the super young Oscar-nominated actress who starred in the movie Whale Rider. In fact, the two look so strikingly similar that on the evening of the 2004 Academy Awards, Emma, who also attended - received many Hi-Fives from celebrity strangers congratulating her on her most excellent work in the film. Keisha was 14 at the time, Emma was 27. Ah-mazing. In addition to this, she and Old Dirty Bastard used to be in love.
Someday if you wanted to, you could have a job just like hers.
*** Ok, so yr a full-on Brit - talk to the kidz about growing up andgetting your professional start as a writer over there in the GreatUK. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Leave no deets out!
I became a journalist when I when I was very young, fifteen when the
first story ran (a review of Erotica by Madonna). We didn't have a fax
machine at our house so my dad would DRIVE my articles to the
newspapers when I'd finished them. How amazing is that? For my school
newspaper I had interviewed Nigella Lawson who is now a chef but was
then a writer. She is the first one who suggested me to a "real"
paper, which was the London Evening Standard. The the Sunday Times
gave me my own column. I was on the road with bands that I also had photos
of on my wall: Blur, Primal Scream, Oasis. That experience led
directly to the storyline of my first novel, 'Namedropper'.
*** Did you/do you often eat the supreme English low-rent delicacy beanzand toast? Yum, delish!
When I lived in NYC I often went to Tea and Sympathy for beans on
toast. What's weird is it's something I would NEVER eat in London.
***What music moved you as a wee lady growing up there? Did you LUVRobbie Williams and his cheeze-tastic boy band Take That? Don't fib,we are old friends!
My sister and I did absolutely love Take That and the Spice Girls
until respectively, Robbie left and Geri left. But mainly I loved a
band called The Manic Street Preachers, who were unbelievably
pretentious, which is ideal for a 16 year old who thinks she's smarter
than her teachers.
***At what point and why did you decide to relocate to the States?
My mum is American so I have dual citizenship. But I came for good
when my first book, Namedropper, was published in the US. I wasn't very
happy at all in London. To go through adolescence in the public eye -
it ended up being super uncomfortable.
***We used to be next door neighbors in the West Village in New YorkCity. You had pink hair, I ate 3 to 16 Magnolia Bakery cupcakes a day.We had a super cute skateboard neighbor named Peter Sutherland.Occasionally you would call him in a tizzy to come over and killstuff. What kind of stuff was it?
Waterbugs, aka giant flying cockroaches. They thrived on my tears, as I
was about to have a nervous break down, as documented in my 2nd book
'Thin Skin'. Though it's also poss they just thrived on discarded
***So, you've written 3 books, all released by major publishing houses.Can you give us a brief synopsis of each and tell us which companypublished them? From where do you draw yr inspiration?
Well I've told you about the first two, the third was 'Cherries In The
Snow' for Crown and came from a life long love affair with make-up and
what it really represents (I say "it's like putting up expensive
wallpaper in a house that has already been condemned"). I am very
excited about my next book, 'Damage Control', due June 1st from
Harpercollins. It's an essay collection I edited on beauty obsession.
Contribs include Francesca Lia Block, Jennifer Belle, Marian Keyes,
Minnie Driver, Rose McGowan, Sarah Jones, me, tons of others. It's
very funny and very sad. Mainly just honest...
***In 2000 or so, we went on a mini-tour across Europe with Cedric andOmar of At The Drive-In's then side project, De Facto. At differentpoints in the adventure, we each got sortof soar with them. I got intoa screaming match with Omar at 3am on the streets of downtown Glasgow,Scotland - while you were way annoyed with both boys later on inLondon. Yr reason is waaay funnier than mine. What was it??? (Editorsnote: 7 years later and they still worry that she's mad. Sware!)
They taunted us with their uproarious farts.
***When you lived in Dirty NYC you worked primarily in magazine editorial- interviewing fancypants celebs and such. What mags did you writefor? Then you moved more into the writing of yr novels - and now yrliving in Los Angeles and focusing more on writing movie screenplaysand television pilots. Can you tell us a bit about this transition?
I worked for everyone ever. Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Time
Out, Guardian, NME, Interview, Blackbook, too many more. Now the only
one I've done journalism for in the last year is Conde Nast Traveller -
cos it meant taking my boyfriend's mother to a fancy spa!
***Wondering, can you tell us yr Wu-Tang story? Pretty please? Blow ourminds, go!
I fell in love with ODB. He fell in love with me. There was
no touching beyond hand holding. He gave me a Wu name: Roberta Slacks,
because I wore the same jeans for a week.
***Also, while I am guessing you can't name names - do you have any celebinterview horror stories? Have any of them ever tried to kiss yrface??
Of course they did. See above. I was seventeen and cute. Plus I just
got cuter each year as you can attest (for real, because I hated
myself less each year. Life begins at 25!) Anyway, yes I got hit on
and it was always flattering. Apart from someone like Liam Gallagher
and then you know, he has to hit on you, you even sense his boredom
whilst he's hitting on you.
***One of the screenplays you wrote recently made it onto the Hollywood"Black List" - a name that sounds super daunting but is actually quitean excellent thing. Can you tell us about what being on this listentails and what said screenplay is about? Raddest ever!
It's when the Hollywood producers and execs vote on their favorite
scripts of the year that have yet to go into production. Mine, which
we are putting together now, was up there just behind Martin McDonagh
who is my favorite writer. He wrote the play 'The Pillowman'. I don't
want to tell you what my script's about so I'll tell you what his is
about: sarcastic Irish hitmen.
***Do you think you'll evs move back to the UK??
Hell no. England exists to crush your spirit: just ask MIA, Rachel
Weisz or any of the other young Brit gals I admire who skipped town
for the US.
***Geez, yr such a talent! I wish I could be half as writesational as you.
You cannot. (Pause). You are your OWN writesation.
***Rad! My own writesation. I'll take it.
Learn more about Lady Em at: http://www.emmaforrest.com/