'Veep,' 'Feud' Showrunners Really Want to Direct

7:00 AM 8/21/2017

by Michael O'Connell and Craig Tomashoff

Series bosses — from 'Fargo's' Noah Hawley to Ryan Murphy — discuss making the most of their helming stints: "I can hear what's missing in a scene and fix it then and there."

Ryan Murphy and David Mandel
Ryan Murphy and David Mandel
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images; Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

This story first appeared in the Aug. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

  • Noah Hawley

    Fargo (FX)

    Noah Hawley
    Noah Hawley
    Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

    "The Coen brothers are two of the best writers but also two of the best filmmakers of our generation. It's never enough to do a script for this show. By seasons two and three, the question was how to be true to their vision but also express myself. I had to become a filmmaker to tell the stories I wanted to tell."

  • Mike Judge

    Silicon Valley (HBO)

    Mike Judge
    Mike Judge
    Getty Images

    "It does help when you were there in the writing of a scene so that you understand all the intentions and motivations. If there is a scene [I'm directing] that I wasn't in the writers room for, I find myself going back and saying, 'What were you guys thinking when you wrote this?' It's good to be a part of the original idea."

  • David Mandel

    Veep (HBO)

    David Mandel
    David Mandel
    Greg Doherty/WireImage

    "Being a writer helps me direct when I talk with the actors on the set of Veep. I can explain the intent of the scene and then we can talk about how their performance can deliver on that. Also, as a writer, I can hear what's missing in a scene and fix it right then and there."

  • Ryan Murphy

    Feud (FX)

    Ryan Murphy
    Ryan Murphy
    Photographed by Miller Mobley

    "Having written the scene of Joan Crawford at the Oscars, on page it's very technical. I had to make sure Jessica Lange did the technical stuff, turning corners at the right moment but also making sure the way she walked had this combination of nerves, purpose, anticipation and fear. That's the right side of the brain. It's hard, but I love it."

  • Steven Zailian

    The Night Of (HBO)

    Steven Zailian
    Steven Zailian
    Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

    "When you shoot for 150 days, every one of them is challenging, figuring out how to shoot each scene in a way that enforces what it's about. It was a challenge keeping the whole thing in your head, especially for the three and a half years it took to write, shoot and edit this project. It was all-consuming."

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