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It’s no surprise that RADiUS, an arm of The Weinstein Company, snatched up the U.S. rights to Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette — her filmmaking debut — as the playwright-turned-screenwriter and director has close ties to the company and co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.
Having previously worked as an assistant for the production company, as well as Weinstein himself, Headland admits that the experience proved invaluable while filming her indie in New York City.
“Having that experience of working for him taught me to have the tenacity to see things through as opposed to trying to control everything and just being like, ‘this scene may be a little bit different now, because we’re improvising,’ or, ‘we’re in a different location than we thought we were gonna be in,’” she tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Headland says that among the biggest lessons Weinstein taught her was that “filmmaking is a completely collaborative process” and that “what you create is a combination of the effort of hundreds and hundreds of people.”
The result, in Hedland’s case, is a hit Sundance film starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Adam Scott and James Marsden, set to open in U.S. theaters on Sept. 6.
Headland confesses that filming in the big apple was not entirely smooth sailing, and she claims to have channeled Weinstein through one particularly challenging roadblock.
“That scene with Lizzy and Adam on the subway was shot illegally,” she admits. “We didn’t have a permit, we lost the location, and we were like, ‘we’re just gonna go to the subway and shoot it.’ To be able to roll with the punches like that is something that I definitely learned as an assistant.”
Worth noting: Headland’s latest play, Assistance, explores the “assistant’s mentality” and is likely based, at least loosely, on her own experience working at The Weinstein Company. She does not, however, ever reveal a boss or a company in the play.
“It’s mostly the idea. I just sort of thought, What’s the worst thing that could possibly happen here? If you actually wrote down a lot of the stuff that you experience in an office job, it’s really mind-numbing,” she told The Huffington Post in February.
Assistance is part of her seven deadly sins series (representing greed), from which the original Bachelorette play (representing gluttony and which the film is based on) was born in 2008.
Says co-star Rebel Wilson: “Even though this is Leslye’s first movie, I think the quality of it is really high because she had that experience being around films and movie making. So even though as a first time feature director, you wouldn’t have known it.”
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@thr.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci
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