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As an author and screenwriter, Nora Ephron was lauded for the words that she put into the mouths of others. So often, the lines were whip-smart, flirtatious and subtly-yet-irrevocably groundshifting, which came as no surprise; for every great remark from a Harry and Sally, Ephron had a crackling and unique line of her own.
“Most directors, I discovered, need to be convinced that the screenplay they’re going to direct has something to do with them. And this is a tricky thing if you write screenplays where women have parts that are equal to or greater than the male part. And I thought, ‘Why am I out there looking for directors?’ — because you look at a list of directors, it’s all boys. It certainly was when I started as a screenwriter. So I thought, ‘I’m just gonna become a director and that’ll make it easier.'”
“I thought [New York] was going to be the most magical, fraught-with-possibility place; a place where if you really wanted something you might be able to get it; a place where I’d be surrounded by people I was dying to know. And I turned out to be right.”
“Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.”
“Stare at me in this faceless way, go mad with desire, and rip my clothes off. It’s terrific. In my sex fantasy, nobody ever loves me for my mind.”
“[Hollywood] is a very male business, and it has in vast portions of it — the whole action movie part of it might as well be the United States Army in 1943 in that the ethics of it are, you know, boot camp and action movies and guns and explosions and all the rest of it, and that – so that means that about 50 percent of the business is not only pretty much closed off to women, but women don’t even wanna be in it!”
“[A successful parent is one] who raises a child who grows up and is able to pay for his or her own psychoanalysis.”
“I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.”
“This is the season when a clutch of successful women — who have it all — give speeches to women like you and say, to be perfectly honest, you can’t have it all. Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands.” – From Ephron’s 1996 commencement speech at Wellesly College, her alma mater.
“Everybody dies. There’s nothing you can do about it. Whether or not you eat six almonds a day. Whether or not you believe in God.
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