ShoWest Breakthrough Director of the Year: Helen Hunt<br /> <br />


Helen Hunt is no stranger to ShoWest. The Oscar-, Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning actress won the convention's Actress of the Year prize, for "As Good as It Gets," in 1998.

This time around, she returns to the ShoWest winners' circle to receive the Breakthrough Director of the Year Award for her work behind the camera as the helmer of ThinkFilm's "Then She Found Me."

She recently spoke with Shannon L. Bowen for The Hollywood Reporter about what it was like to produce, co-write and direct for the first time -- in a film in which she's also the star.

The Hollywood Reporter:
Did you know you wanted to be -- or not be -- a certain type of director?
Helen Hunt: I knew that I would be prepared because that's how I am. The best directors I've worked with know the movie they want so well that they have the courage to take suggestions from the whole team. The worst directors I've worked with (have been) too scared or insecure to hear what people had to say.

THR: Have you been thinking about directing for a long time?
Hunt: I never had an interest to direct just to direct, but as I began to feel this story in such a personal way, it became clear that it would be more work to not direct it. How would I communicate the story as I saw it to someone? That would be harder than directing it myself.

THR: You star in the film, but it's also your first time producing, co-writing a screenplay and directing.
Hunt: Yeah, it's a rookie mistake I promised myself I would never make. I promised myself I would be smart enough to not try to do all of that at once. And then it just turned out one little decision at a time -- and at the last minute that it was right for me to play the part. And someone very smart said to me, "You know, if you act in it, there will be one person in each scene who sees the movie the way you do."

THR: Do you write a lot in your personal life?
Hunt: I do, and I've just written another screenplay. I've kind of finished the big first draft of that, and I'm going to humbly go back to work on a second draft.

Will you direct again? Are you hooked?
Hunt: I think if I really feel like I felt about this one -- that I have authorship. So, if I can get this other movie I wrote made, then yes. If I read one by somebody else that I felt really personally connected to, then yes, definitely.