Variety’s new series, “Hollywood How-To,” will tackle all things writing, with broader conversations about everything from crafting characters to navigating the writer’s room. The second chapter — “Developing a Character” — targets creating or adapting a character for your script.
“Character, character, character!”
More from Variety
- 'Stranger Things,' 'Fleabag,' 'Watchmen' Among Peabody Award 2020 Nominations
- Damon Lindelof Explains How He Defied the 'Write What You Know' Myth on 'Watchmen'
- Script Secrets From Hollywood's Top Creators: How to Conquer Writer's Block
So how does one invent interesting and layered characters? Variety quizzed Hollywood creators, including Susannah Grant (“Unbelievable”), Janet Mock (“Pose”), Lindelof (“Watchmen”), Robin Thede (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”), Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (“Someone Great”) and Sarah Kucserka (“High Fidelity”) in hopes of learning their tricks to constructing complex creatures.
“When it comes to describing a character, I always think of the question, ‘How will we know?'” explains “Erin Brockovich” and “Ever After” screenwriter Grant. “You’ll see a character description that describes them as warm and friendly but I’m always asking, ‘How are we going to know that?’… I always think about Callie Khouri’s introduction in ‘Thelma & Louise.’ The first time you see Geena Davis’ character, she opens up the refrigerator, takes a bite of candy bar, and sticks it back in and closes the refrigerator. This is a woman who hasn’t allowed herself as much pleasure as she could have in life. It was such a smart way of showing that.”
Best of Variety
- What's Coming to Disney Plus in May 2020
- Everything Coming to Netflix in May
- 'Tiger King': Where Everyone in the Series Is Now