THE HOLIDAY - Q&A with director Nancy Meyers
NANCY MEYERS - director / writer / producer
You are well established as the expert in this genre. What is it about romantic comedy that fires up your creative juices?
NM: I like writing about men and women and their relationships and my own nature is to be optimistic and so it ends up that way. Sometimes I look at the movies I've made and I think they could be tragedies if they weren't comedies - but that's the source of all comedy anyway. So I start from a pretty real place and then I try to make it complicated and, as I said, my own nature is to be optimistic, so it starts to go up instead of go down. But sometimes I think that somebody could take my same story and completely turn it into a drama. But my nature is not to be that way. The glass is half full - at least in films.
You seem to suggest in the film that today it is even harder for men and women to find true, lasting romance?
NM: Yeah, it is hard. If you ever go online and see the amount of websites for people to meet one another ... I think that everybody is so isolated in their own world and they spend more time with their computers than they do with other people. It is hard. The world is bigger and it is harder and maybe people are more aware of their problems. Maybe years ago you could get over things but now everyone is so clear about themselves and what their issues are that it makes it more difficult for everybody to take the leap.
What feedback have you had from women who have seen the film?
NM: We had three previews in Los Angeles and they embraced it. People think I make chick flicks but you can't have a chick flick without a man to fall in love with.
And in THE HOLIDAY you have Jude Law as a man who is not afraid to cry?
NM: He is not afraid to cry! On the set I had actually anticipated that Jude might hold back a little bit and not go for it but when we got to the big scene when he cried I took a little look at him and saw him sobbing in the corner of the set and I thought yes, hurry, roll the cameras!
It is Jude's first romantic comedy and the first time that Kate Winslet has done a romantic comedy. Were you aware that Kate was nervous?
NM: No, if you know Kate you don't ever see her being nervous about anything. She is definitely the girl you want in an emergency. You could go camping with her. She's strong. So I did not perceive that. Later she told me and her reaction to making the film was surprising. The first few times Kate saw me at the monitor with my headphones on and I was laughing at her performance, I saw the look in her eyes that said she thought she'd done something wrong. So I told her it was a good thing that I was laughing.
You use music a lot in the making of your movies?
NM: Even when they are on the set acting I play music and they seem to like it. At first they are a little surprised that I play so much music on the set. Sometimes I play it till the second that they speak and then I'll turn it off and then when they are not speaking I turn it back on again. They have grown to like it and it is helpful; when we see a movie there is music. And we all know that feeling when we hear a certain song and it lifts our spirit. You do the same scene over and over and music can jolt people's energy a little bit when you are half way through the day. Cameron has to cry in the movie and it is a big movie so we played music for 10 straight hours that day.
What's next, I am sure you have lots of ideas?
NM: No I don't have an idea in my head. People think I do but I have nothing.
Question & Answer Text Copyright Universal Pictures UK