Women's Corner Presents Nora Ephron Part Two


Part Two: From journalist to Hollywood writer.

Women.com Presents: Women's Corner Featuring Nora Ephron

Ephron’s mother taught her a credo that would be the defining force behind her work and ultimately, her life. “Everything is copy” simply put means, everything is fair game. Ephron would later write about this, everything is copy, “When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you; but when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh,” she wrote in her anthology “I Feel Bad About My Neck. If you fail a test, if your dress is see-through, if your husband cheats on you, you own that story and you might as well use it, turn it around, and create something out of it. Therein started her career in writing, whether she was talking about aging or relationships, everything is copy.


A Screenwriter Is Born

Nora, the journalist, fell into screenwriting haphazardly. Her first husband, Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein and partner, Bob Woodward were unhappy with their novel adaptation titled, “All the President’s Men”. Ephron took a stab at it and although it was never used, peaked the interest of the important people in Hollywood.


Everything Is Copy

In 1979, pregnant with baby number two and mother to toddler, Jacob, Ephron learned her husband, Carl Bernstein was having an affair with a mutual friend. With her adage, “everything is copy” in mind, she turned her pain into her work and published, “Heartburn”. The book included recipes, Ephron was a huge fan of cooking, and created this realistic breakdown of a marriage, and relationship. The novel was turned into a movie, written by none other than Nora Ephron. Meryl Streep starred yet again this time with Jack Nicholson by her side.


The novel and the movie gave life to “everything is copy”. Ephron turned her pain, and ultimate “heartburn” into a work of art. That story that she cultivated from her own experiences was the catalyst to push her into screenwriting professionally.

Check back in tomorrow for part three of Women’s Corner on Nora Ephron.


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Women's Corner Presents Nora Ephron

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