Interview: Lisa Joy

My in-depth conversation with executive producer of "Westworld".

This week, I am digging into the Go Into The Story archives to spotlight interviews I've conducted with some of the most talented screenwriters in the business.

Today a March 2014 interview with Lisa Joy. She got her start as a Hollywood writer working for the ABC television series "Pushing Daisies," then as writer-producer on the USA series "Burn Notice." She wrote the spec script "Reminiscence" which made the 2013 Black List and sold to Legendary Pictures for a reported $ 1.25M. In addition, she and her husband Jonathan Nolan are co-creators / executive producers of the HBO series "Westworld."

Lisa Joy

Here are links to the six installments of the entire interview:

Part 1: "I started reading a couple screenplays just to see what it looked like. It kind of struck me that there were some similarities between poetry, which I'd always loved and screenwriting. You don't have that much space. You have to convey things very compactly."

Part 2: "To me, I really never thought that it was possible I would become a working writer. It's truly, if you told me I was going to become an astronaut who colonized Mars, that would be about the equivalent feasibility for me."

Part 3: "I'd say that the thing I learned from him [Bryan Fuller] the most is to be bold and to try to stick to your vision as much as possible because no one else is going to do it and you can have death by a thousand cuts with an idea."

Part 4: "But the thing that is first and foremost to me is, 'Do I love the character? Do I empathize with them?' I even think you have to love and empathize with the villains you write, especially them, in a way. Otherwise it just becomes caricature."

Part 5: "The fact that 'can you have it all' was the question posed to women specifically — was complete bullshit. It makes everything a binary all or nothing choice. And if 'all' is impossible — then we must settle for 'nothing.' The paradigm itself is messed up."

Part 6: "At the end of the day just sit down in front of that blank page. It's terrifying, the tyranny of the blank page and all the expectations you put upon yourself. But then you turn off the naysaying voices in your head. And you write. Just write."

Lisa is repped by WME.

Twitter: @lisajoynolan

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Interview: Lisa Joy was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

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