CULVER CITY, Calif., December 18, 2012 – In an exclusive interview for Sony Movie Channel (SMC), Sir Howard Stringer, Sony Corporation’s Chairman of the Board, pays tribute to the life of Nora Ephron (SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, HANGING UP), one of the most successful screenwriters, filmmakers and playwrights of this era. Sir Howard’s interview, reflecting on Ephron’s acclaimed career will air tonight, Tuesday, December 18 as part of SMC’s special double-feature tribute to Ephron, presenting her first and last directing efforts, 1992’s THIS IS MY LIFE (starring Julie Kavner) at 8:00 PM E/5:00 PM P and 2009’s JULIE & JULIA (starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams) at 10:00 PM E/7:00 PM P. The interview is also available for online viewing until December 31 at SonyMovieChannel.com.
“As part of Sony Movie Channel’s commitment to extend its viewing experiences for its fans, we were able to interview Sir Howard Stringer, about his relationship with Nora Ephron for the Channel’s original series ‘Reel 6.’ Devotees of Nora will greatly appreciate hearing, firsthand, Sir Howard’s personal remembrance of this talented filmmaker who was a close colleague and friend,” said Andy Kaplan, president, worldwide networks, Sony Pictures Television.
A prolific writer, essayist, journalist and humorist, Ephron died at the age of 71 on June 26, 2012. She was beloved by the Industry – on both coasts – and had many admirers including Sir Howard, who first met Ephron during a party in Greenwich Village. In his “Reel 6” interview, Sir Howard shares his personal memories about Ephron, revealing how they met and how JULIE & JULIA became a reality. Sir Howard’s interview is very much in the same tone as the writing that Ephron was known for – it’s a love letter from one good friend to another as evidenced by these excerpts below.
On her unique ability to connect with people, Sir Howard said:
“There was room for everybody in Nora’s life. To this day, I don’t know how she found the stamina for it. But that’s a really remarkable thing about Nora and this is why she creates a vacuum that can never be filled. I cannot think of somebody who could replace her. As a movie director – fine; as a career – fine. But as a friend, and as a collaborator, and as a companion, and as a very special unique human being; she’s irreplaceable.”
He had this to say about her trade:
“Directing comedy is a rare skill, and for Nora it was her métier, I think. There’s no question she was an inspiration to those that were hoping to be directors and some of those who were directors. But for Nora, the sensibilities were so profoundly perfect for that medium that it’s not surprising to me that it is hard to follow. The three great comedies, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and YOU’VE GOT MAIL, all have a peculiar Nora atmosphere. As far as I’m concerned, she owned the romantic comedy for longer than most directors ever do.”
Ephron’s career in film blossomed with such motion pictures as SILKWOOD and WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, both of which garnered Oscar® nominations for her. With a stable of celebrated works under her belt, Ephron soon turned to directing. She made her directorial debut with the 1992 drama THIS IS MY LIFE.
THIS IS MY LIFE tells the story of Dottie Engels (Julie Kavner), a single mother who aspires to be a stand-up comedian. Although she succeeds, her quest for fame negatively affects her daughters (Samantha Mathis and Gaby Hoffmann), who are left alone to their own devices as she travels on the road.
Ephron, who admits to being obsessed with food, was able to feature her passion in JULIE & JULIA, recreating some of Julia Child’s most famous entrees from her iconic cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The book plays a key role in the plot, as food blogger Julie Powell (Amy Adams) attempts to cook each of Child’s (Meryl Streep) recipes, while chronicling her progress over the course of a year.
To showcase JULIE & JULIA even further, SMC has created a comprehensive tablet-friendly application, THE JULIE & JULIA APP, now available to Facebook users through December 31. The immersive app, featuring multimedia content such as an interactive recipe guide and movie trivia, has been set up as a stand-alone tab on SMC’s Facebook page at facebook.com/sonymoviechannel. And to further connect with passionate film enthusiasts, SMC is offering a limited edition JULIE & JULIA sticker to all fans that check-in to the channel on GetGlue.com. The sticker will be available from December 5 until December 31.
Sir Howard’s interview is a part of SMC’s “Reel 6” originals – a program devised of TV and web shorts featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with filmmakers who provide their own unique take to a respective movie or theme airing on the network. In addition to Sir Howard, other “Reel 6” interviews have included A KNIGHT’S TALE director Brian Helgeland who discussed casting Heath Ledger, and SILVERADO executive producer Michael Grillo, who spoke about the difficulties of location scouting for a western.
About Sony Movie Channel
Sony Movie Channel is the first U.S. multi-platform television network from Sony Pictures Television created specifically for the Hollywood movie fan. Offering uncut and theatrical releases in stunning high definition, Sony Movie Channel showcases titles from Sony Pictures' vast library including award-winning features, cult favorites, family comedies and gripping dramas. Programming is selected from more than 3,500 Sony Pictures films, which collectively have received 184 Academy Awards including 12 for Best Picture. Sony Movie Channel is available on DISH Network, DIRECTV and AT&T U-Verse TV on linear as well as on authenticated VOD and online platforms. For more information, visit SonyMovieChannel.com, Facebook and/or Twitter @SonyMovieCh.
Cindy Ronzoni / Social Spread Media / 310-880-1961 / Cindy@SocialSpreadMedia.com / @cindyronzoni