Admission screenwriter Karen Croner sat up one day while watching 30 Rock and announced to her husband that she wanted to write a comedy for Tina Fey. Now that her film is hitting theaters, that dream has become a reality.
We caught up with the screenwriter for an exclusive chat to talk about the magic of Fey, how one effectively and efficiently adapts a book and how having director Chris Weitz (About a Boy) direct simultaneously gave her two dreams come true with one movie-making experience.
Croner most recently wrote the script for the drama One True Thing, starring Meryl Streep and Renee Zellweger, and was eager to write a comedy when she found the book Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz. "After I wrote One True Thing about a woman who was dying of cancer, I had been writing dramas ever since," Croner said.
"One night I was with my husband and I just said out loud, 'I want to write a comedy for Tina Fey.' I had always wanted to write things that were more dramedy, and I had just been on this drama only track. I set out to find a project I could do that with and I read Admission and I related to it."
One can see why, simply watching the Admission trailer!
She had been trying to get her son into a private school in L.A. and had lived the "admissions experience." "I’m a public school girl -- the whole thing was very foreign to me," she admitted.
"But, I became really interested in the whole admission process, and who are these people who are the gatekeepers? So, when I got the book, I thought I could really do something with it. I thought it could be really funny. I gave the book to a producer and we pitched a version of it to Tina and she loved it."
It is rare in Hollywood that a screenwriter sets out on a dream path and then achieves it. Not only did she dream of writing a screenplay for Fey, but she had done the impossible and is now talking with Movie Fanatic about the film as it arrives in theaters.
"I’m not into The Secret and things like that, and at the same time, here I was in this spectacular situation," Croner said.
She found Fey as delightful as could be and even achieved a bonus in having the director of one of her favorite movies serve as helmer for Admission. As our Admission review states, Fey hits all the right notes and Croner could not be more pleased to have achieved her dream.
"Tina was a complete dream come true and also writing it for Paul Rudd and to have Paul Weitz to direct, it was amazing," Croner said.
"I so love About a Boy and just adore his sensibility. Walking onto the set the first day and seeing Tina performing a scene, there could not be a more satisfying moment as a writer. I also wrote it knowing that Tina was a great improviser and I wondered what Tina would do with them. It was such a joy to see her do that too. She added some wonderful stuff."