Catch the Premieres of These Seattle Screenwriters

Two Seattle writers' works are coming to a screen near you

By Gavin Borchert

SHRILL - Episode 4 - Annie & Fran attend the Fat Babe Pool Party. Annie is so empowered by the experience and so furious with her boss, Gabe, that she posts a body positive article to the paper's website that explains exactly what it's like to be a fat woman in today's world. Annie (Aidy Bryant) shown. (Photo by: Allyson Riggs)

March 6, 2019

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the March 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Seattle-born writer Lindy West’s ascent, in just a decade, from writing for The Stranger to contributing to Jezebel, The New York Times, This American Life, The Guardian and beyond is due to the power of her searing and eviscerating voice as she takes on society’s most contentious topics: abortion, fat-shaming and online bullying, among others. And now that voice has taken her to Hollywood as one of the writers of Shrill, a six-episode Hulu series premiering this month (beginning 3/15) and inspired by West’s 2016 essay collection of the same title. Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant stars on the body-positive-focused comedy a clef, set at a Portland alternative-weekly newspaper. Drawing on West’s own life, Bryant said, her character, Annie, “has a family and friends and a job and love and all these things. I don’t think that has always been the case for fat characters on TV.”

The work of another irrepressible voice, that of Maria Semple, has also been adapted into a screenplay. The Seattle transplant’s 2012 Seattle-based best-selling novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, comes to theaters August 9. Its A-list, Richard Linklater–directed cast, including Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer and Laurence Fishburne, was filmed largely in film-industry-friendly (and Seattle stunt double) Vancouver, British Columbia. But at least one scene was filmed here, at the downtown Seattle Public Library. And for former Los Angelena Semple’s new hometown, a UNESCO City of Literature, that seems as good a cameo as they come.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the print edition. 

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