When Gone Girl became both a bestselling novel and successful, Academy Award-nominated film, author Gillian Flynn became a household name both in print and on screen. Since debuting with Sharp Objects in 2006, Flynn has written edgy stories featuring complex and intriguing female protagonists that keep the reader glued to the pages and screen, no mater which side of the moral line they are on.
Shortly after the theatrical release of Gone Girl, a film adaptation of Flynn’s Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron, had a limited release in 2015. Now, her first novel has also been given the A-List treatment. On Sunday, HBO premiered its limited series Sharp Objects, starring Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson, produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Big Little Lies). The premiere scored a solid opening for the network and may possibly be the series of the summer.
Recently, Flynn sat down with BBC News to discuss how she comes up with her female leads and what makes them different from other female-lead stories.
“I wanted to write about a dark, damaged, screwed-up, troubled female protagonist. Those male characters were everywhere you looked – and have been for hundreds of years in literature. That’s just been the archetype. I just didn’t see enough of that anywhere, so I just thought ‘I’ll write it’. At that time, it was the very height of chick lit, with books like Bridget Jones’s Diary. They’re all great books and all fun – get the guy, get the right shoes and live happily ever after. It was driving me slowly insane. I sat down to write the opposite…”
Flynn expressed that the success of Gone Girl contributed to the change in female protagonists in media today and her continued focus on flawed, complex females. “… it made a lot of money!” she told BBC News. “Anything that makes a lot of money will make publishers say ‘we want more of that’.” She went on to explain the reason for her take on her leading ladies.
“It’s important to be able to look on a screen, and turn pages, and see a recognizable human woman, rather than a cardboard cut-out.”
Sharp Objects aires Sunday nights on HBO and is available on HBO Go and HBO Now.
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Source: BBC News.