Aline Brosh McKenna
Aline Brosh McKenna
|Born||August 2, 1967|
|Occupation||Screenwriter, producer, director|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Notable works||The Devil Wears Prada|
Aline Brosh McKenna (born August 2, 1967) is an American screenwriter, producer and director. She is known for writing The Devil Wears Prada (2006), 27 Dresses (2008), Morning Glory (2010) and We Bought a Zoo (2011), and for co-creating The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Brosh was born to a Jewish family in France and moved with her family to New Jersey, where she lived variously in Fort Lee, Demarest and Montvale, and attended Saddle River Day School in Saddle River.
A script she wrote during a six-week course in screenwriting at New York University helped her get an agent, and, in 1991, she moved to Los Angeles. By age 26, she had sold a comedy feature and a television pilot, and continued to write a number of feature and television scripts. She also wrote an episode of Margaret Cho's sitcom All American Girl.
She adapted Lauren Weisberger’s novel The Devil Wears Prada into the 2006 film of the same name, directed by David Frankel and starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt. Though her first two produced features were both romantic comedies, McKenna has reiterated that The Devil Wears Prada is not, and has instead described it as 'competence porn', noting: 'The real love story is, she ends up with that newspaper, having understood the world better and having understood her naiveté better'. The film earned McKenna a BAFTA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
McKenna explored the nuances of the characters of Miranda (Meryl Streep's character) and Andy (Anne Hathaway's character) in The Devil Wears Prada in a 2006 interview with Jan Huttner:
"I wanted to make sure the audience understood why she had so much power in her world; and then understand that there was a cost for her, because we wanted Andy to walk away from a life as opposed to walking away from a person. She sees how much Miranda has sacrificed in her personal life, and that’s just not what Andy wants to do. Miranda’s held to a different standard than male executives might be held to, and she lives under a microscope."
She wrote 27 Dresses starring Katherine Heigl in 2008. The film took its place quickly as a classic romantic comedy, telling the story of a bridesmaid of twenty-seven weddings finding her own love.
Her next produced movie was 2010's Morning Glory, starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, followed shortly after by 2011's adaptation I Don't Know How She Does It, with Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan. McKenna has jokingly referred to The Devil Wears Prada, Morning Glory and I Don't Know How She Does It as 'The Blackberry 3', a thematically-linked trio of films featuring women who see their Blackberries more than they see their own families. In an interview for The Ringer, McKenna compared that lifestyle to her own as a showrunner: "Striving for perfection, you can easily end up having it fill all the gaps in your life because that’s the kind of job, like being a showrunner, that you’re never done, you’re never finished, you could always be doing something else."
In the same year, McKenna wrote Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Benjamin Mee. The film received positive reviews overall, with a London Evening Standard critic commenting, "You have to admire the thoroughness with which We Bought a Zoo--which is the film Disney would make if they still knew how--caters to the whole family."
In 2014, she wrote the musical comedy-drama Annie, directed by Will Gluck and with Quvenzhané Wallis in the title role. The film was a contemporary adaptation of the 1977 Broadway musical of the same name.
McKenna returned to television in 2015, when she teamed up with singer and comedian Rachel Bloom to create the romantic musical comedy-drama Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show was originally developed for Showtime, with a half hour pilot produced. When Showtime opted not to proceed, McKenna and Bloom reworked the series for The CW, including expanding it into an hour-long format. The CW renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on October 21, 2016, and a third season, which premiered on October 13, 2017. McKenna is the series' showrunner and an executive producer.
In a 2018 interview for Deadline, when asked about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's commentary on gender, she said:
I mean it’s so fun to poke fun at. There are also still lots of things that haven’t been talked about. You still have to fight to get the word clitoris on the air and people still freak out when you talk about periods. We’re taking on some other gynecology because it’s always fun for us and threatening to the patriarchy.
In March 2017, McKenna inked a two-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios, the studio behind Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, to develop new projects for network and cable through her production company Lean Machine. The following October, she teamed up with Rene Gube, a producer and recurring guest star on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, for a single-camera comedy called Big Men that has been set up at CBS.
McKenna made her graphic novel debut in late 2017, working with artist Ramon Perez on Jane, a modern retelling of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel Jane Eyre. The graphic novel was produced by Boom! Studios.
McKenna was the first ever guest on the screenwriting podcast Scriptnotes, hosted by John August and Craig Mazin. She made her debut on the show's 60th episode, a live event at the Austin Film Festival in October 2012. She is, by a long distance, the podcast's most frequent guest, having made over two dozen appearances in subsequent years. In recognition, Mazin christened her 'the Joan Rivers of Scriptnotes'. McKenna guest-hosted the podcast for an episode in January 2014, filling in for Mazin.
|1999||Three to Tango||Co-writer||Written with Rodney Patrick Vaccaro|
|2004||Laws of Attraction||Written with Robert Harling|
|2006||The Devil Wears Prada||Writer||Based on the novel The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Nominated for BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
|2011||I Don't Know How She Does It||Writer, executive producer||Based on the novel I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson|
|We Bought a Zoo||Co-writer||Written with Cameron Crowe, based on the novel We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee|
|2014||Annie||Written with Will Gluck, based on Annie by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan and Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray|
|2021||Cruella||Written with Kelly Marcel, Steve Zissis, Dana Fox and Tony McNamara, based on the characters on the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith|
|1995||All-American Girl||Writer||Episode: "Young Americans"|
|2015–2019||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Co-creator, showrunner, executive producer, writer, director, actor||Made an uncredited appearance as the prosecutor at the beginning of "I Want to Be Here"|
- "Hollywood's Famed Jewish Screenwriter Revamps Cinderella in New Disney Flick". Haaretz.com. December 3, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- Bloom, Nate (December 22, 2011). "Jewish stars". Cleveland Jewish News.
- Salemi, Vicki. "Glorifying Jersey: A noted Hollywood screenwriter uses her Jersey roots to help inform her storytelling.", New Jersey Monthly, December 13, 2010. Accessed October 26, 2011. "'It's definitely part of who I am,' says the Los Angeles-based scribe, who was born in France and moved with her family to Fort Lee when she was 6 months old. The family later moved to Demarest and then Montvale, where she lived from age seven until college. Brosh McKenna, now 43, attended Saddle River Day School, studied literature at Harvard and, after graduation, co-wrote A Co-Ed's Companion with her college roommate."
- "Making Movies with Aline Brosh McKenna". Working Mother. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- Dominus, Susan (August 25, 2011). "If Cinderella Had a BlackBerry..." The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "How Aline Brosh McKenna Reinvented the Romantic Comedy—for TV". The Ringer. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- "'Queen' rules over BAFTA nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Huttner, Jan (September 7, 2006). "Jan Chats with Aline Brosh McKenna". FF2 Media. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- "27 Dresses". IMDB. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- "Aline Brosh McKenna to Rewrite 'Annie' Remake". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ""Work-Coms": They're Rom-Coms, Only Light On The Romance". The Frisky. August 31, 2011. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Herman, Alison (November 9, 2017). "How Aline Brosh McKenna Reinvented the Romantic Comedy—for TV". The Ringer. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- "Matt Damon Circling Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo". MovieWeb. June 23, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "We Bought a Zoo - review". Evening Standard. March 16, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- Hahn, Kate (October 21, 2014). "Showtime Mixes Internet Sensation Rachel Bloom With Seasoned Writer for 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Porter, Rick (March 11, 2016). "'The Flash,' 'The 100' and even 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' renewed: All 11 CW series picked up for 2016-17". TV By The Numbers. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (2017). "'Arrow,' 'The Flash,' 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,' 'Jane the Virgin,' & more renewed by The CW". TV By The Numbers. Archived from the original on January 9, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Patten, Dominic (October 12, 2018). "'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Co-Creator On Tonight's Final Season Debut, The End & The Musical That May Follow". Deadline. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 16, 2017). "'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna Inks Overall Deal With CBS TV Studios". Deadline. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Andreeva, Nellie (October 17, 2017). "CBS Buys 'Big Men' Comedy FromCrazy Ex's Aline Brosh McKenna & Rene Gube". Deadline. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Co-Creator Updates 'Jane Eyre' With Graphic Novel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "Scriptnotes 60: The Black List, and a stack of scenes". johnaugust.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "Scriptnotes, 249: How to Introduce Characters". johnaugust.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "Transcript of Scriptnotes, Ep. 152". johnaugust.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "Scriptnotes, 128: Frozen with Jennifer Lee". johnaugust.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.