Caprice Crane is the author of the new novel, Forget About It. She is also the former head writer for MTV networks and is the daughter of Gilligan’s Island’s Ginger Grant.
ASW sits down with this bright second-time novelist to talk about her new book, its movie proposal and becoming the pop-cultural successor to Candace Bushnell.
Q. How and when did you become a member of ASW?
Caprice Crane: I think I became a member in 2005. My friend Stephanie recruited me.
Q. How do you use ASW and what’s your favorite site feature?
CC: I like to skim through the forums and see what people are talking about. It's always interesting to see the different perspectives. And I jump back and forth between NY and LA a lot so it's an easy way to let people know where I am.
Q. Pop culture runs through your veins. Tell us about growing up in a Hollywood household.
CC: It turns out that "Pop culture" is actually fattening, especially on camera. So, I had it drained and then replaced by sardonic wit and the stuff they make Gummy Bears out of. Growing up in a "Hollywood" household was all I ever knew so I didn't know it to be different than anyone else's life. I thought all parents were on TV and that was just what grownups did.
Q. As a head writer for MTV for seven years, one could fairly assume you had a lot to do with ‘educating’ the MTV generation. Tell us a bit about your experience – how do you think your influence at this network helped shape a generation and pop culture today?
CC: Britney's extensions? East Coast VS West Coast? Blurred logos on shirts? (By the way, I'm designing shirts that have blurred logos™ to save the networks the trouble.) Yeah, that was ALL me. I can honestly say that if there is not a rush by today's parents to name their children "Caprice" or "Flava", it is an outrage the likes of which we have never before seen in this country. Seriously, MTV doesn't make pop culture, it just reports on it. And if I'm responsible for helping to shape a generation, I owe somebody an apology.
Q. Stupid and Contagious was a big success. Now Forget About It is following in its footsteps. Tell us about the experience of going from pop culture expert to novelist. How do these roles fit in your career?
CC: I don't know how to answer that because it's only recently come to my attention that I am a Pop Culture Expert (but it's delightful to know that all of the useless trivia in my over-crowded brain finally earned me something). I can tell you the difference between writing TV/Film screenplays and novels … and that is an economy of words in the former, and the freedom to really flesh out a story and play with language in the latter. Not that my writing is trying to be self-important prose. Because it's not – at all. I write stories that I'd want to read, with normal people swimming through outrageous situations. Fun characters who make people laugh.
Q. You have been dubbed as "the next Candace Bushnell." How do you feel about this statement? Is this the direction you're trying to follow? What do you think of Candace Bushnell's work?
Cover art for Forget About It
CC: I'm sorry, who? I'm kidding, I LOVED her on Murphy Brown. Kidding again. Candace Bushnell? Those are some pretty big stiletto heels to fill. She was among the first and best to define the world of the Y.U.F. (Young Urban Female) and she made the mundane seem marvellous. Not to mention that she built on her books and dominated another industry (television). So while I don't feel I'm another diarist of the Bushnell world, I would be pleased as punch to follow in those fabulous footsteps.
Q. Reportedly, Disney has 'snatched' the movie rights to Forget About It. Tell us about this project. Who's involved? When is it happening? We heard Scarlett Johansson.
CC: I don't want to give away too much, but it will feature Herbie the Love Bug. Seriously? Many of the details remain in flux. I wish I could tell you every little thing but I'm not privy. I hope they begin production soon because baby needs new shoes!
Q. Tell us about your other engagements. Screenplays, shorts, that kind of thing. Can we expect anything on that side?
CC: I had a blast making my short Passing The Time which was very loosely inspired by my new novel, Forget About It. (In the book the lead character fakes amnesia to reinvent herself and in the short film the lead character has amnesia when we meet him, and all he has is a piece of paper with a girl's name and address on it but when he shows up at her door she has no idea who he is.) The film stars Abigail Spencer who's starring in the new NBC series tentatively called The Watch and Reid Scott who currently stars in TBS's My Boys. I'm in talks with both actors about a sequel and also about possibly having one of them star in the feature film version of Stupid and Contagious, which is not set up at a studio yet but (thankfully) has several producers biting.
Q. What makes you happiest?
CC: Max, my dog, in a hat.
Q.Where is your favorite travel destination?
CC: For some reason, London gets the most stamps in my passport.
Q. What is your greatest vice?
CC: Caffeine. I quit coffee but ended up getting double the amount of caffeine in my green tea. I've tried to quit on my own, but no dice. I've been to meetings. Apparently Pfizer is working on a patch. Until then, I am pretty much Pfucked.
Q. What are your top 5 hotels?
CC: Everyone is all "Boardwalk this" and "Park Place that." Personally I load them up on the light green properties next to the "go to jail" dealie and let them do the work.
Q. What is your favorite restaurant?
CC: Katsu-Ya – the original one. The one that a certain very trendy restaurant ripped off the entire menu. I could live on their baked crab roll. I need a patch for that too.
Q. What is your favorite museum or gallery?
CC: My friend Dav's closet. It's still 1985 in there.
Q. What is your favorite beach?
CC: There are many factors that go into such a decision. I call it the "White Sand vs. Hypodermic Needles/Banana Hammocks Corollary."
Q. What is your favorite ski resort?
CC: Are you about to try to sell me on a time share? If so I need to get back those Apres Ski boots I sold on eBay.
Q. What cause is closest to your heart? Why?
CC: Breast Cancer. Everyone is touched in some way by it and it's a crime that we still have no cure. I lost my best friend to breast cancer recently and she was only 31.
Q. What’s one thing you would like to change about yourself?
CC: My fingerprints. The reasons why will soon become all too clear.
Q. Which artist do you admire most?
CC: Animal from The Muppet Show.
Q. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
CC: Animal from The Muppet Show.
Max, the dog
Q. Who is your favorite historical figure?
CC: Frodo. Homey would not be deterred by gay hobbit love or a crazy-making ring. He was like a shorter Katie Holmes.
Q. What upsets you the most?
CC: I do a lot of yoga. I'm so advanced nothing "upsets" me. Well, dogs without hats can set me off. Okay, animal cruelty enrages me. So, top 3 things that upset me: animal cruelty, ignorance, and Dockers..
Q. What is your favorite bar?
CC: Kit Kat. No, Mars!
Q. What gadget can’t you live without?
CC: Sadly, my BlackBerry.
Q. What are you most afraid of?
CC: Fear. And the boogie man.
Q. Where do you love to shop?
CC: New York, L.A., Paris, and London. Boutiques are dangerous.
Q. What’s your favorite drink?
CC: Orange Julius.
Q. What are your top 3 songs on your iPod? What’s your most motivational song?
CC: My CD collection rivals most record stores and emasculates most men. Impossible to narrow it down to three. Truly.
— Alonso Dominguez