5 WGA Award nominees roundtable panel #2

“We were so over the moon by these nominations, just because I feel like other writers’ opinions are the ones that end up mattering the most because your peers are the people who really understand how difficult this is,” says “Yellowjackets” creator Ashley Lyle about the recognition she received from her peers in the Writers Guild of America. We talked with Lyle for our panel of 2022 WGA Award nominees along with Sarah Burgess (“Impeachment: American Crime Story”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), John Hoffman (“Only Murders in the Building”) and Drew Michael (“Red Blue Green”). Watch our roundtable discussion above.

Watch the exclusive group roundtable discussion above. Click on each name to watch that person’s individual interview.

Michael is ambivalent about the “pageantry of award shows in general,” and the stand-up special he’s nominated for ironically includes a six-minute riff on them, but “I’m appreciating the fact that people took the time to watch it at all and respond well to it.” He also considers it a recognition of “the people who are behind this, the people that worked tirelessly on this — I’m one of 100 people” who made “Red Blue Green” possible.

For Ehrin, her nominations for “The Morning Show” were a surprise. “It was really moving to me. I’ve been in this business a long time, and I love writers. Those are my happy places. A good raucous writers’ room is one of the greatest places on earth.” The nomination “meant the world” to Burgess as well. “It is really true that you care the most about what other writers say about your work.” This was actually the first time she has worked with a team of writers. As a playwright, she’s usually the “creepy person alone in a room,” so the collaborative process “changed me in some ways and changed how I think about writing.”

For Hoffman, the recognition from his peers “melted my heart.” Like Burgess, he started off as a solitary writer. As a screenwriter, “I got very in the mode of writing alone, and I became enamored with that and protective of that little cocoon.” He was “intimidated” by writers’ rooms when he started working on TV, “but I found my way in and grew to love and appreciate it. It’s amazing when you’re getting better and being made better by other brilliant minds.”

But it’s not just the other writers in the room working to make you better. Sometimes one of your actors will make a special guest appearance on your Zoom writers roundtable to give you notes. Hoffman is currently in production on season two of “Only Murders,” so Martin Short popped in to tease his showrunner about a line of dialogue Short wanted him to change. “It was four words that made no sense,” Short explained, “and that’s when you hate a writer.” Everyone’s a critic.

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UPLOADED Feb 3, 2022 8:42 am