Interview (Written): Charlie Kaufman

How long does it take Kaufman to write a script? “Two to three years.”

Photo via The Talks.

An interesting interview in The Talks with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. His film credits include Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York, and countless other uncredited projects.


Somebody once told me that a good writer is supposed to read at least twice as much as he writes, otherwise he is not improving his skills. Would you agree?

I don’t believe in rules. I think that there are probably always exceptions to everything. I think reading is a very good thing for writers to do, obviously. I think it’s probably better not to read screenplays if you are going to read because I think they are usually not very interesting and not well written. But I don’t know if there is a formula, something that mathematical like 2 + 2. I don’t know. I certainly write so slowly that I am sure that I read more than twice as much as I write.

How long does it take you to write a script?

Sometimes between two and three years. They’ve been taking longer lately. I don’t know what that means. I’ve got to change that pattern because I want to get a few more movies done before I die. But I wrote Being John Malkovich in a very short period of time. I was working on a TV show waiting for hiring season. I think I wrote it in six months, which is pretty amazing for me.


For the rest of the interview, go here.

For other The Talks interviews, go here.