Sunday Morning: Gillian Flynn Female Characters & Gone Girl Movie

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CBS Sunday Morning: Gone Hollywood

Ben Affleck stars in the new movie Gone Girl, adapted from the bestselling novel, in which his character is suspected of killing his wife. Author Gillian Flynn has found herself in the spotlight as a result, and she spent some time speaking with Rita Braver for CBS Sunday Morning.

Sunday Morning: Gone Girl Movie Adaptation

Sunday Morning: Gillian Flynn Female Characters & Gone Girl Movie

Author Gillian Flynn knows she was lucky to have the chance to write the screenplay adaptation for the movie version of her own bestselling book, Gone Girl. (Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com)

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Even Flynn admits it is unusual for an author with no film experience to have the chance to adapt her own work for the big screen. Her book sold over eight and a half million copies. The film version of her story stars Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy, in a story that leapt into readers’ imaginations.

Flynn describes it as a story of a couple who seemed to have it all. When the wife vanishes on the couple’s five-year anniversary, the husband finds himself under intense media scrutiny as a suspect.

CBS Sunday Morning: David Fincher & Ben Affleck

Director David Fincher, whose credits include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network, took on the project, which Flynn delighted in, because “he loves to dissect what’s behind people’s surfaces, what’s underneath, and the psychology.” Flynn recalled pushing for Affleck, though casting decisions were not up to her.

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Fincher said he loved Flynn’s script, saying that “she writes like an audience member.” Scenes from the movie illustrate Affleck’s character in uncomfortable situations. Would audiences believe that he was a potential killer? Why did Affleck sign on?

“I thought the character was really interesting,” he said, adding that it’s hard to know how much to respect or judge the character of Nick. He gave credit to Flynn for writing a character role as the lead in her story.

Sunday Morning: Gillian Flynn Female Characters

Flynn, age 43, grew up in Kansas City, lives in Chicago, and writes with the Midwest as her setting. She told Sunday Morning that readers expect her to be “creepy and weird,” so they can be disappointed when they encounter her. Her parents were college professors, teaching reading and film. That gave her a rich storytelling background, as well as an introduction to age-inappropriate movies during her childhood.

Her Master’s degree in journalism led to a reporting job with Entertainment Weekly, and she started writing novels on the side. Braver asked her about the dark side of her female characters. “I think women have just as much issues with aggression and anger,” Flynn said. “I just think they express them differently than men do, and I felt like that was something that just seemed to not be talked about.”

CBS Sunday Morning: Gillian Flynn Husband

She has been married to attorney Brett Nolan since 2007. Nolan recalled his shock at reading a first draft of Gone Girl, and even his father joked that Brett should “sleep with one eye open.” The couple has two children, and he said that the story is cautionary for couples who may be growing apart.

How has Flynn’s success affected her husband? He said that their relationship is still great, and they are moving into a new home as she works on the upcoming HBO television series Utopia. She will continue to write, but she accepts that she may never capture this type of phenomenal success again.

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