Long ago, Carrie Brownstein went from being a furiously talented punk rock singer and guitarist and songwriter to a furiously talented punk rock all-around media presence. At this point, Brownstein is more famous for Portlandia than for any of her musical pursuits, and she’ll soon make her feature acting debut in the Todd Haynes film Carol. Still, it’s a bit of a shock to learn of Brownstein’s next career move: Romantic-comedy screenwriter!
Actually, Brownstein will be playing Steven Spielberg to Norah Ephron’s Stanley Kubrick. Ephron was, of course, the originator of the romantic comedy in its modern form; she was the screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally and the screenwriter/director of Sleepless In Seattle. When she died in 2012, Ephron was working on her screenplay for Lost In Austen, a movie about a Brooklyn woman who’s mysteriously transported into the world of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Ephron never finished that script, and now Variety reports that Brownstein has come on board to finish the script, which is based on a 2008 British TV series. Producer Sam Mendes (the guy who directed American Beauty and Skyfall) tells Variety, “Carrie is smart and funny and original, and the project is very lucky to have her.”
I first interviewed Brownstein about 10 years ago, and she told me that she was hoping to get into things like writing and acting. And it was like: Why? You are one third of the greatest band on earth. And here she is, a smart and talented person getting another amazing opportunity. But yeah, we probably shouldn’t hold our collective breath for a full-on Sleater-Kinney reunion.