James and Betsy
KF: How do your sons inspire you?
BF: My sons have gone so far beyond what I ever imagined you could do creatively. I started out as a children's book writer. When they were little and growing up, I didn't have as much time. Dave went to college and things loosened up a little. I realized I used half of my being to raise them. I actually had that space available now. So my picture books started taking off. I saw myself very narrowly as a picture book writer. An editor then challenged me to write a novel and I did. I like to be challenged. A friend in my drama class at Stanford challenged me to write sketch comedies that we would act in and write for a troop called "Suburban Squirrel." Then James's manager suggested I try screenwriting when he saw the sketch comedies, so I wrote a screenplay of my next novel "Naked." Then I was on General Hospital as James's mother. He let me be his mother again in his indie "The Broken Tower," and Dave [plays] the young one and James is the old one.
I'm having a good time. I'm not narrow anymore. I don't even know where I'll be in six months. I'm just open. Of course, there are times that are scary and overwhelming, but I can see that stretching yourself and continuing to learn is the way to be. My kids have shown me that.
KF: Finally, have you met any other #Oscar #Mominees? Are you bonding over this shared experience?
BF: While I was being interviewed, there were other #Mominees there. I just loved it! There was Mark Ruffalo's mom, and she was delightful. She was extremely outgoing and friendly. I mostly had time to talk to Jeremy Renner's mom. She was getting her hair and makeup done when I was standing by for my interview. We found out we lived close by. We were comparing their teenagehoods. Apparently Jeremy was great, so I was jealous! They were talking about their grandchildren. I told them I'll probably be 80 before I have grandchildren! Since I feel pretty young, that will be all right.
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