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Interviews A to E > Caprice Crane (2006 Interview)
Photography by Eugene Gallegos.
Makeup by Kinga.
Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
August 5, 2006.
tip reflects the very poor service and your disgraceful attitude. I was
embarrassed to bring clients here.”
This charming note, written on the back of a customer’s business card, was
left for his attitudinal waitress, who just happened to be future novelist
and screenwriter Caprice Crane.
Okay, so maybe Caprice wasn’t going to be crowned Waitress of the Year –
or even Employee of the Month. However, that odd occurrence just had
to happen, so that she could accumulate just one of many crummy experiences
necessary to capably depict life in young, cynical Manhattan. Just a bit
of that angst is captured in her just-published novel, Stupid and
Contagious (5 Spot/Warner Books).
“This [note from a dissatisfied restaurant patron] is only one example,”
she recounts. “I actually did inspire a couple of other little events.”
We won’t beat a dead horse, of course. We can instead only imagine, and
we’ll prefer to focus on the here and now, spotlighting her burgeoning
However, before we move on, she adds. “I thought about sending him a copy
of the book, with his card back and his generous five dollars, which is
what he left me on a two-hundred dollar bill. Luckily, I am a nice person.
I could have done all sorts of devious things with his name and address.”
Nice person that she is, Caprice Crane deserves her newfound success. Her
novel is getting accolades that may even describe the girl herself:
“funny, twisted, clever, mean,” “quirky and appealing” and “hilarious and
Stupid and Contagious asks us to follow the antics of a struggling
record-company dude and a recently canned PR executive-turned-waitress.
They do what any self-respecting couple in this predicament would do –they
hit the road, cross-country style, looking for the meaning of life and the
next big thing in the music biz. Lots of other things happen too.
Sound like a plan?
Caprice says, “Stupid and Contagious can be called a romantic
comedy, but it’s really a story about friendship. It’s about finding
yourself, finding your place and finding yourself a place, and hopefully
not where you’ll be living next to either of these two characters. I think
there is a little bit of Heaven [the female character] in all of us, but
there certainly is a lot of Heaven in me. Only the good parts, though. Not
the kooky parts.”
Caprice's second novel, Forget About It, (due Fall 2007 from
Warner/Hachette Books) is not only bound for the bookstores but also
It will be filmed as what people in the biz call “a romantic comedy.”
This joint will be brought to you by New Line Cinema, and will star
hottest property, Scarlett Johansson (“I was blown away – over the moon,”
Caprice exclaims about Johansson attaching herself to the project).
About It] is a little easier to knock out in one line,” Caprice says.
“A girl tries to fake amnesia and totally reinvents herself.”
This sounds like something Johansson can handle, but she may have missed
out on this opportunity, according to Caprice.
originally sold [the idea] to this indie company,” she says, “and you have
all these meetings with people and you don’t know what’s going to happen.
They love the idea, they want to make the movie, and I remember sitting
across from someone who was passionate about the project, but said to me,
totally straight-faced and with no irony, ‘What do you think about having
Will Smith play the lead?’”
Uh, it’s about a twenty-five year old white girl.
Nevertheless, as they say. Now there’s a screenplay!
It’s true: Caprice’s careens from screenwriter to novelist and back again.
It comes from a number of trips back to the drawing board.
and Contagious is not the first novel I wrote,” Caprice says. “The
first novel I wrote, I couldn’t sell. That was a screenplay first. I’ve
written it as a film and then I decided to turn it into a novel. But I
didn’t really know what I was doing. I just tried to fill in the blanks
and up my screenplay and call it a novel. When I tried to sell it, I
didn’t have too much luck, because it really wasn’t really a fully
didn’t write Stupid and Contagious because I wanted to be a
novelist, I wrote it because, damn you, I’m going to write a novel
that people will want to publish. It was my own test for myself.”
With that test receiving a passing grade, Caprice has also been given the
cherished green light to pen a comic screenplay called Shorty, for
Robert Cort Productions (responsible for Mr. Holland’s Opus and
Save the Last Dance, among others). She’s also contributed an essay to
It's A Wonderful Lie: 26 Truths About Life In
Your 20s (set
for release in January 2007 by Hachette Books), musing on the musical
question: can men and women really be friends?
Until then, we peruse her website and wait, while Caprice nurtures and
She says, “It’s so obnoxious, but I can’t help myself. Whenever I pass by
a bookstore, I find myself, like a magnet, drawn in, to see if my book is
there, where it’s placed, how it’s selling. It’s like my baby. When
people e-mail me and tell me that they liked [reading the novel], I tell
them to please spread the word so that my baby will have a good life.
Please tell your friends. It’s hard to get known when you’re a baby
novelist. It’s all word of mouth for me right now.”
Not that Caprice is a stranger to doing things the hard way. Though born
in Hollywood and coming of age in Manhattan, she lacks the silver spoon in
started working when I was fourteen,” she says. “It’s a real misconception
that I was raised as this spoiled, wealthy daughter of a famous person,
because [my mother] didn’t get residuals. So I’ve always worked. Like the
waitressing. I’m not really sure why I thought it was a good idea to do
The famous parent of whom she speaks is none other than acclaimed actress
Tina Louise, known for her memorable roles in the classic films God’s
Little Acre and The Stepford Wives. She was also stranded on
Gilligan’s Island for a short stay back in the sixties, but today
she’s stranded on a whole ‘nother island –
“We actually live a block away from each other,” Caprice says. “That’s how
close we are. People always say, ‘how can you do that? How can you live so
close to your mother?’ But I love it. Especially if I happen to have a
random run-in, like if I’m going to the supermarket, and if I see her on
the street, it makes my day.”
Her father is the former talk-show host Les Crane, whose groundbreaking
series in the sixties paved the way for the likes of Phil Donahue and even
“[My dad’s show] is so sought after,” says Caprice. “There are all these
random collectors over the internet. He had really amazing guests,
different from your average talk show. He’s a very smart guy.”
Also in her life is Max, the dog with a heart and an intuition, who runs
her website’s advice column.
“My dog is so smart,” Caprice says. “In addition to being handsome, he is
incredibly smart. It is a big responsibility [writing an advice column].
He’s faring quite well. I’m a real animal lover. There is actually a
rescued dog in Stupid and Contagious, because I work with animal
rescue when I can. It’s a passion of mine. Max brings me so much joy,
because his face is so funny and he has such a personality. When I did my
reading [at Barnes and Noble in Manhattan], people sent me e-mails asking
if Max was going to be there. And I certainly couldn’t deny Max’s public.”
With her book in the stores and a variety of other projects (including a
website that is growing a following), Caprice is on her way to becoming
the go-to girl for what it’s like.
If you can’t get enough
of Caprice – and you shouldn’t – visit her terrific website at
CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT CAPRICE CRANE HAD TO
SAY TO US IN 2009.