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PopEntertainment.com > Feature Interviews - Literature > Feature Interviews A to E > Caprice Crane (2006 Interview)

Caprice Crane

Entertains Us

by Ronald Sklar

Photography by Eugene Gallegos.  Makeup by Kinga.

Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: August 5, 2006.

The 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 writing career. 

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 insightful.”  

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 headed for Hollywood. 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 Hollywood’s hottest property, Scarlett Johansson (“I was blown away – over the moon,” Caprice exclaims about Johansson attaching herself to the project).  

“[Forget 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.  

“I 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. 

Stupid 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 realized novel.  

“I 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 agonizes. 

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 the mouth. 

“I 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 that.” 

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 – Manhattan!  

“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 Jerry Springer.  

“[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 www.capricecrane.com

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT CAPRICE CRANE HAD TO SAY TO US IN 2009.

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Photo Credits:
#1 © 2006 Eugene Gallegos. All rights reserved. Makeup: Kinga
#2 © 2006 Eugene Gallegos. All rights reserved. Makeup: Kinga
#3 © 2006 Eugene Gallegos. All rights reserved. Makeup: Kinga 

Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: August 5, 2006.

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Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: August 5, 2006.