Will Miranda July Direct a Film Version of The First Bad Man?

Talking fiction and fashion with the in-demand author, filmmaker and artist

July attends a (Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Miu Miu)

(Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Miu Miu)

With her enviable list of creative credits and influential circle of friends, Miranda July’s world is one we want to be part of (here, a cheat sheet of her coolest achievements to justify our obsession). We devoured her debut novel The First Bad Man, and sat down with the legit multi-hyphenate to talk big screen adaptations, style and social media.

Would you ever make a film version of The First Bad Man? I loved to think about that while I was writing it. It has suspense, romance, great big revealsit has it all. But the truth is, I don’t want to direct it and I don’t really want anyone else to do it because it’s so rare that a movie makes a book better. I think once I finished the book I was done with that idea, it served its purpose.

Did you ever give any thought to what the soundtrack might be? There’s this one Beirut song that’s very emotional for me and tied to the birth of my son. At the end of the book, Cheryl describes this happy ending that sounds like soaring trumpets and applause like rain and I always heard [that song] there. I hope I captured the feeling.

In your mind, who would play your protagonist, Cheryl? It’s funny, Lena [Dunham] and I were talking about that. She was saying, “There just aren’t that many pear-shaped actresses that we can name.” We all agreed that the current Clee [Cheryl’s boss’ young daughter, whom she reluctantly takes in] is Jennifer Lawrence.

Winter Survival Guide The First Bad Man A Novel By Miranda July

Scribner, $30

Cheryl loves to be described. How would you describe yourself? Oh gosh! Well that’s the whole thing, right? You desperately want someone else to do it. I guess I’m some kind of combination of anxious and controlling, slash a daredevil and someone who wants to play a game most of the time. The second half is the saving grace for the first.

You have plenty of celebrity fans. Is there one who particularly surprised you? It’s always surprising. I think there’s been lovely support for this book from some women with power because of social media. Lorde has been a great supporter of my writing in general. Solange said she’s excited to read it, which was really nice.

What’s your approach to social media? If you can manage your addiction to that kind of thing, which is hard, I like it. Twitter is the only one I use. I can’t really get my head around Instagram, I’m more private than that. I like Twitter for its grassroots ability to draw attention to things. My experience is that it’s allowing women to support each other without any go-betweens. It’s very immediate and honest.

What role does fashion play in your life? I love clothes. It’s one of the few non-cerebral pleasures that I have. I don’t even question it because there are so few things that are a break from my work. It doesn’t have to do with my husband or my son, it’s just my thing. In my work, clothes do end up having this talismanic importance and playing with that is always a joy.

What are you working on next? I’m hard at work with Miu Miu making a new version of my app, Somebody 2.0, which comes out in the next couple of months. In some ways, it’s like being part of the Prada family. They’re Italian so that just happens. It’s really meaningful to me.