Writers have a long history of showing up as characters in films. Sometimes those writers are real people interacting with history (like Hemingway!), and sometimes they’re made up characters, showing us exactly how Hollywood imagines the concept of the writer. Regardless, these writers usually have certain traits in common: they’re often tortured by their art, they prefer to be isolated from society in some way, and they LOVE whiskey.
Of course, these are broad generalizations, and sometimes we do see writers who are mentally stable, well adjusted, and finding success without also finding a drinking problem – though it’s admittedly pretty rare. But no matter how a writer is portrayed, we’re always happy to see them on the screen. It takes the often low-key life of a writer – which mostly involves sitting at our desks, drinking a lot of tea and wasting time on Twitter – and turns it into something exciting and celebrated.
So with that sense of excitement in mind, here are our eight favorite portrayals of writers on the screen:
Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen’s 2011 film is all about writers, from the struggling lead character of Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), to F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), to the formidable Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates). But when Pender goes back into the past and meets Hemingway (Corey Stoll), the whole screen lights up. There have been a lot of portrayals of Hemingway in film, but never has he been so hilariously over-the-top in his love of war, women and words.