“It’s okay being a woman now. I like it. Try it some time.” – Nora Ephron, in 1975
In 1975, long before she turned to writing screenplays that became Hollywood classics (i.e. When Harry Met Sally, Julie and Julia, Sleepless in Seattle, Silkwood), Nora Ephron was a journalist and a writer. It was around this time she sat down with Studs Terkel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who interviewed thousands of everyday Americans and international notables during a 45-year stint at WFMT-FM in Chicago, to share her thoughts on being a woman.
Ephron, who got her start at the New York Post in the 1960s, went on to write for New York Magazine and Esquire, the latter of which is where she really made a name for herself through personal essays “that mixed humor with honesty, and captured the ups and downs of both being a woman–and the growing women’s movement.” When she did her interview with Terkel in 1975, she had recently released a collection of her essays called, Crazy Salad: Some Things about Women.
In these excerpts from their now 41-year-old conversation, remixed and animated in 2016, Ephron covers a range of topics related to womanhood: breast size, the women’s movement and choice, beauty, and more. She also recounts the time she went to a bar with a woman friend where the bartender refused to serve them because they were “unescorted,” and the loss that resulted from them not just walking out.
This is one of the newest videos published by PBS Digital Studio’s Blank on Blank, a brilliant programming platform that remixes vintage interview tapes with new animations, so journalists’ unheard interviews with cultural icons can be transformed and brought back to life.
Hear more interview outtakes and learn more about Nora Ephron at Blank on Blank.