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Write On: A Screenwriting Podcast

Jun 16, 2022

Inspired by Stephanie Land's memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive, Netflix's Maid follows Alex (Margaret Qualley), a young mother who escapes an abusive relationship and gets a job cleaning houses in order to provide for her daughter. Showrunner Molly Smith Metzler recalls the moment she knew she had to adapt the memoir for TV: "[John Wells] handed me the book, and I went home, and I read it that weekend, and I was like, 'Oh, no, I have to do this.' I say 'Oh, no' because I knew it was going to be very hard. It's an incredible memoir, but not a natural fit for television... I knew it was going to be hard to adapt, but I also couldn't picture anyone else doing it."

Metzler goes on to speak on the importance of taking notes and moving on to what's next: "You get all these notes because something is exciting to people, and then what can happen is you just spend all of your time rewriting it... My big advice is when you have the thing that finally gets read and people get excited, don't spend two years rewriting it; write the next thing because you can't rewrite things for different people. You just lose your sense of self, and you'll lose your mind, so always be thinking about the next thing; always be writing the next thing."

Maid is currently streaming on Netflix.

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