Female Filmmaker Friday: Aline Brosh McKenna, No Longer Afraid of the "D" Word

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"We need to encourage and enable people to have personal priorities and professional priorities...because it is my personal belief that people who have thriving personal lives are way better at their jobs."

Aline Brosh McKenna is a French-born American writer, director, and producer whose work has graced both the small and large screen in the past two decades.

McKenna moved from France to New Jersey with her family and would eventually attend and graduate from Harvard University. First moving to New York City to pursue a career in publishing, McKenna took a screenwriting course, and a script she wrote earned her an agent.

McKenna is mostly known for her screenwriting, penning some of the most popular dramedies, romantic comedies, comedies, and dramas of the last two decades, including Three To Tango (1999), Laws of Attraction (2004), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), 27 Dresses (2008), Morning Glory (2010), I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011), We Bought A Zoo (2011), Annie (2014), and she has been announced to be writing the upcoming prequel Cruella, staring Emma Stone.

In 2015, McKenna co-created the popular CW show My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend with the show’s star, Rachel Bloom. It was here that in 2016 she made her directing debut on episode Paula Needs to Get Over Josh! In a recently written article for The Hollywood Reporter, McKenna admits she’s had the aspiration to be a director for a long time, but never gave herself permission, not only to direct, but to even call herself a director. The article is a reminder to every woman, whether in the entertainment industry or otherwise, to not be afraid to go after what they want, no matter what age:

“Nora Ephron was 51 when she directed her 1st movie. Nancy Meyers was 49. Their kids were grown. If you're a women [sic] who writes, acts, edits, ADs, etc and you're ready to direct, you're not too old. I was 47. Tell the people you work with your dream. Put your hand up. Men ask. Ask.”

McKenna has gone on to direct two more episodes for the show, with a third coming up this year. McKenna is also the creator of new show Arranged and is said to be directing as well.

Her message hits home with anyone who doesn’t feel worthy of their desired title. The important thing is to follow McKenna’s example. Sometimes saying it out loud is the first step to making a dream come true.