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How lesbian rom-com 'Kissing Jessica Stein' became a surprise hit 20 years ago

How lesbian rom-com 'Kissing Jessica Stein' became a surprise hit 20 years ago

They didn’t know it right away, but when Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt met at a New York theater retreat in the late ‘90s, it was kismet.

They didn’t know it right away, but when Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt met at a New York theater retreat in the late ‘90s, it was kismet.

The two still unknown actors, who would go on to co-create and produce the 2002 film “Kissing Jessica Stein,” had been ruminating on similar ideas — namely, how terrible it was to date in your 20s, especially if you were dating men. 

“It was this nice little workshop run by a theater in New York City, who took all their actors, directors, writers — everyone who wanted to go — up to the Catskills every summer,” Juergensen said. “It was encouraged to try something you hadn’t done. If you’d only acted, you were told to write or direct and vice versa.” 

Juergensen had written a sketch that she asked Westfeldt to act in. But Westfeldt turned her down, having already signed on to too many of the retreat projects. As Juergensen describes it, “everyone wanted Jennifer.” 

Polaroids from costume fittings.Courtesy of Fox SearchlightThe two struck up a friendship anyway, quickly discovering their shared interest in the pains of pursuing modern love. “We both wrote a ‘nightmare date’ sketch and we clocked each other,” Westfeldt recalled. “One of us said, ‘We should rent a theater and put up a night of vignettes.’ Then, cut to a year later.” 

https://www.nbcnews.com/nbc-out/out-pop-culture/lesbian-rom-com-kissing-jessica-stein-became-surprise-hit-20-years-ago-rcna33066


Post ID: c5dc3ba3-2d7e-406c-808a-616df6423b52
Rating: 1
Updated: 2 weeks ago

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