by writer/director Stephen Chbosky
My daughter was born 12 days ago. The reason I am sharing this is that I can think of little else besides my Maccie Margaret right now. So, when I was asked to write this letter to Landmark—an honor I take very seriously—I thought I would talk about my movie in her terms.
Right now, Maccie is less than two weeks old. But I know that eventually she will grow up, and she will go to high school. She will have her first crush and first kiss and her first school dance. She will go on the perfect drive with the perfect song with her friends. She will have tough times. She will feel alone even though she is not. She will become a young adult. As I did.
And someday, she will ask me about this movie. And I will say, “I made this movie for you.”
I will tell her about how I wrote my novel to let young people know that they are not alone. I will tell her about how the book was embraced to such an extent that I knew I needed to write and direct the movie myself, to make sure that it affected a film audience in the same way. I will tell her about how challenging and rewarding it was to transform my first novel into my first film.
And when she asks me about making the movie, I will tell her this story: “I was on set. Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller are in the truck, getting ready to go through the Fort Pitt Tunnel like I did a hundred times growing up. I was in the camera truck next to the kids, flying through the tunnel. Emma stood up, her arms in the air, as free and alive as any young person can ever hope to be. As alive as I hope you will feel.”
In that moment, I knew the movie was going to be everything I ever wanted it to be. For every kid who is going through the struggle of growing up. For every adult who has gone through it and come out on the other side. And for my daughter, who will go through it in 15 years.
This movie is the single greatest artistic experience I’ve ever had. I couldn’t be more proud to share it with all of you. And I hope you laugh and cry with Charlie, Sam and Patrick as I have for the last 15 years. And I hope little Maccie will 15 years from now.