Jonathan Ames on ‘You Were Never Really Here’ and the Future of ‘Bored to Death’

     April 11, 2018

Now playing in New York and Los Angeles is writer-director Lynne Ramsay’s fantastic thriller You Were Never Really Here. Based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Ames, the film stars Joaquin Phoenix as a traumatized veteran who tracks down missing girls for a living. But on his latest job, he’s tasked with rescuing a politician’s teenage daughter from a brothel. Things get bloody from there. You Were Never Really Here world premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival where it picked up the Best Actor prize for Phoenix and Best Screenplay for Ramsay. Trust me; this is a special movie that you want to see in a movie theater. The film also stars Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov, John Doman, Alex Manette, Dante Pereira-Olsen, and Alessandro Nivola.

A few days ago I got to sit down with author Jonathan Ames for an extended interview. During the wide-ranging conversation, he talked about his reaction to the film, where the idea for the story came from, his desire to write a thriller that wasn’t comedic, his writing process and the goals he sets each day, working on a sequel that continues the character’s journey, and so much more. In addition, Ames shares some great stories about the making of Blunt Talk with Patrick Stewart, how he ended up on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the status of Bored to Death (he reveals he’s thinking about returning to the Bored to Death characters and writing a novella), memorable moments from making Bored to Death, being the first showrunner to be nude, and a lot more.


Image via Amazon Studios

Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

Finally if you live in the Los Angeles area, this Friday night Ames is doing a reading from You Were Never Really Here at Skylight Books. Details in the link.

Jonathan Ames:

  • His reaction to the film and Joaquin Phoenix’s performance.
  • Talks about where the idea for the story came about and how he wanted to experiment writing a thriller that wasn’t comedic.
  • How it became a movie and the collaboration with Lynne Ramsay.
  • Working with Joaquin Phoenix.
  • Will he continue writing in this genre?
  • Talks about how he always intended for the book to continue and write a sequel and where that influence to do it came from.
  • What is his writing process and the goals he sets each day.
  • joaquin-phoenix-you-were-never-really-here

    Image via Amazon Studios

    What was it like working with Patrick Stewart on Blunt Talk?

  • Shares a great story about Seth MacFarlane and some of the Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • How the Moonlighting listing on IMDb isn’t true.
  • Reveals how he was on Curb Your Enthusiasm and it’s all thanks to Jeff Garlin. It’s a great story.
  • Shares a funny Curb Your Enthusiasm type moment when he saw Larry David at a party.
  • How he wrote two drafts of Bored to Death as a movie and the status of future installments.
  • Reveals he’s thinking about returning to the Bored to Death characters and writing a novella.
  • Shares some memorable moments from making Bored to Death including being the first showrunner to be nude.
  • Did they have a lot of Bored to Death deleted scenes?
  • What is he working on now and can he do more than one project at the same time?
  • We talk about the You Were Never Really Here movie and the 90 minute runtime.

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