‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’: How Melissa McCarthy Replacing Julianne Moore Turned a Troubled Production into a Triumph

‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’: How Melissa McCarthy Replacing Julianne Moore Turned a Troubled Production into a Triumph
Nicole Holofcener was less than thrilled when Fox Searchlight hired Marielle Heller (“Diary of a Teenage Girl”) to direct “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Holofcener was supposed to direct the movie, which she wrote with Jeff Whitty, with Julianne Moore as its star. Then, six days before production was scheduled to begin, Moore left over creative differences, the movie fell apart, and Searchlight asked Holocener to wait and start over again. “I felt I had already made it,” she told me. “Every outfit, every location, every actor cast. It was a labor of love. It was traumatic. Terrible.”

She let it go, and the studio moved on with Heller in the chair. Even so, Holofcener handed over a box of research and wished her old Sundance lab protege well. “If anyone is going to make this movie, I’m glad it’s you,” Heller remembered her saying. “It’s yours,
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