Charlie Kaufman
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Charlie Kaufman

Adaptation

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About Him

Living… in Hollywood – where everyone has a screenplay to sell and loves marketing themselves. Charlie shares an apartment with his identical brother, Donald.

Profession… working on an adaptation of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief. Charlie sees this project as the challenge he needed. He explains, “I've arrived at an age where I want to think about the world in a different way. Adapting someone else's work is certainly an opportunity to think differently...Plus I love the idea of learning all about orchids.” He just doesn’t want to compromise the piece and turn it into a typical Hollywood production.

Interests… helping his brother write a screenplay. Donald, however, has been driving Charlie insane with the project (a murder mystery called The 3). Charlie believes that Donald is just pretending to be a writer, essentially mocking the profession’s seriousness.

Relationship Status… consumed by his obsession with Susan Orlean. Initially, Charlie would just stare at her picture. After reading her work, he now imagines that she is smart and perhaps a bit lost like him. Charlie dreams of her one day looking at him, seeing past all the flaws, and writing a description of him that is nicer than his self-perception.

Challenge… finishing this screenplay and summoning the courage to meet Susan Orlean. Charlie explains, “I'm too timid to speak to the woman who wrote the book. Because I'm pathetic. Because I have no idea how to write. Because I can't make flowers fascinating. Because I suck.”

Personality… self-loathing. Charlie believes wholeheartedly that, “I am old. I am fat. I am bald. My toenails have turned strange. I am repulsive. I suffer from a condition called Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I am fat, but am I as fat as I think? My therapist says no, but people lie."

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