Nichols and May: Interviews is a compilation of 27 interviews with the legendary multi-hyphenates published over the course of fifty years.
Robert E. Kapsis edits the book, which joined the University of Mississippi Press‘s Conversations with Filmmakers Series late last year. It’s a worth addition when you consider that the definitive biography of the comedian/filmmaker is not coming out until the upcoming book by Mark Harris, Mike Nichols: A Life, is published in February.
I’ll be honest. This book took me over a month to read. Granted, I only really read it on Shabbas instead of during the week. I don’t think it’s a bad book at all. Though when you feature five decades worth of interviews, some of the material begins to get repetitive in nature. Some highlights follow below.
David Ansen’s interview with the cast, director, and writer of Angels in America was also included. The interview was first published in Newsweek almost two decades ago if that’s hard to believe. It’s also one of the funnier interviews in the book, too. This is especually surprising since it is such a serious subject.
There are no shortage of Ishtar stories. It’s hard getting someone like Elaine May to open up about her life. But if there’s anyone able to do so, it was her partner in crime, Mike Nichols. Following a rare screening (sold out, too!) of the film, Nichols and May sat down in conversation for an hour. Oh, to have been a fly on that wall! This conversation alone is one of the book’s highlights.
One of the final interviews featured with the comedy duo is Sam Kashner’s Vanity Fair interview. This interview ran in in the magazine when they handed the reigns over to Judd Apatow as a guest editor.
Nichols and May are two of the greatest comedy geniuses of our time. When they worked together, it was something special. There are not many people that have what these two have but Nichols and May: Interviews gives us the best of the best interviews available.