The eight-part miniseries “Sharp Objects,” based on the 2006 book of the same title by Chicago author Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”), premiered last Sunday on HBO.
The series stars Amy Adams as Camille Preaker, a lackluster reporter who reluctantly returns on assignment to her hometown in rural Missouri to cover the murder of two girls. Preaker’s homecoming reveals her own complicated past with her mother Adora, played by Patricia Clarkson.
Flynn, who serves as executive producer on the HBO series, says Camille “comes home and she keeps going back to this toxic well of trying to have this relationship with a mother who is actually, you know, really psychologically poisonous.”
The book is darker, grittier and more complicated than an average whodunit, and it wasn’t an instant contender for a screen adaptation.
“No one wanted it for a long time,” Flynn said. “It dealt with subjects that people were a little nervous about. It dealt with women’s rage and women’s violence and aggression.”
Flynn has also weighed in on the role of rage and anger in the #MeToo movement. “It’s important to actually be able to be angry. There are a lot of women out there who’ve gone through a lot of awful things and ... don’t hush them. Let them express that anger. They have a right to be angry. To quiet that anger is a very dangerous thing,” she said.
Flynn, a Kansas City native and Northwestern University graduate, is not new to screen adaptations. Her third novel “Gone Girl” was an international bestseller before hitting the big screen in 2014. She wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck as married couple Amy and Nick Dunne.
She is currently working on her newest book and said she loves the first page. “Any author, I should say, should love the first page of their book because it’s a long slog to write a novel, and if you’re not in love with your first page you’re in trouble. But I do love that first page. I really do.”
Though she was tight-lipped about the details of the project (“I’m still figuring it out myself,” she said), Flynn did share an intriguing first sentence of the novel with Chicago Tonight: “The men are falling.”
For everything else, readers will have to wait.
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