Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith, Screenwriter & Novelist

What’s your favorite romantic comedy? If you’re thinking “Legally Blonde,” “10 Things I Hate About You” and “She’s The Man,” we have news for you. We caught up with Kirsten Smith, the Hollywood screenwriter & author behind all those films plus more!

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Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith co-wrote the films “Legally Blonde,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” “She’s the Man,” “The Ugly Truth,” “Ella Enchanted” and “The House Bunny.” Kiwi is a published poet and the author of two YA novels – one of which, Trinkets, is soon to be released as a series Netflix. She lives in Los Angeles with her partner Kurt Lustgarten, their two dog-children, and many many pairs of Sarah Flint shoes.

Sarah Flint: What does “walk like a woman” mean to you?

Kiwi Smith: For me it means having the freedom to be totally comfortable, while also feeling kick-ass and festive.

SF: What woman’s shoes would you like to walk in?

KS: Karen O. She’s an incredible performer with amazing style. I love how she glides back and forth between ferocity and bliss. I’d like to walk in Julianne Moore’s shoes so I could learn to be elegant. And Courtney Love’s because she’s one of my all-time heroes, brainy and messy and bold and brilliant.

SF: How do you define success?

KS: Respect in your chosen field, from peers of all ages. Making a body of work that stands the test of time. Continuing to stay inspired.

My Emmas make me feel like every outing can lead me into a new story.

SF: Who was the first woman who inspired you?

KS: Madonna was probably the first. I loved her in the 80s, with her curly hair all askew and ballet tights cut into shirts. She doesn’t get enough credit for her intelligence and humor. I hung on every sentence she uttered.

Courtney was my ’90s inspiration. I loved her wild style and her wit and fearlessness. She made it okay to have ambition and be a little out of control. And she’s a brilliant poet.

SF: Which shoe works best with your daily routine and why?

KS: The Emma hands down. I have about 12 pairs of Emmas in different colors. I like to rock a leggy look and the Emma streamlines the leg, and gives sexy toe cleavage plus rad support.

SF: What advice would you give to aspiring screenwriters?

KS: Read lots of screenplays so you can get the rhythms of the form. Read The Hollywood ReporterDeadline and Variety so you can get a sense of what other stories are selling in the marketplace. Finish a script and write another. Find a friend to write with. Always have a few projects in various stages of development — outlines, first drafts, film or TV — since one of them will probably stall or break your heart. This way you can keep moving and get onto the next great story you want to tell.

SF: What is your hidden secret power?

KS: I love movies and I love human beings, so those twin passions of cinema and wondering what makes people tick keep me inspired. I’m also continuously curious about Hollywood and the people in it, so I never run out of things to learn about my industry. I like being both a student in the game and a mentor.

SF: What is your favorite place to go in your Sarah Flint shoes?

KS: I love wearing my Sarah Flints to meetings, to concerts, out to dinner. They give me a literal pep in my step. My Emmas make me feel like every outing can lead me into a new story.

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