Interview With Christina Welsh (Screenwriter For Addicted)

We had a chat with screenwriter Christina Welsh about her upcoming romantic drama film "Addicted." Christina chats about the process of writing the script, the characters and many more. Addicted will be released on October 9th 2014.

Otakus & Geeks: Let's start from the beginning. When did you decide that you wanted to become a screenwriter? What inspired you to enter the world of film?

Christina Welsh: I knew from the time I was five years old that I wanted to be a writer. I concentrated on writing novels and short stories as a child but when I was a teenager, I was inspired by ROCKY — I loved the movie and the story behind it: how Sylvester Stallone wrote the script and held out on selling it in order to play the lead. I was inspired by his passion. My father got me enrolled in a screenwriting class when I was 14 and later, I majored in screenwriting in college.

Otakus & Geeks: Your next film project is soon to be released entitled “Addicted” based on the book written by Zane. How did you become aboard the project?

Christina Welsh: It was an open writing assignment for Lionsgate Films. The studio put out the call, industry-wide. My agent and manager submitted me for the project — many writers were submitted by their representatives. Based on the strength of my writing sample, I was brought in to pitch my ideas for how I would turn this exciting book into a movie — after a few pitch meetings, the studio hired me to do the adaptation. Zane was part of the team that selected me, and I was pleased to have her blessing as I started this project.

Otakus & Geeks: What are some of the challenges of writing a screenplay as an adaptation opposed to writing an original screenplay?

Christina Welsh: An original idea comes from your own head and heart — so there are no rules. You write what you want and only answer to yourself and your own vision (until you sell your script, of course, and then you get producer and studio notes. ) When adapting a book, you want to be sure you honor the author’s voice and vision – while coming up with a cinematic interpretation of their work that can be realized on screen. In this case, I really liked the source material and Zane was always there to answer any questions I had — both of which made a challenging job much easier.

Otakus & Geeks: Was there any pressure going into this project with this being your second feature film and it being based on a book with a very popular audience?

Christina Welsh: Sure. IF ONLY, my first film, was based on my original script, so there were no audience expectations going in … ADDICTED has a huge built-in fan base, and those fans will be coming to the theaters to see how we did. You want to satisfy the people who love the book, but things are always going to change a bit in the translation. I think fans will see we remained true to the story and characters.

Otakus & Geeks: How long did it take you to write the screenplay? Did the author Zane have any input on how the screenplay would go?

Christina Welsh: I worked on the project off and on over a two-year period — and I went through multiple drafts for the studio and producers. Zane is an executive producer on the project, so she offered input along the way, which was very helpful to me. She was accessible through the writing process – when I had questions or wanted to run some new ideas past her. She was gracious and supportive of my work.

Otakus & Geeks: Usually with an adaptation that is based on a book not every scene makes it to the screenplay. Was there any particular scene that you had to cut but really wanted in the screenplay?

Christina Welsh: The book spans twenty years and includes some wonderful stuff from Zoe and her husband Jason’s youth — from when they first meet in grade school (and HATE each other!) through their early teen years when they start to become attracted to each other all the way through to their senior year in high school, when they’re deeply in love and planning a future together. We had some terrific and touching flashback scenes early in the writing process that covered some of those pivotal moments from their younger days. But when you have a 325-page book that you’re adapting into a 100-page screenplay, a lot of great moments have to be cut. I miss those flashback scenes, but the decision to keep the movie solely in the present day was a smart and understandable one.

Otakus & Geeks: The main character Zoe has an addiction to sex. This is a character trait we rarely see in female characters in movies. Can you tell us a little bit about what can we expect from the female characters in this film?

Christina Welsh: You’ll see a relatable woman — successful, ambitious, a loving wife and mother — succumb to a serious addiction. You’ll see Zoe’s addiction play out — from the exciting early moments when she first gets hooked on her “drug” all the way through to her desperate need for more and more, and the reckless behavior that puts her business, her family and her life at risk … You’ll see an intelligent and compassionate female therapist — Dr. Marcella Spencer — who is trying to help Zoe deal with her addiction and discover the root cause … You’ll see Zoe’s mother Nina and her best friend and colleague Brina — both of whom love Zoe and can see she is struggling with a serious problem as they reach out to help her ... Some very strong female characters throughout …

Otakus & Geeks: What do you hope audiences will take away from the film?

Christina Welsh: I hope they will be entertained by a sexy, provocative, thrilling film — with a talented and great-looking cast — that packs a profound and emotional wallop in the end and ultimately has something to say about addicts and how addiction impacts loved ones …

Otakus & Geeks: Are there any other projects that you're currently working on that you can tell us about?

Christina Welsh: I have a new original feature film script — an erotic thriller, like ADDICTED — that is about to make the rounds in Hollywood. I am also developing an original TV series pitch with a director-producer. There has been some interest in a foreign language remake of IF ONLY, so I’m exploring that, too. Stay tuned!

Otakus & Geeks: Finally how can people keep in touch do you have a social network?

Christina Welsh: On Twitter:
On Facebook: