Stephen Fry's 'Bright Young Things'

British Actor Turns to Waugh Novel for Directing Debut

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Listen: <b>Web Extra:</b> Extended Interview with Fry

Stephen Fry

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Poster for 'Bright Pretty Things'

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British actor and author Stephen Fry has recently added a third title to his resume: director. His film Bright Young Things adapts Evelyn Waugh's classic 1930 comic novel Vile Bodies for the screen. Set in London between the world wars, the film frantically follows a group of socialites as they literally invent youth culture.

Fry talks to NPR's Scott Simon about his directorial debut and about the social and cultural parallels of the film with 21st century society. While he notes that the current obsession with the young and glamorous is a touchstone, Fry feels that his characters — and their real-life models — were more intimately involved in the intellectual and artistic transformations of their era.

Bright Young Things opened in limited U.S. release on August 20. Stephen Campbell Moore and Emily Mortimer play the lead romantic roles. Fry plays a chauffer in the film, which also features cameos by Dan Akroyd and Peter O'Toole.

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