The Holdovers screenwriter David Hemingson and I enjoyed a long conversation about the genesis, development, and deeply personal aspects of his brilliant screenplay. It was clear from the first few minutes that Hemingson, a celebrated writer and producer of television, relished the opportunity to talk about his work. He demonstrated none of the typical reactions to conducting dozens of interviews in support of a film with strong and hugely deserved Oscar prospects. After the conversation, we discussed the then upcoming Governors Awards ceremony, which we both would attend. I told him I wanted to shake his hand at the event, not only in recognition of his outstanding screenplay for The Holdovers but also to thank him for such an insightful and fun conversation.
He was, in reality, the very first person I saw at the Governors Awards, and we continued the conversation for several minutes before the event started.
Hemingson’s work on The Holdovers feels intensely personal. That’s because it was, in part, based on his own experiences, populated with characters who were inspired by people close to him. That deep connection to the material also helped Hemingson fashion genuinely heartwarming and funny moments that feel of a completely different universe than his television work.
I feel so lucky and fortunate to be a screenwriter. I just love movies. I hope that this movie is a reflection of my love of film and the process? — David Hemingson, The Holdovers
Here is our interview that explores how he built the world of The Holdovers both from his personal experiences and from a strong collaboration with Oscar-winner Alexander Payne.
The Holdovers currently streams on Peacock and is available on home video.