Author Sheryl Benko is well known in the media industry. She has worked on over thirty films amongst the titles are the Acedemy Award winning blockbusters, “TITANIC,” Quentin Tarantino’s “INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS,” Kenneth Branagh’s “THOR,” for Marvel Films, Oliver Stone’s “SAVAGES,” and the Jon Favreau hit, “CHEF.” Wow, impressive!
Sheryl is currently working on dual projects, serving as the Post Production Supervisor for the upcoming feature “UNCLE FRANK” which just premiered at Sundance. She is also working on “DON’T LOOK DEEPER”. We can’t wait to check them out!
Her love of movies is expressed through writing screenplays and producing and directing short films. Becoming an author has been an interesting transition for her with her first novel “The Last of Will”. We just HAD to learn more about this new book from this impressive media superstar!
Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Octavia Spencer. I had the pleasure of working with her on two movies years ago, and she is one of the kindest, warmest people I have ever met. When writing the character of Helen, it was Octavia’s voice that I always heard. She informed so much of that character. I ran into Octavia recently at the PGA Awards, and we are going to try to catch up soon – so, fingers crossed!
Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?
My grandma. She was always writing poems and short stories. She was so creative, and could come up with the most engaging rhymes and prose. She was always entering writing contests, and often won! Her dedication to craft always makes me want to work harder, and keep striving to find the most entertaining, eloquent way to tell a story. Whenever I “feel” my Grandma while I’m writing, I know she’ll point me in the right direction.
Q. If you could give your book to one singer/musician, who would it be and why?
Adele. I always remember her speech from an awards show, where she said that she and her friend were “pissing themselves laughing.” I hope that my book would do the same for her!
Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?
In terms of Greer, I’ve never had an exact actress in mind. For me, I feel Greer’s “essence,” and have an image of her in my head, but it doesn’t translate to a known actor – or, at least, not one that jumps to mind. For Greer’s father, Will, I’ve thought of many actors over the years, but the most recent has been Jason Bateman. Aside from being a very good actor, he has a self-deprecating quality that allows him to be funny without trying to be. Will has been beaten down by life when we meet him, and Greer has to partially pull him out of the abyss. An actor like Jason Bateman could be really fun and engaging in that dynamic.
Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?
I have a few stuffed animals. The soft, plushy kind – not taxidermy. And I occasionally talk to them. By the way, any adult who tells you they don’t have at least one stuffed animal is probably lying. And if they have more than one stuffed animal, they definitely talk to them.
Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?
That while we are all different and unique, we have more in common than we know. Finding that connection and that shared language is a fascinating journey. We just have to be open to the ride!
Q. Give us the scoop on your book.
I am outlining the screenplay, which will be the next venture. Greer and Will deserve a road trip movie.
Rapid Fire Questions and Answers
Q. Morning person or night owl?
A. Night owl.
Q. Reading or writing?
Q. Kittens or puppies?
Q. The beach or the mountains?
Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?
A. Road trip.
Q. Tea or coffee?
Q. Karaoke or bowling?
Q. The ability to fly or mind reading?
Q. Selfie or group photo?
A. Group photo.
Q. E.L. James or J.K. Rowling?
A. J.K. Rowling.