Patricia Resnick, 25, is one of Hollywood's most improbable and hottest new screenwriters. Her Ladies in Waiting, a sardonic slice-of-life about waitresses, aired on the PBS Visions series last month and was based on her own experiences in Miami Beach after dropping out of college at 18. After two years Patricia outgrew her rebellion, moved West and enrolled at USC, majoring in film. Then she brashly managed to interview director Robert Altman for a term paper and so impressed him that he hired her as an assistant publicist. A chance meeting with one of his stars led to creating two sketches for Lily Tomlin's Tony-winning stage show, Appearing Nightly, and Resnick's first writing credit. Next Alt-man wanted her back to help concoct (with two other writers) his 50-character satire, A Wedding, in which Patricia also played a bit part. Meanwhile Alan (All the President's Men) Pakula tracked her down to do a script, and Jane Fonda commissioned one about secretaries, Nine to Five. Scheduled for summer production, it may possibly star Tomlin and Dolly Parton. Meanwhile Lily also wants another film. How does Resnick do it all? "Writing is only hard for the first 30 pages," she explains. "After that you know the characters. It's like dreaming. I just lie on the couch and watch and listen to them. Then I go and put it down."
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