Four years ago today, Otherhood was released on Netflix. A comedy about the complexities of motherhood, this film was both heartfelt and hilarious. There is no surprise that it was written and directed by the one and only Cindy Chupack.
Cindy Chupack is an American filmmaker who has worked on some of the most beloved TV series to date, including Sex and the City and Modern Family. Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Cindy credits her third-grade teacher, Virginia Davis, for encouraging her in her writing, establishing her dreams from a very young age.
After receiving a degree in journalism from Northwestern University, Cindy started out her career in television. In 2018, she directed her first episode of television: “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” from the comedy-drama I’m Dying Up Here. Cindy also wrote several episodes of Sex and the City (along with being an executive producer), six of which were nominated for Writer’s Guild and/or Emmy Awards. She was also a writer and executive producer for Modern Family.
Cindy has already won TWO Emmys and THREE Golden Globes!
For these two series, Cindy won two Emmys and three Golden Globes for Outstanding Comedy Series. During her time in television, Cindy also created the show Love Bites, about two single women navigating the dating world while all of their friends are married. She has labeled this series her “passion project.”
In 2019, Cindy made her directorial debut with Otherhood. Starring Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett, and Felicity Huffman, Otherhood is about three suburban moms who show up in New York City unannounced to visit their adult sons. Not only entertaining, Otherhood stands out with its leading ladies: as FF2 contributor Beatrice Viri points out, “[It’s] rare and revolutionary to see a movie starring three women in their 50’s having the time of their lives.”
In an interview with FF2 contributor Lesley Coffin, Cindy spoke about being a female director and how this influences the types of stories she tells: “It’s important to remember that it isn’t that women can exclusively tell female stories, but through the lens of the female experience when we tell these stories about the female experience we focus on different things than a male director might. […] I wanted to tell stories about the extraordinary ordinary with amazing actresses of a certain age. And the women who came on board and put their names behind it helped legitimize it.”
Not only has Cindy been wildly successful in film and TV, she is also an author!
Not only has Cindy been wildly successful in film and TV, she is also an author! In 2003, she came out with New York Times bestseller The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays, a book of essays for the temporarily single woman. Her second book was released in 2014, a comic memoir about marriage entitled The Longest Date: Life as a Wife. She has also written many comedic essays for The New York Times, People, Allure, Glamour, and more.
In her interview with Lesley, Cindy discusses the hurdles she had to jump through starting out as a female director. As she explains, “[When] I started there weren’t nearly as many female directors, so there were very few female role models for me to look to.”
However, she continued to pursue her dreams despite any shortcomings she believed she had. As she puts it, “There is a stumbling block women run into where women feel like, if there are ten qualifications for a job women won’t apply if they’re missing two but men will apply if they’re missing five. So I realized that even if I don’t know the name for every lens, I have experiences that I’m bringing to this project which are valuable.” This could not be more true: as a woman and a fantastic talent, Cindy has things to say as a filmmaker that no one else can.
© Julia Lasker (8/2/2023) FF2 Media
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Read Lesley Coffin’s interview with Cindy Chupack here.
Read Beatrice Viri’s review of Otherhood here.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Featured Photo: Angela Bassett with Heidi Gardner in Otherhood. Photo Credit: Linda Kallerus. Courtesy of Electronic Press Kit provided by Netflix. All Rights Reserved.
Middle photo: Cindy Chupak (10/21/17) Wikimedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cindy_Chupack_2017_(cropped).jpg
Bottom photo: Otherhood Director Cindy Chupak onsite with cinematographer Declan Quinn. Photo Credit: Linda Kallerus. Courtesy of Electronic Press Kit provided by Netflix. All Rights Reserved.