Neil LaBute on truth, connection, and raising the question.

What Is the Duty of a Writer?

What Is the Duty of a Writer?

Risks and rewards of the creative life.
Sept. 22 2015 10:33 AM

Neil LaBute on Truth, Connection, and Raising the Question

The controversial writer and director talks about why critics and audiences often mistake his sense of morality with that of his characters.

Neil LaBute
Neil LaBute

Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photo by Aaron Eckhart.

Listen to this episode of the Moment with guest Neil LaBute:


This week on the Moment, Brian Koppelman talks to Neil LaBute, writer and director of movies such as In The Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors. The two discuss Neil’s television show, Billy & Billie, and examine his process as a director by taking a closer look at his 2013 film, Some Velvet Morning. Also, Neil talks about his work as a writer and why critics and audiences often confuse his personal sense of morality with that of his characters. Plus, Brian and Neil meditate on the social utility of truth-telling and to what lengths writers and audiences are willing to go in order to feel connected in a world that’s ever changing.

Topics discussed on today’s show include:

People discussed on today's show:


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Brian Koppelman is a filmmaker (Rounders, Solitary Man), essayist, and podcaster. His latest project is the upcoming Showtime series Billions.