Will Sharpe of The White Lotus will direct the film adaptation of Michelle Zauner's 'Crying In H-Mart' - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

As Japanese Breakfast frontperson Michelle Zauner’s memoir Crying InH-Mart became a runaway literary success in 2021, news that it was being developed into a feature film followed quickly. Zauner has been working on the screenplay — in between tour stretches in support of the band’s stellar third LP Jubilee — and this week some crucial crew news was announced. Will Sharpe, who starred in season two of The WhiteLotus, is directing.

Announcing the news on Japanese Breakfast’s social media, Zauner wrote:

It was a daunting task, to find someone I could trust with the retelling of such a personal story. Someone who could honor my mother’s character and respect the darkest days of grief, and still make the coming of age of a half Korean artsy outsider in a small Pacific Northwest hippie town seem real and cool.

In that spirit, I am so relieved to have found Will Sharpe and am beyond delighted that he will be the director of Crying in H Mart. I believe his sensitivity, as a director and an actor, and his own personal experience, having also grown up between two cultures, will be tremendous assets.

His work on Flowers and the Electrical Life of Louis Wain speak to his ability to conjure lofty, vulnerable performances, to find humor and grace within the tragedy of the everyday. They are a precious collection of talents that make him the perfect fit for this film.

In an interview with People, Sharpe shared how Crying In H-Mart impacted him:

There were lots of things that resonated with me as somebody who is half-Japanese, half-British, spent my childhood in Tokyo. Some of the descriptions of being jet-lagged in your family’s kitchen felt very familiar to me. … I found that it felt universal in its specificity, in that it’s so lovingly detailed about the experience of growing up around Korean food and the cooking of Korean food. For me, it would be Japanese food and remembering growing up going to the 7-Elevens and the convenience stores in Tokyo and the dumplings that my mother would make when I was unwell. And I felt like I could recognize that in the descriptions of the Korean porridge or the kimchi and how important that still is to Michelle and how food can carry certain other things within it about your life.

Zauner’s book tour comes to the Free Library of Philadelphia on Friday, April 14th, where she will discuss Crying In H-Mart with Homay King, professor of art history at her alma mater, Bryn Mawr College. Auditorium seating is sold out, but tickets are still available for overflow seating; more information can be found here. Read our review of Crying In H-Marthere.

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