The Many “One True Loves” Of Taylor Jenkins Reid

The ubiquitous author turned Hollywood powerhouse dispels rumors about her most beloved projects and explains the beauty in adapting one of her early novels, One True Loves, for the screen.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is not Hollywood’s muse. She’s Hollywood.

For several years now, the author has been an IP machine, generating mega-hit books that turn into highly anticipated shows and films. It started when TikTok shined a light on her 2019 novel Daisy Jones & The Six, which became a much-watched Amazon Prime miniseries last month. The cycle is now repeating with three other novels in development — The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo as a Netflix film, Malibu Rising as a Hulu series, and Carrie Soto Is Back as a TV series for Picturestart. (No word yet on where Carrie Soto will air.)

Her latest project is an adaptation of one of her earliest works. One True Loves, a rom-com based on her 2016 novel of the same name, was released in theaters on April 7. It will be released digitally on April 14 and was produced by BuzzFeed Studios alongside others. She cowrote the film with Alex Jenkins Reid, her husband.

It’s a good time to be Reid. She was a producer on Daisy Jones and is an executive producer on all other screen adaptations. She’s also garnered herself a devoted, extremely online audience that has the same obsessive tendencies as Swifties. They make character drawings, casting theories, and fanfiction all devoted to her work. It’s all a bit kismet — or ironic, depending on how you look at it. 

The writer known for chronicling fictional famous women navigating intense notoriety has found herself a recognizable writer unable to escape the ubiquity of her work. Her novels fill airport bookshops and the New York Times bestseller list, yet Reid is putting the medium aside — momentarily. 

“I want to keep writing books because I love what I do,” she tells BuzzFeed News. It’s just that she is “driven entirely by excitement,” and right now, what excites her is screenwriting and producing. “I have become known for a particular type of book, and which is to say a book dealing with fame, and I would like to go back to telling stories that are big in scope,” she says of current literary aspirations. “It's actually probably more going back to what I had long done before.”

Her early career as a romance novelist has been on her mind lately while adapting One True Loves for the screen. The film scratches the ever-growing itch for rom-coms that are actually enjoyable: Emma (Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo) must choose between her husband Jesse (Holidate hunk Luke Bracey), who was presumed to be dead after a helicopter crash only to return alive years later, and her new love Sam (Marvel's superhunk Simu Liu). 

It’s Reid’s first screen adaption of her pre–Evelyn Hugo books, from a time in her life before she received co-signs from Reese Witherspoon and Jenna Bush Hager. Returning to One True Loves from the comfort of knowing she’s made it as an author must be cathartic, like returning to a childhood home as an adult. If this moment were any more literary, Reid might have just written it herself.

I know how it feels when your books aren't the talk of the town,” says Reid, who released her first book, Forever, Interrupted, in 2013, about four years before Evelyn Hugo kicked her career into a higher gear.

I never take for granted what is happening for my books now, because I learned how this industry works at a much smaller pace, and — I don't know — I think if my first book was a massive hit, I don't know if I've had that perspective. And I love that perspective,” she continues.

It’s a helpful ego death to have as she embraces new avenues in Hollywood, including cowriting an upcoming comedy film starring Ariana Debose and Amanda Seyfried. It’s changed her relationship with her fans. Her career took off, in part, thanks to BookTok and literary Twitter championing Daisy Jones and retroactively Evelyn Hugo. Recently, fans have aggressively mined her digital presence to parse any potential updates on her many adaptations. 

“It’s all very Greek,” she says. “I wrote about fame as a somewhat toxic force in people's lives, and in so doing, attracted it for myself, which I now have to contend with.”

Last month, when she followed Selena Gomez on Instagram, it fueled theories that Gomez may star as Evelyn Hugo in the forthcoming film. “I’ll give you a very, very definitive answer to this,” says Reid, who is surprisingly game to squash rumors and theories about her projects.

“I think Selena Gomez is adorable, and I love watching her on Selena + Chef,” Reid says, noting she’s never spoken to the actor. "I thought, Oh, I should follow her because she seems cool. That's all that happened."

So, no, it doesn't seem Selena is Evelyn, even if the casting wouldn’t be a bad idea. Something to think about? “Selena Gomez as any character ever is not a bad idea. I love her,” Reid responds.

How about those wishes for Daisy Jones Season 2? “Never say never, but I say that as a person who's not inclined to do it,” she says.

“It's a question of: do we need that? And, until an answer comes to me where I think we need it, I'm not going to go down that road,” she says.

Alright, well, how about the Daisy Jones actors going on a live tour of the Aurora album? “I will always say yes because I have no dog in this fight,” she says. “If people want Daisy Jones & The Six to go on tour, they should keep talking about it and try to convince Amazon.”

Perhaps the most surprising thing that Reid has learned from her career creating fictional celebrities is that she may already have the answers on how to navigate fame in her own writing.

“There are absolutely times where I come to a conclusion about my own life that I realized Evelyn [Hugo] had, however many years ago when I wrote it,” she said, like realizing praise is a dangerous addiction.

“Just because I know what Evelyn should do, just because I know what [Malibu Rising’s] Nina Riva should be, does not mean that I know what I should do,” she continues. “It is a very surprising and admittedly totally unforeseen situation that I find myself in.”

Fortunately for Reid, as any writer including herself knows, unforeseen situations are when stories actually get interesting, and Reid’s is only just revving up.

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