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Screenwriter Sherry White on crafting a love story around Maud Lewis' life

Newfoundland screenwriter Sherry White brings the story of folk artist Maud Lewis to life in the new film Maudie which stars Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke.
Sherry White (Courtesy of Sherry White)

Sherry White didn't know anything about Maud Lewis growing up, but immediately fell in love with the well-known Nova Scotian folk artist upon being presented with her work. That ignited an interest for Lewis, one that led her to writing an entire film about Lewis's life.

White's film is called Maudie (out now) and it stars Sally Hawkins as Maud and Ethan Hawke as Everett Lewis, her employer and, later, husband. White wasn't interested in creating a "movie-of-the-week" biopic spanning Lewis' entire life, though. Instead, White zeroed in on the love story between Maud and Everett. 

White is quick to admit that Maud and Everett's relationship was not perfect, and in fact reveals some abuse by Everett, but White also maintains the fact that not all love stories are as perfect as the ones we're used to seeing onscreen. 

Combining facts that she found about Lewis through research with a more fictionalized take on people and events, White says her goal was to own the story but, as she says, "make her proud and not embarrassed." 

— Produced by Catherine Stockhausen

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