Callie Khouri has come a long way since her humble beginnings in Paducah, Kentucky as a waitress and theater apprentice. Since then she has written the Oscar-winning screenplay of Thelma and Louise and created critically-acclaimed television show Nashville.
Athena Film Festival’s Ben Blacker recently caught up with Khouri to learn more about her career and creative process.
Early Life and Education
After developing her skills as a music video producer and script supervisor, Khouri began writing screenplays. Her breakthrough came with 1991 movie Thelma and Louise which tells the tale of two women on an adventurous weekend road trip that quickly spirals into crime spree – garnering critical acclaim as well as becoming an international phenomenon.
Khouri continued her exploration of female friendship and resisting male-controlled systems through subsequent films such as 1995’s Something to Talk About and 2002’s Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood film adaptation, including Mad Money and Hollis & Rae.
She is also the creator and executive producer of Nashville, featuring strong female characters led by Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. As an innovator of complex female roles in film and television media, she makes for the ideal recipient of this year’s Athena Award.
Callie Khouri is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer. Her screenplay for Thelma & Louise earned her an Academy Award, Golden Globe award, PEN Literary award as well as several others. Additionally, Khouri adapted Rebecca Well’s novel Divine Secrets of Ya-Ya Sisterhood into a film adaptation.
Khouri excels at portraying complex and interesting women in her films and TV shows, such as Patsy and Loretta for Lifetime Movie Network and Nashville for ABC TV Series. Additionally, she serves on the Writers Guild of America committee and teaches master classes at Athena Film Festival while she works on writing her stage musical Cake for Broadway productions.
Achievement and Honors
Callie Khouri earned an Academy Award for Thelma & Louise screenplay in 1992 and continued writing movies and television shows that featured strong female protagonists. Her movies like Something to Talk About, Divine Secrets of Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Hollis & Rae and Mad Money explore themes like female friendship and subverting male-dominated systems.
Khouri used her success to launch a career that includes creating and directing TV series such as Nashville, an ABC drama which focused on country music industry. After six seasons and numerous award nominations, the show garnered Khouri critical acclaim and multiple nominations, ultimately garnering her the 2016 Patsy Montana Award from National Cowgirl Museum. Boots Riley and Tanya Saracho of this year’s critically acclaimed films Sorry to Bother You and Vida will receive this year’s New Voice Awards from Final Draft respectively.
Khouri’s Oscar-winning script for Thelma & Louise galvanized feminist audiences and cemented her position as one of Hollywood’s foremost female writers. Since then, she has continued writing critically acclaimed movies and TV series – such as Nashville.
Before becoming a professional writer, she studied theater at Purdue University and Lee Strasberg Institute. Prior to that she held various roles such as theater apprentice/waitress as well as production company receptionist/assistant roles.
Callie Khouri has been married to American record producer and musician T Bone Burnett since 2006. However, she has no children of her own and remains relatively private about her personal life in public; although rumors about potential dates tend to circulate. Callie is an active social media user; her Instagram account boasts over one million followers.
Callie Khouri is an accomplished American TV and film director and screenwriter best known for her Academy Award-winning script Thelma & Louise as well as co-creating Nashville. Khouri was born November 27, 1957 in San Antonio, Texas.
Callie Khouri has amassed an estimated net worth of $12 Million according to online sources, most likely from her work as a screenwriter.
Callie’s Astrological Birth Chart, commonly referred to as her Natal Chart, provides a snapshot of planetary coordinates at her exact moment of birth – this allows an astrologist to accurately discern her unique traits that define her personality. Each house represents different aspects of Callie and which planets appear there is determined by time and place of her birth.