The New Generation of Classic Short Stories

Vol. 15, No. 1

An Introduction to "Why Don’t You Dance?"

by Will Ferrell

I’m man enough to admit that I had no idea who Raymond Carver was when writer/director Dan Rush handed me his brilliant script, Everything Must Go. I’m also dumb enough to admit that after flipping for the script I didn’t even bother to pick up Carver’s collection of short stories What We Talk About When We Talk About Love—one of which, “Why Don’t You Dance?” is the basis of the story for the film—until Dan sent it to me. I quickly pored through all the stories in one sitting. The haunting landscapes that Carver often creates in his writing really captured me. Though the themes revolve around alcoholic loneliness, I found the mastery of stark minimalism to be beautiful. It made me love Dan’s script even more, and as we filmed the movie we tried to stay true to something that would reflect Carver’s tone—quiet, haunting, and beautiful.

To read “Why Don’t You Dance?” and other stories from the Spring 2011 issue, please purchase a copy from our online store.