Barnard allowed me to experiment in filmmaking and connected me to some incredible internships that completely shaped my career.

Amy Talkington ’93

[Lede photo by Katrina Dickson]

Amid demand for increased representation in Hollywood, award-winning writer, producer, and director Amy Talkington ’93 is answering the call, writing projects for major production studios such as 20th Century Fox, New Line Cinema, Universal, and Disney. 

Amy Talkington and Dad
Talkington ’93 pictured at graduation with her father, Dr. Mack Talkington. “He’s been one of my biggest supporters and champions."

Determined to attend Barnard and take advantage of the incredible opportunities that both the College and New York City offered, the art history major transferred from Vassar College after her sophomore year. “Barnard prepared me for my life in producing, directing, and screenwriting in so many ways,” said Talkington. “Barnard allowed me to experiment in filmmaking and connected me to some incredible internships that completely shaped my career.”

Valley Girl
Still from Valley Girl, directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg, with screenplay by Amy Talkington ’93. Photo courtesy of Orion Classics and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Recently, Talkington served as a co-executive producer and writer for Hulu’s hit miniseries Little Fires Everywhere, based on Celeste Ng’s bestselling novel, starring Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and Primetime Emmy-nominated actress Kerry Washington. Valley Girl, Talkington’s latest screenplay, is a remake of the 1983 teen cult classic. After 12 years of pitching her musical adaptation of it, Talkington was ecstatic when the film premiered on demand on May 8, 2020. 

“I was obsessed with the original [film],” said Talkington. “I related to [main character] Julie’s journey, as I was a teenager in North Dallas who’d discovered the music and art scene downtown. We didn’t want to just retread the original, so our version is a jukebox musical using all ’80s pop songs. It’s bright, fun, nostalgic, and has a lot of heart.”

One of Talkington’s many future projects is the family comedy Undercover, starring Zachary Levi and Cole Sprouse, although COVID-19 has put the film’s preproduction on pause. The break has given her time to reflect on her Barnard years and what she’s done since then: “I’m really proud of my work,” she said.

Valley Girl is available to view on Google Play and Amazon Prime Video. Find more of Talkington’s films and work here. Follow her on Twitter @amytalkington and Instagram on @theamytalkington.

Watch the Valley Girl trailer below, courtesy of Orion Pictures:


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