Of the many stories that have emerged from Busy Philipps’s memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, the debacle over the 2007 movie Blades of Glory has perhaps been a little overlooked. But speaking at Vulture Festival in LA on Saturday, Philipps said having her rightful credit on the film usurped and denied by then-boyfriend Craig Cox and his brother Jeff was actually “really traumatic and disastrous.”
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Philipps said she experienced “PTSD panic” when she first stumbled on a Nerdist article about the history behind Blades of Glory. It said the Cox brothers first came up with the idea and wrote the film.
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“That’s not what happened. I read that, and I lost my s**t,” she said. After a heated, “very intense” text exchange, Craig Cox apologized and arranged for the facts to be corrected in the Nerdist piece. “I basically was like, ‘You’re basic, and you’re dead to me, and have fun reading my f**king book, you mother***ker.”
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But despite having made up with the brothers, she pointed out that instances like this are all too common in women’s lives. “Historically, this is a thing that happens,” she said. “Women’s ideas and creativity get taken by men who are near them and used for their own personal gain.” She also said she’d been “gaslit” and “made to feel crazy,” and was “really traumatized,” which then stymied her belief in her abilities and creative instincts for years.
Philipps also said choosing to discuss her abortion in the book felt especially vital now. “I broke my brain two years ago when Trump was elected,” she said at the start of the panel, then went on to later add, “I always knew I wanted to talk about the abortion. But in the current political climate…I think it’s important that we continue to talk about it, only because we’re living in this time where very few women remember the time before Roe v. Wade…the way people talk about it is very black and white, but it’s a very grey area, I think.”
Touching on lighter topics, Phillips admitted her chagrin at outing Noah Centineo for ghosting a friend of hers on the dating app Raya. While appearing as a guest on The Late Late Show With James Corden, Phillips says she may have been a little tough on the 22-year-old Centineo.
“It was very unplanned that I brought that up on Corden, and I did feel bad because he is a child, but a child was fully hitting up my 40-year-old friend,” she said. “He was like, ‘Oh yeah, you’re right, I did that.’ He was very sweet about it.” But Phillips admitted she felt she’d gone too far. “I just felt like it was very shitty of me.”
She also revealed Thanksgiving plans for her talkshow Busy Tonight, saying viewers can look forward to seeing Lauren Graham and Ike Barinholtz, “who’s been a good friend of mine for 18 years,” D’Arcy Carden, and Beth Behrs.
And on Saturday, Busy Philipps stepped out at the Vulture Festival in Los Angeles, held at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Busy Philipps hasn't shied away from discussing celebrity gossip on her new late-night talk show, E!'s Busy Tonight, but the actress made headlines for her appearance on James Corden's Late Late Show alongside Netflix heartthrob Noah Centineo. Philipps called out the 22-year-old actor for ghosting one of her writers on a dating app.
The actress made a vivid statement at the event, which saw her dressed in a stand out, beaded skirt.
In a panel at Vulture Fest in Los Angeles, she said she feels a little bad about airing the dirty laundry on national television.
"It was very unplanned that I brought that up on Corden and I did feel bad because he is a child, but a child was fully hitting up my 40-year-old friend," she said on the panel. "On the show he was like, 'Oh yeah, you're right, I did that.' He was very sweet about it, I just felt like it was very shitty of me." But despite that incident, Philipps doesn't plan to stop talking about gossip — there are just certain topics she'll stay away from.
"I feel like you can talk about these stories and these things that people are interested in in ways that don't objectify the women involved," she said. "We're not talking about their looks or their clothing choices or their bodies, but we could talk about questionable engagement choices. … And then I think when people fuck up it's okay to call them out on that."
She continued, "Barring some huge fucking craziness, I probably won't talk about people's divorces or people's kids. I would be interested if somebody said something about their parenting. If somebody did an interview about that subject, I might talk about it. It just depends."
Part of that mindset seems to stem from the fact that Philipps is willing to share plenty about her own life on social media — like the conversational Instagram stories she's become known for.
"I don't delete things," she said of her use of the platform. "I sort of feel like it's a little bit intuitive for me in terms of what lines I'm willing to cross, and I feel like it's hard for some people to know those lines for themselves."
She also shared plenty of intimate family details in her book, This Will Only Hurt a Little. It caused tension in her family, though the conflict seems to have passed.
"My book was really hard on my family, and maybe continues to be," Philipps revealed. "I don't know, we stopped talking about it. Ultimately my mom is really proud of it and I think she sees the value in it now that it's come out, I think."
In the book, now a New York Times bestseller, the actress opens up about being sexually assaulted as a teen, getting an abortion, and her more recent marital struggles. She said she always planned on including the assault and all the other tough-to-talk about details in the book.
"I probably wouldn't be here without all of that shit. I always knew that I wanted to talk about the abortion for a lot of reasons — current political climate and the interesting way people talk about abortion," she said, adding, "I think it's important that we continue to talk about it because we live in this time now where many women don't know what it's like to live before Roe v. Wade. …I think the further we get from that time the more we see it in a black and white way and it's a very grey area. I also wanted to talk about the rape and sexual assault because I just felt like I was fucking done holding on to it after almost 25 years."
In being so vulnerable, she also knew that her extremely personal experiences could be presented in disingenuous ways.
"I was aware that these things could be reduced to clickbait headlines, and that bummed me out. It bummed me the fuck out. It's so stupid," she said, railing against a story about a Trump supporter who was kicked out of Disneyland. In reality, the man wasn't kicked out for his political views, he was kicked out for breaking so many of the park's rules. "It's just to stir the pot and get you to click on it. I clicked on it!"
Another intimate story was the little-known fact that she cowrote the movie Blades of Glory with her friend from high school — and then her contribution was erased when the movie was sold. The movie's cowriters have since apologized, but the experience was traumatic.
"The importance of the story was to me, historically this is a thing that happens," she explained. "Women's ideas and creativity get taken by men who are near them and used for their personal gain. I was gaslit and made to feel crazy, and I was really traumatized by it. I didn't trust myself or my instincts or my own abilities."
The rest of the wide-ranging conversation included discussion about what makes her cry (everything, pretty much, especially after Donald Trump's election, she said), the feminist impulse that led her to create her own late-night talk show ("I had a thing about not doing a morning or a daytime show. I just felt like it's fuckin' bullshit that all these dudes have this"), and bonding with her castmates on everything from Freaks and Geeks (Linda Cardellini) and Dawson's Creek (best friend Michelle Williams) to the movie Maid of Honor (Whitney Cummings).
Working on a set with someone for 15 hours a day can create intense friendship bonds, but often they don't withstand the years. Philipps, however, has maintained several of those friendships.
"My relationship with Linda has withstood, and Whitney too, I think it's just a question of time put in and what the other person is willing to give back," she revealed. "But I also think Michelle and I, she said it first, we're soulmates. We just had a very intense bond [at the time], and it's everything after that too."