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About Town PERSON OF INTEREST Who Does Whitney Cummings Think She Is? The prolific TV star/creator helms her first feature, The Female Brain By Lacey Rose • Photographed by Coral von Zumwalt W hitney Cummings was right around 30 when her mother and father suffered strokes within two years of each other. Desperate to understand what went wrong, she began devouring neurology books, which led her to Louann Brizendine’s The Female Brain. While it would do little to aid her parents, the book profoundly changed the comedian’s understanding of herself. “I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of relief,” she says, “and a lot less crazy.” Now Cummings, 35 and a prolific TV creator (2 Broke Girls, Whitney), has spun the tome into a rom-com (out Feb. 9 via IFC Films), enlisting Neal Brennan (Chappelle’s Show) to co-write and lining up Sofia Vergara, James Marsden and the NBA’s Blake Griffin to join her onscreen. That her directorial debut, a film centering on empathy between the sexes, arrives in the heat of the Time’s Up moment isn’t lost on the D.C.-reared Ivy Leaguer, also a showrunner on ABC’s Roseanne revival. Though the movement has Cummings reconsidering some of her early experiences in comedy (“Because of the rejection you get and how tough you have to be … I didn’t realize some sexual harassment I had dealt with”), she says stand-up remains “the only place I’m comfortable. It’s where I oxygenate.” People, Places, Preoccupations HAIR BY DAVID STANWELL FOR DOVE HAIRCARE AT THE WALL GROUP, MAKEUP BY KATHLEEN KARRIDENE. Your financier, Black Bicycle’s Erika Olde, had to persuade you to direct The Female Brain. Why? There are tectonic plates moving in our business Hear about Cummings’ tsunami experience on set at THR.COM/VIDEO “One of the big conversations I’m trying to have onstage right now is that to be pro-woman, you don’t have to be anti-man. Saying all men suck makes you look like an idiot,” says Cummings, photographed Jan. 26 at Harlowe in West Hollywood. Styling by George Kotsiopoulos Wolk Morais jacket, vest, trousers, shirt and tie, Christian Louboutin shoes. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER 23 FEBRUARY 7, 2018

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