We were bummed to have lost former New York Post and Radar writer Neel Shah to the West Coast a couple years back, but hot damn, the California lifestyle seems to be workin’ for him. The journalist-turned-TV writer churns out primetime gold for Whitney and Men At Work, and his first screenplay Fuck Marry Kill, a tale of three high school best friends who attend their reunion in search of retribution, is getting all kinds of buzz. Since we’re pretty sure we’re never getting him back to NYC, we’ll embrace this opportunity to catch up with him on the internets. —carlye wisel
Q: You just got back from Paris. What’s making you want to go again?
A: Probably the most embarrassing thing about my entire trip is that I was there for a long period of time, and I didn’t go to a single museum. I was actually too busy eating and drinking and smoking and trying to make out with pretty French girls that it was impossible to go to museums.
Q: What’s being a TV writer in Los Angeles like?
A: When you’re in production, you’re very much in an office for ten hours a day. You’re sitting in a conference room with the other writers, and you never leave this room. You never go outside, and all of your meals are eaten at the conference room table—so it’s like very much an office job. But, then, when you’re not on a show or when your show wraps or gets canceled, then you’re just chillin’. So, it’s a weird combination of the ten-hour days and these days when you realize you haven’t spoken a word out loud to someone because you haven’t left your house.
Q: Is there any part of L.A. life you still haven’t adjusted to?
A: I feel weirdly comfortable here. Every time I go to New York now, I find it completely overwhelming and stressful. The lifestyle here just kind of lulls you in because the seasons never change—it’s always kind of pleasant, and it’s really hard to keep track of how much time has passed. Right now I feel like such a horrible cliché: I just had Greek yogurt and almonds for breakfast, and now I’m going to go to CrossFit. Before I would have killed myself for even saying that, and now its like, “Oh, that’s kind of my life!” I had one glass of wine yesterday at dinner and was like,”Wow! That was crazy!”
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: There are two things in my wardrobe that I have seen Justin Bieber wear. I was really excited about this awesome Junya Watanabe leather jacket I got. I wore it last year, and the next day, forty people sent me photos of Justin Bieber wearing the same jacket. No one knows I got it first, so now it just looks like I crib Justin Bieber’s style, which is not good for an almost 30-year-old adult male.
Q: Is there any trend you despise?
A: The male jewelry trend started with people getting really into watches and then bracelets and necklaces. And now, especially in L.A., I literally see guys with ropes and ropes and strands of beads. There is a point of trying too hard, and that’s where I think it’s officially crossed.