Lorene Scafaria

Lorene Scafaria (born May 1, 1978) is an American screenwriter, playwright, actress, singer, and film director. She is best known for her work on the films Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008), Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012), and Hustlers (2019).

Lorene Scafaria
Born (1978-05-01) May 1, 1978
Holmdel Township, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Filmmaker
  • playwright
  • singer
Alma materMontclair State University
Years active1999–present

Early life

Scafaria was born and raised in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, the daughter of Gail and Joseph R. Scafaria. Her father was an Italian immigrant, from Gioia Tauro, Calabria.[1][2][3] She first became interested in writing when she would write up a report on a completely fake book once a month to win Pizza Hut gift certificates from her school. She began to take an interest in storytelling and had written and produced her first play in Red Bank, New Jersey by the age of seventeen.[4] After graduating from Holmdel High School in 1995 she attended Lafayette College in Pennsylvania for a year before switching to New Jersey's Montclair State University when she could no longer afford Lafayette's tuition. She graduated from Montclair with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Theater.[4][5]


After moving to New York City, Scafaria wrote and put up a play at the Producer's Club Theatre called That Guy and Others Like Him, in which she also played a role. She also had a small role in the acclaimed short film, Bullet in the Brain, winner of nine festivals and produced by CJ Follini.[4] Still her writing agent had yet to find her a job, and so she took on more acting roles, appearing in many theater productions in addition to the films Big Helium Dog and A Million Miles, among others. She sent out queries to twenty different agents, seeking representation, one of whom replied and asked Scafaria to move from New York to Los Angeles. Even though she did not anticipate real success with the agent, she moved out and became roommates with screenwriter Bryan Sipe, whom she had met making a film in New Jersey earlier.[4] Neither of their work was considered "commercial" enough by studios, so they paired up to write a children's adventure film called Legend Has It. Revolution Studios bought the screenplay but asked for a re-write which Scafaria described as "far less interesting", and the project was ultimately shelved.[4]

In early 2005, Scafaria was hired by Focus Features to adapt Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's book Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist into a film of the same name.[4] The screenplay was her ninth, but her first adaptation.[6] She is good friends with fellow writers Diablo Cody (Juno), Dana Fox (What Happens in Vegas), and Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached) with whom she collaborates in their writing group they call the "Fempire".[6] In 2012, Scafaria and the "Fempire" received the Athena Film Festival Award for Creativity and Sisterhood.[7] She wrote Iraqi war docudrama Sweet Relief for Paramount Pictures and[8] The Mighty Flynn, a spec script which she set up at Warner Brothers. She has also written Man and Wife, which Gabriele Muccino is attached to direct.[8]

In 2009, Mandate Pictures picked up Scafaria's script Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,[9] a romantic comedy that focused on one man's quest for a meaningful connection amid the "end of days". The film marked the directorial debut for Scafaria, and was released in June 2012.

In 2015, she also directed a comedy-drama The Meddler based on her own script.[10]

In 2019, Scafaria wrote and directed the crime comedy film Hustlers, based on a New York Magazine article from 2015, "The Hustlers at Scores," by Jessica Pressler.[11] The film was a critical and commercial success.

Personal life

Scafaria has been in a relationship with comedian and filmmaker Bo Burnham since around 2013. They reside together in Los Angeles.[12]



1999Big Helium DogChastity
2001A Million MilesJodi
Mayhem MotelAbby
Bullet in the BrainEager studentShort film
2007The NinesGame Night Guest
2008Nick & Norah's Infinite PlaylistWriterDrunk Girl in YugoSoundtrack writer: "12 Gays of Christmas"
2009Whip ItSoundtrack writerSong: "28"
1045 Mercy StreetWriterShort film
2012Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldDirector and writer
2015Ricki and the FlashExecutive producer
The MeddlerDirector and writer
2019HustlersWriter, director, and co-producer


2010Childrens HospitalWriterEpisode: "Show Me on Montana"
2012Made in HollywoodHerselfEpisode #7.30
Ben and KateConsulting Producer and WriterWriter - episode: "Career Day"
Consulting Producer: 3 episodes
Soundtrack writer: 2 songs
2013-2014New GirlDirector3 episodes
TBALove Is DeadDirectorTV Movie; Completed


During the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, Scafaria recorded a voice-and-piano album called Garden Party.[6] The 2009 Drew Barrymore film Whip It! features Scafaria's original song "28" in the closing credits.

Scafaria recorded a second record available April 1, 2010 on iTunes called "Laughter and Forgetting."


  1. "Joseph R. Scafaria's Obituary on Asbury Park Press". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  2. "Irene Kiernan's Obituary on MyCentralJersey". MyCentralJersey. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  3. Plyer, Will (April 27, 2005). "Interviews: Lorene Scafaria". Done Deal Professional. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  4. Bourbea, Mary Ann. "Holmdel Writer Brings Her Story to Hollywood", The Two River Times, May 25, 2016. Accessed February 5, 2018. "After graduating from Holmdel High School in 1995, Scafaria studied English with a writing concentration and a theater minor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and later transferred to Montclair State University, where she earned her degree."
  5. Kelly, Kevin (September 2008). "Lorene Scafaria Interview, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Toronto 2008". Spout.com. Archived from the original on 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  6. "Athena Film Festival - February 9-12, 2017 New York City". Athena Film Festival. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  7. Fleming, Michael (March 5, 2007). "Muccino mans Universal's 'Wife'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  8. "Lorene Scafaria to Direct Seeking a Friend for the End of the World". Movieweb.com. 6 October 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  9. Fleming Jr, Mike (March 6, 2015). "Lorene Scafaria Helms 'The Meddler' With Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, JK Simmons". deadline.com. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  10. "'Hustlers': Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer & Julia Stiles Join Constance Wu & Jennifer Lopez In Avenging Strippers Pic". March 19, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  11. "Bo Burnham Lists "My Favorite Comedians" and Releases A Confessional Video: "Art is Dead"".
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