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'SNL' Writer Chris Kelly Taps Into His Life Story for 'Other People'

'Saturday Night Live' writer Chris Kelly is making his directorial debut with "Other People," a semi-autobiographical film about a struggling comedy writer and his dying mother.
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Jesse Plemons and Molly Shannon in "Other People.""Other People" / Vertical Entertainment

"Saturday Night Live" writer Chris Kelly used his first break between "SNL" seasons to write the script for the semi-autobiographical film "Other People." He said at the time he had "absolutely zero thought that it would actually get made."

"Back then, I was like, 'How the hell does a movie even get made?' I still kind of think that, and I’ve actually made one now," he said in a statement.

Here's an exclusive first look at the movie poster for "Other People":

The poster for Chris Kelly's "Other People," which debuts in theaters September 9."Other People" / Vertical Entertainment

"Other People," Kelly's directorial debut, was inspired by the time he cared for his mother as she was dying of cancer.

"The time I spent living with her and my family while she was sick had such an enormous impact on me, that it just felt like that’s what I should write about," he said. "Anytime I thought, 'What do I want to say in a movie? What do I care about?,' it always came back to my mother and my family and that time in my life."

"Other People" centers on a struggling comedy writer, played by Jesse Plemons, who - just after breaking up with his boyfriend - returns home to Sacramento to help his sick mother, played by "SNL" alum Molly Shannon.

"I had told my managers years before that Molly Shannon was who I pictured to play the role of the mother, Joanne. I never thought I would actually get her, but I used her as an example of who I wanted," Kelly explained. "When she read the script and said she would do it, I went insane in my apartment. I really couldn’t believe it."

Kelly wanted to fill the cast with "people who were not just great actors, but who were funny, too." That said, it's no surprise the movie is overflowing with comedy talent, including Bradley Whitford (whose guest starring role on "Transparent" earned him an Emmy nomination), Zach Woods, JJ Totah and June Squibb.
"Other People" will debut in theaters on September 9.
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