The cast of "My So-Called Life," Holzman's cult classic TV show.ABC

When “My So-CalledLife" creator Winnie Holzman prepared to screen the pilot episode of the 1994 cult favorite before a crowd in Boston earlier this month, she wasn’t sure how it was going to feel.

“I hadn’t seen it in a really long time, and I wasn’t sure what it was gonna be like,” Holzman tells us. “It was pretty emotional. All of those people in the pilot mean a lot of to me. Some of them are in my life as close, deep friends.”

One of those close friends is Claire Danes, the beloved star of “MSCL,” whom Holzman had just watched get her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But even back when they shot the show, Holzman says it was clear Danes was meant to succeed.

“She was not just a kid,” says Holzman. “We all knew. It was very clear. She was a girl wearing sneakers who loved to dance, and was definitely a star. She understood emotions and how to access them.”


After having much success with “Wicked,” and TV projects like “Huge,” Holzman is taking to the stage. Her play “Choice” premiered last week at the Huntington Theatre Company.

The 61-year-old is well aware that while the show is comedic, it also has some dramatic moments, including its willingness to tread controversial territory with the subject of abortion. But the seasoned playwright insists the show “has a lot of layers to it,” and doesn’t simplify a complicated topic.

“In some ways it’s about the subject of a woman’s right to choose, but I’m approaching it in such a way with a lot of humor and in a way that is kind of unusual,” says Holzman. “I’m looking at it from a perspective that is not a typical perspective. It’s not ‘Are you for it? Are you against it?’”

BONUS:Holzman's must-watch list

She may have created one of the most beloved dramas in TV history, but Holzman also has a few favorite shows she thinks are game changers in 2015:

“Orange is the New Black”: “That’s a show that’s humanizing people that are in prison, and it’s giving them a voice. It has such humor and grace.”

“Girls”: “Lena [Dunham] will continue to succeed.”

“Homeland” [starring her protege Claire Danes]: “Of course I watch it!”

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