From book pages to the motion picture. Manhattan Girls. Part 1. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote.

by Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts

Charming, eccentric and beautiful Holly Golightly played by Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) is one of the most popular and admired female movie characters ever. This romantic comedy seems to posses the magical allure that never fades. The New York love story between troubled and eccentric, yet fragile and sensitive “cafe society” girl Holly and romantic, though lost and still a little naive young writer Paul Varjak, has many fans all over the world. 41cJszlXlFL._SX300_

However, if reaching for a book with a hope of finding romantic beginnings of this favorite movie pair, the reader will be truly surprised to discover that the motion picture Holly Golightly has very little to do (if nothing at all) with her book original. Holly portrayed by Capote is not a lovely and girlish character as in Audrey Hepburn’s creation. The real Holly is a free spirit, who dares to challenge social norms and taboos, not afraid to shock and to be controversial. Even her looks are completely different, as original Holly has short, boyish hair in all colors of blond. She is skinny and barely nineteen years old. The book narrator is fascinated with this tomboyish character living in the same building. As he pays close attention to his neighbor whereabouts, her comings and goings, he gets closer to her and little by little discovers more about her origins and her twisted life story. The unusual friendship begins, bringing more life and turmoil to his days.

In Truman Capote’s imagination Holly was not a sensible, romantic figure with an honest heart. When Paramount decided to make his book into a movie, Marlin Monroe was Capote’s first choice of the leading lady. However, Marlin refused. She didn’t agree to play the role of Holly Golightly, as she wanted to get as distant as she could from characters that were too sexual. In the end, after long consideration and many doubts on both sides, Audrey Hepburn was casted to play miss Golightly. The whole project was controversial up to the point of banishing the movie from production. After all, Holly wasn’t living her life according to 1960ties morals and ethics. As considered back then, Capote’s book was too scandalous and inappropriate for mass audience. All in all, Blake Edwards directed the book into a romantic comedy and production was completed successfully.

In 1961, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was nominated for the Academy Awards in five categories and received two of them. Audrey Hepburn was nominated as Best Actress, but unfortunately did not win.

(Photo source: