Nora Ephron's Life Celebrated in 'Everything Is Copy'

The new documentary is directed by Ephron's son, Jacob Bernstein.

March 18, 2016, 11:03 AM

— -- So much of what made the late writer Nora Ephron unforgettable is now on view in the upcoming HBO documentary, "Everything Is Copy."

The documentary was written and directed by Ephron's son Jacob Bernstein, who explained to ABC News' Chris Connelly the familial meaning behind the documentary's title.

"Well my grandmother was a writer and she would say, 'Everything is copy,'" Bernstein said. "And the meaning of the phrase was this aggravating, sad thing that happened to you today is gonna be a funny story later on."

"So that became sort of my mother's mantra," he said.

As a screenwriter, Ephron was beloved by generations of movie fans for "When Harry Met Sally." As a director of films such as "Sleepless in Seattle," Ephron smashed Hollywood's glass ceiling.

Ephron even turned the 1979 demise of her marriage to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein -- Jacob's father -- into the hit movie "Heartburn," starring Meryl Streep.

Bernstein -- who spoke with Connelly at Los Angeles deli Langer's, which Ephron believed made the greatest pastrami sandwich in the world -- lost his mom to leukemia four years ago. The documentary explores why she chose not to disclose her illness publicly, telling only a very small circle of family and friends.

"I think she just had no interest in being a victim," Bernstein said. "It was unthinkable to her."

Today, Bernstein says he most misses his mom's "trenchant observations about the world."

"I'm sad that she wasn't here for the #OscarsSoWhite controversy," Bernstein said, referring to the protests that erupted after an all-white slate of Oscar acting nominees for this year's awards.

"I think she probably would have been boycotting the Oscars because 'Inside Out' wasn't nominated for Best Picture, and I think she would have found that sexist since 'Up' was," Bernstein said. "That's my guess.”

"Everything is Copy" airs Monday, March 21, at 9 p.m., EST, on HBO.

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