Wayback Machine: Kristin Gore at Jillian's

[This couple divorced, Kristin Gore was nice, her book Sammy’s Hill was remade into that lost David O. Russell project which sounded deranged and full of potential, when writing for The Boston Globe people often cite the Red Sox in an effort to ingratiate, but little did they know that I was raised agnostic.]

The former vice president’s daughter stops by Jillian’s to whip her husband at foosball

By Elisabeth Donnelly

“The problem is that Paul played hockey, which made him better at foosball,” joked Kristin Gore, blue eyes sparkling, as she squared off against her husband across the foosball table.

Gore, 30, and Paul Cusack, 35, had tickets for that night’s Red Sox game, and they were starting out nearby at Jillian’s with a bar-game challenge and some drinks: water for Gore, who is allergic to caffeine,and a special shiny bottle of Red Sox Budweiser for the red-haired Cusack. A native of Westwood, Cusack comes by his Sox-fan status by birth. Gore, daughter of Tipper and former vice president Al, big Red Sox fans since their college days in Boston, was raised with a love of Fenway Park. In a sea of Matsuzaka shirts, Gore stood out in her white pants and blue shirt: “I have a hat and jersey at home in Los Angeles, but my in-laws [whom they were meeting at the game] will be dressed in the full regalia.”

It’s a big week for Gore: Her second novel, “Sammy’s House,” a sequel to her 2004 debut “Sammy’s Hill,” was just released. The laugh-out-loud funny books follow the adventures of 26-year-old Samantha “Sammy” Joyce, a healthcare-policy wonk working for a senator in Washington, D.C. “Who knew healthcare would be hip?” said Gore, who has worked as a comedy writer on “Futurama” and “Saturday Night Live.” She began writing about Sammy in her spare time, working on a play featuring the character. “I love her,” said Gore. “She’s just a good time.”

“It worked for me on a comedy level because she’s in healthcare and she’s a hypochondriac,” said Gore, whose comedy-writing skills were developed during her college days working on the Harvard Lampoon. “In college, the funniest people I met were Lampoon writers, so that shaped my writing. You spend more time on [Lampoon writing] then your classes. To do what you love, that’s a coup.”

Gore is working on a screenplay for “Sammy’s Hill,” which David O. Russell is attached to direct. If all goes well in Hollywood, they could be in production by the end of this year. For Gore, her time with the famously combative “I Heart Huckabees” director has been wonderful: “I love him. First of all, his work is so brilliant,” said Gore, who owns Russell’s “Three Kings” on DVD. “We have this great relationship. He’s a total sweetheart.”

“You got it? You got your game face on?” said Cusack, talking trash over the foosball table. Then Gore scored while Cusack was distracted, explaining his work with the nonprofit X Prize Foundation, which is devoted to “radical breakthroughs for the betterment of humanity.”

She handily beat him, by the way, about 5 to 2. “I have memories of watching my parents playing mini-golf and getting way too competitive,” she said. Her family members are some of the first readers of her work – and she can tell if they’re lying – and she said they’re “psyched” about her particularly creative endeavors. She had fun writing skits when her Dad was a guest on “Saturday Night Live,” particularly the skit spoofing “The Bachelor” in which the former presidential candidate chose Lieberman (played by Chris Parnell) as his running mate while they were in a hot tub.

Gore is venturing out into screenplays in LA, and some of her additional work includes shepherding books into film. “I love books so much,” said Gore, “so if they can be made into good movies, I’m happy to help.” She’s also working on a third novel, “diving into a fresh, fictional world” that’s radically different from the Sammy books. Her name may be on screenplays, but the best way to get an idea of the funny Gore comes from her books: “I still like novel-writing best,” she said, “it’s where I have the most control.”

Gore and Cusack are very East Coast in demeanor, having lived in D.C. and in Boston, but they love LA’s mountains, beaches, and wonderful absurdity. Gore mentioned that the recent Star Wars Convention was near their house. “It was amazing. There were 30,000 people,” said Cusack.

“Was there an Elvis storm trooper?” asked Gore, certain that she saw one. The couple teased each other about the existence of the storm trooper until Cusack grabbed his phone. “This is when I realize I’ve become ‘that guy,’ ” he said. And Gore was right – there it was on his phone, a storm trooper in a clunky white costume and a flashy Elvis pompadour. 

Originally published in The Boston Globe July 6, 2007