Whitney Pastorek
April 18, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

It wasn’t always easy as pie for Paul Weitz (pun sort of intended). Recalling his early playwriting attempts, the American Pie director laughs: ”No bad review is ever going to hurt as much as getting called ‘puerile’ in The New York Times at the age of 21. I would run to the dictionary to look up the words they were using to describe how bad my writing was.” But with a series of well-received scripts under his belt — About a Boy with brother Chris, Paul’s solo film effort In Good Company, and last season’s stage success Roulette — Weitz returns to his theatrical roots with Privilege, a conversational family drama opening April 25 at Off Broadway’s Second Stage. He’s tapping into other roots as well: The saga of two brothers growing up comfortably in 1980s New York City is just the teenslest bit autobiographical. ”The 16-year-old idiot going to Studio 54 in its waning days — that’s based on me. And the much more intelligent, sweet 12-year-old is based on my brother,” Weitz says, and then laughs. ”We were younger then.”

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