Take Five with Lucia Aniello ’04

Lucia Aniello ’04 is a director, writer, producer and actress. Her work includes the 2017 film Rough Night, as well as Comedy Central’s Broad City and Time Traveling Bong. Aniello was nominated for the Young Director Award at the 2012 Cannes Lions Festival.

What were you like when you arrived at Columbia?

Oh, so very innocent. Innocent and excited. I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited in my life as I was the morning I drove onto campus to move in.

What do you remember about your first-year living situation?

I lived in Wien because I was a transfer student — in a double, which was a rare bird. Wien is a unique place that I think of often; it was a really funny place to land.

What class do you most remember and why?

“Musicals in American Cinema” with Andrew Sarris ’51, GSAS’98. He was by far the most the inspiring professor I ever had, in that class and his film criticism class. He really made me feel like you could talk about movies in any way you felt –– there was no right way. That’s something I think about a lot when I’m trying to make movies — that you have to just let your feelings be your guide.

Did you have a favorite spot on campus, and what did you like about it?

I played tennis at Columbia, and right in front of the gym there’s a ledge where all the players would meet up before practice. I spent every weekday sitting with my teammates watching people walk by. It was like a little pocket.

What, if anything, about your College experience would you do over?

I would figure out a way to stay for a fourth year! That year would have been good for me in a lot of ways.