‘Sleepless in Seattle’ at 25: Inside the Making of Nora Ephron, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s Classic Rom-Com

  • Variety
‘Sleepless in Seattle’ at 25: Inside the Making of Nora Ephron, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s Classic Rom-Com
The Empire State Building finale of “Sleepless in Seattle,” the hit romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks celebrating its 25th anniversary on June 25, has become an indelible scene in pop culture.

It almost didn’t happen — but fortunately, Nora Ephron knew people.

Annie (Ryan), a writer from Baltimore, finally meets Seattle widower (Tom Hanks) and his young son Jonah (Ross Malinger) at the observation deck on the famed landmark on Valentine’s Day.

But producer Gary Foster recalled they weren’t granted permission to shoot there.

So, Foster told Ephron, who co-wrote and directed the film. “And Nora said, ‘I know somebody.’ It was a famous publicist who represented Leona Helmsley, who was in prison at the time. The man said I’m going to see her in a few days and I’ll bring her up.”

The publicist asked the Queen of Mean, who owned the building,
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