SAYS HER PREVIOUS FILMS HAVE BEEN "COUSINS OF HORROR"
Spinoff's Katie Calautti posted a very interesting interview with Kimberly Peirce this week, in which the director discusses several aspects of her upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie. When asked what she thinks she brings to the project as a woman, following the male points of view that created the original novel and the Brian De Palma film, Peirce replies, "Well, let’s say as a director, because my femaleness comes and goes. [laughs] Stephen King is a man and he wrote the book, and the book is brilliant, so how did that happen? Well, what’s interesting is, you know the story: that he was working as a janitor and he found a bloody tampon and he thought it was really gross. Then he wrote about, ‘What if a girl was tortured by this bloody tampon?’ That’s fascinating. That’s a lot of fear around a period! So that makes sense, that a man would have that fear, and that a man could create this brilliant archetypal story from that. So I don’t know that male or female is what’s right, it’s just that the lens tips. So he tipped it a certain way, then I come in, and I can definitely see why a period is gross and a period is scary and why a girl going through that could be terrified. But you know, maybe in my experience there’s other things that I can bring to it – which is, I deal with that, I get it. But then we get to the mother/daughter relationship. Men have complicated relationships with their mothers, so they can understand that. I have a very complicated relationship with my mother, and there’s a lot of love, there’s been a lot of war, and there has been breakups. And that is something that most women will tell you, is your relationship with your mother can be very claustrophobic to women, can lead to breakups. So maybe there’s just things that I’ve experienced that I was able to bring to it."
Peirce also dicusses the difference in ages of Sissy Spacek, who was 27 when she played Carrie in De Palma's film, and Chloë Grace Moretz, who is 15 now as she plays Carrie for Peirce. Peirce tells Calautti that she did want to cast age-appropriate actors for her film, but she had to tell Moretz that to play Carrie, she would have to tone down the natural youthful confidence she has. "You have all this stuff that I’m glad you have as a human being," Peirce says she told Moretz, "but to be this character we gotta lose the confidence, we gotta lose the childishness, and we have to have a need for rebellion."
Peirce also discusses with Calautti the similarities between the horror genre and her previous films. "Well, Boys Don’t Cry was not exactly a romantic comedy. [laughs] But let’s just say my other movies are cousins of horror. It was fantastic, because I realized – it being the cousin of what I’ve done before, the structure’s the same. I still want you to be terrified, I still want you to be affected viscerally by everything. I still want you to dream, but I can have … there’s a more obvious fun, which is, you know, when the mother’s beating up the daughter I don’t want you to say, 'Oh, I feel bad' like maybe you felt in my other movies. I want you to say, 'Oh, God, that’s great – do it again!' There’s a moment when Margaret hits Carrie with the Bible, and every time I screen it everybody’s like, 'Wow, why do we like that?' Because there’s pleasure in the pain. So it’s about celebrating the pain. It’s a turning of the dial."
Finally, Calautti asks Peirce if she felt any pressure to compete with the famous ending of De Palma's version. "Well," she tells Calautti, "Brian said to me, 'So what are you gonna do about that end?' And I was like, 'Brian, I know you revolutionized cinema …' [laughs] Of course it’s on my mind! I’m not blind to the brilliance of his movie, but I’m also not blind to the fact that I can’t go down a road that he’s done. You have to be mindful. And I just don’t think you have to try to duplicate something that is so unique and so brilliant and revolutionized cinema. I mean, maybe I should be bolder and do it, but I think I’m a little too wise to. So I think you do something different, I think you just make sure your movie is what it is and that it fires on all cylinders as much as you can. And if you find yourself in a situation where you can top it, do it. But you probably won’t."