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INT: Darren Bousman

With the recent release of SAW VI, I was reminded watching the film of how much a fan I am of what director Darren Lynn Bousman brought to the franchise. But most importantly, I appreciate his departure from it and his attempt to try new and unique things. With REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA, he proved he could provoke a wide range of hate and adoration. I personally am a fan of what he brings to the table.

Last week, I spoke to him over the phone while he was on the set of MOTHER’S DAY. Much like he was with Repo, he seems extremely excited about this latest film and with this cast, who can blame him. While his new flick may be far away, coming to a theatre near you on Mother’s Day, 2010, I am getting increasingly more excited about it. Here is Mr. Bousman, and his thoughts on his on Mother‘s Day, and why it looks very unlikely that he will return to Saw in the near future. Here’s hoping that the film is as badass as it sounds.

From what I’ve seen it certainly looks as though MOTHER’S DAY is encompassing your life…

It is. It is. It’s crazy. First off, this movie has kind of morphed quite a bit from what we originally thought it was going to be, to what it actually has become. You know, going into the movie, you always have an idea or a hope of what the movie will turn out to be, and then you actually start working on it and it kind of becomes something completely different. This is one of those movies that kind of became something completely different, which is awesome. You know, I think we went into the movie, we thought we were making a genre movie originally. And then it was going to be a horror film but its become so much more than that, and I’m so excited because of that, and I’m just staying there longer and doing more.

Was there every any intention of doing a straight remake or was it always supposed to be more than that?

No, it was always supposed to be more than just a straight remake, but I don’t think anyone realized or anyone actually saw how much it was going to be. You know, I met with Lloyd and Charles Kaufman and I spoke to them very early on. We had decided right off the bat that there was no way to really, really remake the 1980’s MOTHER’S DAY, nor did any of us really want to. That movie was such a cult… it had such a cult following that it would’ve been a hard thing to do. That being said, we loved so many things about the original film, so we kind of started to take what he did, the storyline of Mother and Ike and Addley and this kind of thing, and morph it into what it would be like today. Like how would this whole movie look if those characters from 1980 live in today’s world, in today’s economic climate and all of this shit, how would they live and how would they look. And so we kind of did it that way. I don’t want to say we modernized it because it is more than just modernizing it.

The best thing I can say is the characters are all inspired by the Kaufman, 1980 characters. You know, one of the good things is that I always said from day one, I said I was never going to do a remake, and the reason why I said I was never going to do a remake was, I would never do a remake unless I had the complete support of the original people, the original creators. Hence why I was turning down CHILDREN OF THE CORN or SCANNERS or all of these other films because I was a fan of the originals and I wanted the people that made the original to want this to happen. And Lloyd and Charles were really excited about the remake possibilities and they were really excited by our ideas. That is one reason that I came back and did this.

You mentions Scanners, it really does seem like that would be such a daunting task, but with Mother’s Day having more of a cult following…

Yeah, the truth about Mother’s Day is this, how many people have actually seen the original Mother’s Day? Besides the small horror community and all of that, it is not the movie that mainstream America really, really knows. I think for those that do remember it, those that have seen it, it was kind of this weird part in our childhood seeing this gross, exploitative, you know, whatever film. But it is not one of those films that we hold as this very endearing thing from… it is not like NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. We all know and love Freddy Kruger. It’s not like Michael Myers. It’s not like Jason. It’s kind of its own thing. And that’s another reason we decided to do this movie.

I like the idea of casting two mothers with Jaime King and Rebecca De Mornay playing opposite sides of the spectrum. Was that always part of the plan?

Yeah. Jaime King… first off, we wanted to… this movie is a reverse home invasion movie. Meaning that its not like THE STRANGERS or FUNNY GAMES or these other movies where the killers come into a house to torture and torment the victims and get off on it. You know, all the movies as of late that have done that. This movie… what is so cool about it is you end up liking and caring about both sides of the people, on both sides of what is happening here. The story is that a bunch of boys, “Mother’s” boys have been off committing some heinous crimes. Things go wrong in their crime committing, and they have to rush home to mama.

Now, it sets up why they don’t know mom has lost the house, and they get home and mother has very recently lost the house, and you’ve got Jaime King and her husband living there. What’s cool about it is, that was not intentional on the other side. It wasn’t like this family came to f*ck with the mother and her kids, nor is it that the kids came to f*ck with the family. It was a series of circumstances that led to it. By doing that, you immediately care for both sides. And you immediately care for Rebecca, “Mother“, and you immediately care for Jaime King. And I think that that is kind of interesting because as an audience member, you are kind of torn about who you should be rooting for, and who you should be fighting for because they both have valid, strong things that they are fighting for.

I have to say that the casting for this is pretty damn impressive. Rebecca De Mornay…

Casting is pretty awesome for me and I think that… I always love casting, it is one of my favorite… it is my favorite element of any movie, putting together the cast. Specifically on this one as well because, again, I think we’ve elevated the movie from just being a genre movie, and that was one of my fears in that I did not just want to make another genre movie. So we tried to go for a much higher level, caliber of casting. You know, from Deborah Ann Woll of “True Blood”, to Rebecca De Mornay to Jaime King, to Shawn Ashmore, A.J. Cook… we kept going and going and going.

The thing which is awesome about it is the people that were reading the script kept saying yes. There was no one… for example, I wanted A.J. Cook to do this role and [she read the script] and was like, I love it. Same thing with Shawn Ashmore. Shawn Ashmore was on a T.V. show doing something and I said I want Shawn Ashmore. And they were like, there is no way, he’s on two T.V. shows and not a movie. I said, just get him the script, and he read the script and loved it. Its been a series of those kind of things for the entire casting. The casting has been extremely easy. My favorites though, I think, have to be the story of the brothers. We all know Rebecca De Mornay is a great actress. We all know Shawn Ashmore, Deborah Ann Woll and A.J. Cook. But I think when people see the brothers, they’re gonna freak out. Ike and Addley and Johnny are three of the most insane, intense, crazy, horrific dudes ever.

I don’t know if you’ve been reading my Twitter on what happened recently, but we were shooting a scene last night, or two nights ago, and at the same exact time we were shooting our scene on B-unit, which means it was not all the crew there, it was only a very limited crew there… a bank was being robbed right down the street. Our scene was, the brothers in the car a few seconds after a bank robbery. Within three minutes of us shooting a scene, we had the entire Winnipeg police force, guns out, screaming for us to get on the ground. It was pretty insane. So it was a massive miscommunication here in Winnipeg.

How long did it take to get that resolved? It sounds like a nightmare.

Well, it was funny… they were just doing their jobs and it was actually kind of humorous. Normally when you’re at a film shoot, you have hundreds of crew members, big lights and everything else like that and anyone would have to be an idiot to not see you’re on a film shoot. This particular day, I needed some pick up shots of the brothers in the car outside of the actual days filming. So we sent a very small crew, about four people out with the camera to go do this. So the cops couldn’t see that, there was no way the cops could see all of these people in the car, all they saw were the guns. It was pretty funny. I mean, I guess it could’ve been a lot worse, but luckily for our sake it was not a lot worse.

Did they actually catch the guy who did the crime?

No. They did not catch that guy.

Scary…

Yeah. It was an interesting day to say the least.

Now after doing REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA, which in itself was a brave move, this seemed to be also a bit of a risk. You know how it is, people hear the word remake and people get upset. Were you worried about that at all?

Yeah, a hundred percent. Let me tell you my philosophy on filming and this is kind of what I’ve been following for the last, well since I’ve actually been in Hollywood. If the movie is not worth losing your career over, it’s not worth doing and what I mean by that… I learned that after Repo, and I’m staying with that now from this point on… what I mean is, is that I could’ve easily been blackballed from the industry on Repo. I could have lost everything and been sent back on a plane to Kansas City to go back and live on a small little farm. But I didn’t give a f*ck. I didn’t care. Because Repo, to me, meant so much, that I would’ve been fine if my career ended the day after Repo was finished.

I would’ve been fine with it because Repo meant that much to me. So Mother’s Day is the same thing. I’m sitting here, yelling at producers and screaming at… doing everything I can to make sure we have the best movie ever, and if it’s the last movie I ever do, I’ll be okay with it because its something I believe in. I think that, that is now my philosophy, if I don’t believe in a movie enough that, if the fanboys end up hating it or the critics end up tearing it apart, I’ll still be okay. That’s how I feel with Mother’s Day, I love the thing so much, you know, bring on the hate, bring on whatever, I’m proud of it. I would never do a movie that I wasn’t inherently one-hundred percent proud of.

You certainly saw your fair share of extreme love and extreme hate with Repo.

You’re right. It inspired massive hate and it inspired massive love. And I think that, if it were somewhere in the middle, I’d have failed as a director. If some were like, ‘eh, it was alright’, I would have failed. But I think that because of the no middle approach, either you love it or hate it kind of thing, I think it’s why it has gone on to work and do what it has done. And you know what, honestly, I’m going to think that Mother’s Day might do the same thing and I’ll explain why. Mother’s Day is not a movie, and I don’t know what people are expecting, it is not a typical remake.

In fact, there is no middle ground in this whatsoever… at all. It is a genre-bender in the fact that its as dramatic as it is scary, and it’s as funny as it is thriller. It’s kind of indefinable. We were all sitting there, looking, we all just got about forty minutes of the movie edited. We’re all sitting there watching it, and I don’t know what to classify this movie as because it’s not a straight horror film. It’s part thriller, part psychological, part drama, part hilarious. It’s all of these hybrids of some of my favorite things. It is not a classic horror film. And I think, again, we started off making this movie… we all thought we’re going to make a horror film, this really ballsy, cool horror film and it has turned into something so much bigger and so much better.

Well where would you go after this? Would you ever think of returning to SAW or would you…?

No, I’ll tell you my five year plan. It’s direct adult films, go try and get a job at Vivid. No, I think after this, my next project that I’m kind of signed on for is something I’m really excited about, this movie called AKULA which is a submarine heist movie. It takes place in the middle of the ocean. Its like an OCEAN’S 11, but like the anti-Ocean’s 11, on the water. It’s quite a departure from me, it’s quite different from anything I’ve done as well but that is what I’m going to continue to do, completely different movies from each other. I mean, even if that means a romantic comedy, if I were ever to do a romantic comedy, it would be my version of a romantic comedy. You’d better believe it would be completely different from anything you’ve ever seen. That’s why I did Repo, Repo is my version of a musical. So I think I want to keep exploring new things, new genres and just keep making my versions of them.

You need to do the film adaptation of “Pride, Prejudice and Zombies”.

Exactly! That’s funny, someone was just talking about that recently and how hilarious that was.

Well, I’m very excited to see how Mother’s Day turns out, I’m hearing from many of the actors, like Jaime King, about how excited they are about this happening.

Yeah, I tell you, it’s crazy… and I think, because again, everyone is kind of surprised. Not that we didn’t know that we were going in and making a good movie, that’s not the thing at all, everyone is kind of surprised though, how this movie has turned out. The thing with Jaime, first off, I was a fan of Jaime King… this is a true story, Jaime King was the only actress that I wanted for Beth. It started about a year ago right after I saw MY BLOODY VALENTINE. And I’ve seen Jaime in everything she’s done, I’ve seen her in SIN CITY, I’ve seen her in PEARL HARBOR, I’ve seen her all these movies. But when I saw her in Bloody Valentine, I called Richard Saperstein, the producer up, and I said this is Beth. He said, well, why? And I said, well, I don’t know but she’s Beth.

Look I don’t want to see anyone else, that’s Beth. And it’s funny because she was the first person I met with and she was the first person that was cast. And now looking at it, there is no one else that could play this role, what her role is has morphed so much, from the original inception of what the role was to what it is now, because I don’t think any of us realized how great an actor Jaime King really was. She was good in all of her movies, but she’s not good in this at all, she’s great! You’ll see what I’m talking about the second you see the movie. There is no, she’s being good, she is amazing in this movie! And her ability to pull off this performance has changed what this movie is.

There’s a couple other actors not a lot of people have been talking about, that have just blown me away. A guy named Frank Grillo. You should look this guy up, he’s amazing. I can’t say enough good things about this guy. He plays Jaime’s husband in the movie and he is nothing short of f*cking amazing! This other Canadian actor named Kandyse McClure who was in “Battlestar Gallactica” for years, she was just in that remake of Children of the Corn. You put the camera on these people and you immediately are in a different world. And as a director, it’s the most amazing thing in the entire world because I have such a strong cast to sell what I’m trying to sell in a way that I never in a million years thought it would work.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to [email protected]

 

Source: AITH

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