An Interview with Mary Harron
The following is an excerpt from an interview with director Mary Harron that appears in this month’s film issue. The full piece is available to read on Believermag.com
THE BELIEVER: We should probably talk about American Psycho. It’s heralded as this great cult film, but that’s not the experience you had at the time, is it?
MARY HARRON: Five years after the film came out, I was shooting an episode of Six Feet Under and Susie Bright was on the set and she said she’d just seen American Psycho, and she asked me why it hadn’t gotten more attention. That was five years after it came out. It gets so much attention now that I’m bored with it, but it was only after five years that it got all this attention. There were a lot of YouTube parodies and Christian Bale became famous, which also helped.
BLVR: Many people say it would have been a much different film had it been shot by a man. You linger on the female faces, when a male director might not have. Were you conscious of that?
MH: It was a very conscious decision to play it off the faces of the women. That’s why I cast Cara Seymour, who is a great stage actress who could carry those scenes. Those scenes come through her face; most of the film focuses on him, but the perspective in those murder scenes wasn’t through Patrick Bateman but the women. That was a conscious choice.