Interview with Lucky McKee (The Woman, May)

Here’s the english version of the exclusive interview with director Lucky McKee…

Mick: The first thing I heard about THE WOMAN, was that during a screening at the Sundance Film Festival there were people yelling at each other, falling down and leaving. Can you tell us more about the incident?
Lucky: I’ve talked so much about that incident! It was a wild experience. I was more concerned about the girl that passed out and fell down so hard. It was right behind me and it sounded very bad. I want to scare people, but I don’t want to hurt them!

Mick: Do you appreciate it as free publicity or is this something you don’t like at all?
Lucky: In retrospect, I absolutely appreciate it as free publicity. That guy sold a lot of tickets for us. When it was actually happening though, I wanted to crawl inside myself. It was the first time I had shown the film to the public and that guy’s reaction played into my fear that people would misinterpret my intentions with the film.

Mick: You wrote the script together with Jack Ketchum, who also wrote the novel to the movie and of course the two prequels OFFSEASON and OFFSPRING. Who started the idea to have a third story about the cannibals and what was made first? The script or the novel?
Lucky: I pitched Andrew van den Houten and Ketchum my idea for how to approach the material and they loved it. Ketchum and I decided we would write the script and novel together. I did the heavy lifting on the screenplay and he did the heavy lifting on the book. We worked out the script first, then the book, then went back to the script again shortly before production.

Mick: We will also have Polyanna McIntosh in an interview soon. She plays the cannibalistic woman in the movie and I think she does a terrific job. She already appeared in the movie version of OFFSPRING. How was decided to bring her back?
What can you say about her?
Lucky: Polly is a delight. I wouldn’t have wanted to continue the story if it wasn’t for the amazing character she built in OFFSPRING. She was the muse for this project and she delivers a powerhouse performance. I’m very proud of her and can’t wait to work with her again. Maybe I’ll let her brush her teeth on the next one…

Mick: There are two things in THE WOMAN that stand out. First, the movie provides some unexpected sense of dark humor, second the soundtrack seems to be unfitting first, but really makes sense.
What were your intentions with those factors?
Lucky: I think the humor comes from the absurd nature of the story and characters. Things really happen out of the typical order in this film. No one is reacting to things at the proper time and it drives the audience nuts. The music is one aspect I am most proud of. I think it adds so much to the story and so much to that strange tone you speak of. Sean Spillane is really quite gifted and his music elevates the film into a special place.

Mick: THE WOMAN is not your first movie based on a Jack Ketchum book. You also filmed RED. Are you a fan of his work?
Lucky: Absolutely a fan. I also produced THE LOST which was directed by my buddy Chris Sivertson. I think The Girl Next Door is his most powerful novel. That is a brutal and beautiful story.

Mick: Angela Bettis is also on THE WOMAN. Also, not the first time, she works with you. She had the leading part in MAY and I think her voice appeared in THE WOODS? What makes her special?
Lucky: She’s Angela.

Mick: I watched MAY again recently (great film by the way), just after I found out, you’re working with Ketchum. And I thought it’s very fitting to have you two working together. Just like in some of his books (like THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, THE LOST or RED) MAY shows very well how violence and madness develop. Was that something you wanted to show there?
Lucky: I was feeling very lonely at the time I wrote MAY. I wanted to dissect those feelings in a sort of fairy tale way. That movie healed a lot of pain for me.

Mick: You are one of those directors who seem to produce horror without many exceptions, so I assume you are a fan of the genre. How did you start loving horror? And what are your favorite movies (not directed by Lucky McKee)?
Lucky: I love horror, but I also take from so many other genres. You’ll see romantic comedy in a lot of my films, straight drama, wacky comedy, action…all sorts of things.
Favorite movies? That’s tough. There are so many. Today, let’s say PEEPING TOM, SLING BLADE and BABY FACE.

Mick: Do you already know, what your next project will be?
Lucky: I’m adapting a Ketchum novella called THE PASSENGER. It’s a noir film told in a modern context.

Mick: Thank you for the interview!

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