Why You Should Go See Carrie Tonight

Fourteen years after Boys Don’t Cry, director Kimberly Peirce tells the tale of another outcast, this time with telekinetic powers.


  UPDATED: October 18 2013 9:40 PM ET

Julianne Moore in Carrie.


“Knowing me, you might not be able to,” Peirce says, chuckling. “I certainly like my share of bouncy locker room scenes, as a woman who appreciates women. But it’s a great question. [The studio] came to me to say they were interested in me doing Carrie and I was like, Why? That was my initial reaction. Why are you remaking it and why are you interested in me? They said it was because of Boys Don’t Cry, and I was even more confused because I thought, Boys Don’t Cry is so different from Carrie. But then when I read the book I was like, Oh, my God, Boys Don’t Cry is Carrie.”

Like Boys’ Brandon Teena, Carrie is a “misfit, the person who wants to be accepted and be normal” in a world that won’t allow that. De Palma is a friend of Peirce’s, and she says his Carrie is “brilliant and operatic” but different from hers. “I suddenly saw these two movies coexisting in a world and I called him,” Peirce says. “I love him. You know what he said to me? After Boys Don’t Cry, we’d go out to dinner and he’s like, ‘You got it all too quick.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘You got everything. The rest of us had to fight years to get what you got, the success. You need to have a bomb.’”

But De Palma loved the idea of Peirce making her own Carrie and encouraged her to do it. So she read the book three times back to back on a flight to Turkey and fell in love with Carrie, the person. “She’s this misfit girl who’s awkward, who’s unattractive, who has this really intense relationship with her mother. It’s very much like a love story with a mother — she beats her, she uses corporal punishment, and she controls her, all in an effort to protect her out of this severe love.”

The film is “really the story of Carrie coming into her own. It’s really the story of her coming into her power. I make it a superhero origin story. She’s going into the school and dealing with these kids where it’s just this systematic abuse — that’s the life she’s been living. And on this particular day things get even worse. She gets bullied out of the P.E. class, then she has her period, and she gets bullied more.”

Tags: film