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

Chloë Sevigny and Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry.


That day led to one of filmdom’s greatest scenes, the scene that actually makes the most masculine of men feel squeamish. Because the blood in the scene “in the beginning is menstruation. How many movies dare to put a period on-screen? Why is bleeding so shameful? Why is the period something to be hidden? Well, it’s really wonderful that King had the audacity to put it out there and we had the audacity to visit it.”

After working so closely with young actors like Hilary Swank, Peter Sarsgaard, and Channing Tatum — actors who she helmed at a very early stage in their careers — she says it was a surprise to discover Julianne Moore’s experience. “It’s kind of shocking when you go up to Julianne Moore, and I have it all figured out and she’s like, ‘That’s OK, I figured it out.’ Not only is there a great innate talent, but she’s been around the block. And the reason I say that is as a director, there’s something so wonderful about somebody who knows their craft. And she knows it inside and out.”

Moore and Peirce both took Moretz under their wing and watched the precocious child actor transform on-screen. Will it be the kind of transformation Swank pulled off in Boys?

“I certainly can say it’s completely in the same DNA,” Peirce admits. After Moretz told Peirce she’d go to great lengths to get the role right, the filmmaker told her she needed a little teenage rebellion.

“I was like, ‘You know what this story is about? A girl who goes out and rebels. So you’ve got to move out of your house. You’ve got to start talking back to your mom.’ And she got very excited, but we couldn’t go that far.”

The young star had to “find her adult voice” and identify with Carrie. “I actually took her to women’s shelters” to meet and empathize with young women who have dealt with economic hardship, Peirce says. “This is a girl who doesn’t have money. You’re rich. And I was like, ‘We have to somehow get you in touch with the reality of this girl.’ So it was almost like teaching her what a Julianne Moore already knows how to do.”

Tags: film