Darren Lynn Bousman - 10 Questions with the director of 11-11-11

Darren Lynn Bousman - 10 Questions with the director of 11-11-11
Director Darren Lynn Bousman offers up three must-see prophecy movies, gives a shout-out to his critics (let's just say the f-word is involved), and talks about the casting of Timothy Gibbs and Wendy Glenn.
Updated: 04-21-2012

That's right: not 11 questions, only 10. (Not everyone can be as clever as the guys in Spinal Tap, you know.)

Staci Layne Wilson: You do the commentary with your producer, and wife, Laura. But we only hear you... so tell me, what were you guys wearing? Where were you? Set the stage. I want a visual.

Darren Lynn Bousman:
Ha!  I love your questions.  We were in Toronto at the time.  Actually at the time we were doing commentary I was posting The Barrens, and in pre-production on The Devil's Carnival... I was in my pajamas cause that's how I roll. Laura was looking trendy as always, and of course Chance-dog was in the room with us as well...

SLW: You mentioned your hesitation in doing this commentary, having gotten bad reviews in theatrical. What was the tipping point in making you decide to go ahead and do it?

Yes, I decided to just say fuck it... All my movies are not going to be hits. I can't please everyone.  I am proud of what we did with 11 11 11.  Finishing any movie is an accomplishment - let alone finishing one out of the country on such a short time frame is even harder.  It was a very hard film for me both as an artist and as a director.   I was going through a very dark time in my life... In a lot of respects I myself was Joseph Crone.  I think doing the commentary let me exorcise a lot of my own demons.

SLW: Name a few good reviews you liked on the film, and who really "got it" -- your limited budget and lack of time notwithstanding, there must have been a few critics who understood that, and liked it.

I actually stopped reading reviews on 11 11 11... As I am sure you heard the movie leaked online about a week before it was released in theaters.  But the version online was not the theatrical cut... For some reason critics starting reviewing the leaked cut... It really screwed with me, and tore me apart... I am very sensitive - little things affect me... These reviews cut me like a knife... I went into a state of depression... I was obsessed... Laura pulled me away and forbad me from reading anything else.

SLW: Who's the audience for 11.11.11? -- describe your ideal viewer.

In my original edit it was MUCH longer... and MUCH slower... I set off to make a Rosemary's Baby like film.. Part of it worked... part of it didn't. When the movie was bought it was retweeked to find a bigger more widespread audience... Sadly, I think in the retweeking, it lost some of the Rosemary's Baby feel.  This is NOT a jump scare movie. This is a slow burn thinker... I think...

SLW: Give us a list of 3 must-see "prophecy" movies...

DLB: Hmm... that is a hard one... I don't know if I can label just 3. I love all prophecy movies. Even the bad ones. Especially the bad ones! I think people love fantasying about our demise... our end.  Also pretty much anything could be called a prophecy film. Blade Runner, Mad Max, even Star Wars.

I love The Omen - as it really isn't about the end of the world, it's about the beginning of the end of the world. Much like 11-11-11... Many people thought 11-11-11 was about on this date the world would end. No, 11-11-11 was about on this date a man would take power who would bring about the end of the world.

I love Seventh Sign - not that it's the greatest film in the world but when I was growing up it just stuck with me... maybe cause I thought Demi was hot.

I actually really liked Knowing... Yes it starred Nicolas Cage,  but it was pretty awesome. I loved how dark it was. I loved that it ended dark... It takes a lot of balls for a mainstream film to have such a bleak ending.

SLW: It had better be dark, coming from the director of Dark City. Now, I know you've got a man-crush on lead Timothy Gibbs, but I have to say: I was really impressed by Wendy Glenn. I looked her up and saw she has some TV credits and is a couple of movies I haven't seen... so tell me: how'd you discover her?

We had to hire someone with an EU passport due to the tax issues of shooting in Spain.  I met with about 50 actresses and none of them were right... Then all of a sudden a tape of Wendy came in... I immediately fell in love... Immediately... she was sweet and edgy... I bought her for the role within a second... On top of being a great actress, she was an AWESOME person!  I am a Wendy Glenn fan.

SLW: Demons seem to be a theme for you, of late... and it would appear, judging from the main baddie in 11-11-11 and also your depiction of Lucifer in the currently-touring The Devil's Carnival, that you like to go big. Why is the prosthetic-heavy devil more appealing to you than, say, the more humanistic Satans?

In the case of Devil's Carnival we wanted to go big... Bigger than life actually... I love the fantastical...  It's more fun to go big than subtle... at least in the case of the movies we are talking about!

SLW: One of your demons is played by a guy named Jesus (Cuenca). Any other silly, trivial coincidences?

No - that was just coincidence... however - some fun trivia - - the location we shot in was haunted... like really haunted. No, I am not joking... It was the single most horrific place I have ever been in. I recommend your readers watch the behind the scenes stuff Laura shot. It is so insane it looks fake, or staged... But it is neither fake or staged.

SLW: Describe your actual day of November 11, 2011 -- what'd you do?

Cried in the bathtub with a bottle of scotch. I kid, I kid...

I was actually in the edit room of The Barrens in Toronto. I am a lucky dude... When one movie opens, I am already in post on another.

You know what's really insane...?

I have 11-11-11, Mother's Day and The Devil's Carnival all being released within the same month...

SLW: You joked about a sequel and calling it 12-12-12... but... let's say you given scads of cash and another trip to Barcelona... would you be up for revisiting the Crone cabal?

Nah, I am already talking to the producer Wayne Rice about another project... One also based on a date... But that's all I can tell you... and it's not 12-12-12... It's an exciting one! Keep an eye out!

SLW: Oh, my. Sounds positively Fulchi'esque. OK, Darren. Thanks, and good luck with all your colliding projects. (The trifecta: The Devil's Carnival on the road now; Mother's Day on DVD in May; and 11-11-11 available Tuesday 4/24)


Follow Darren on twitter @Darren_Bousman
Read our DVD review of 11-11-11 here (coming soon)

Latest User Comments: