Darren Lynn Bousman interview for Death Of Me

We at Infamous Horrors had the pleasure of speaking with the great Darren Lynn Bousman the director of Saw 2, 3,4, and also Repo! The Genetic Opera, as well as the brilliant St. Agatha. His new film Death of Me is a departure than his typical gore splatter affair and we talk about that in depth here. Hope you all enjoy this interview.



Interview with Daren Bousman

A.J. Friar:
Hey Darren, how are you?

Darren Bousman:
Good. How are you, man?

A.J. Friar:
I’m doing well. So, congratulations on Death of Me. How did this project come about?



Darren Bousman:
I was approached by Lee Nelson, who is a producer at EMA, which is a production company. And, they had a script at the time. It was set kind of surrounding voodoo and they had a really cool idea, and the idea was, it’s like a horror hangover. That a woman wakes up with no recollection of the night before, she figures out that she was involved in some ritualistic murder, and she’s trying to figure out how to save herself. And so, I loved that kind of hangover-esque idea. We developed it to try to make it a little bit more unique and not what people had seen before and tried to kind of push it away from voodoo and into something more original. And, then it rapidly, it just rapidly fell together or came together. And, after I came on board, I would say four or five weeks later, we were in Thailand making it.

A.J. Friar:
Yeah. And, that’s interesting that you said it was like a hangover-esque horror film, because I kind of got hints of The Wicker Man as well, with being stuck on an island and they’re trying to figure out what’s going on and they’re not exactly sure what to think in their surroundings.



Darren Bousman:
Well, The Wicker Man is, 100% without a shadow of doubt, my biggest inspiration. Not only in this movie, but it’s films in general. I love The Wicker Man. The folklore horror is one of my favorite type of subgenre. And, when they get a movie like The Wicker Man, it’s beautiful and it’s crazy and it’s weird. And, you’ve got these really melodic scenes of people dancing and celebrating, realizing the dancing and celebrating is for someone to be killed.

A.J. Friar:
Yeah. And, The Wicker Man is also one of my all-time favorites, as well as just like the folklore genre being one of my all-time go-tos for film. So, when you were done writing Death of Me, how was it like casting everybody? Because, Alex Essoe and Maggie Q. were just fantastic in this.



Darren Bousman:
Well, thank you. Yeah. So, Alex I was a huge fan of from an independent film she did a few years back called Starry Eyes. For your viewers that haven’t seen it, or readers, I recommend go check out Starry Eyes. It’s such a weird, unique kind of allegory for making it in the entertainment industry, which is great. So, I was a huge fan of Alex. I knew I wanted to work with her and just hadn’t had the opportunity. And, then this movie came up and it was exciting. And, it was important for me, as well, I wanted to cast a westerner in that role. I did not want the entire island depicted as villainous and bad, whatever, people. I wanted to make sure that it was an island of transplants, that people had come from all over to be in this island. So, that was one of the first kind of big mandates that I had. And so, we were looking for a westerner. So, Alex was the first person that we kind of thought of and went to.



Darren Bousman:
You know, one thing that’s interesting about Maggie is, as well, is that there’s a couple of times throughout the movie that people confuse her as being from the island, like the doctor tries to speak to her in Thai. She’s like, “No, no, I’m not Thai. I’m American.” Which I thought was just an interesting dynamic to the casting of that character. That in some respects, people think, “Oh wait,” at glance, “Is she from here?” No, she’s not. And I love that. And also, you know, someone like Maggie, I just wanted somebody that could play it strong and not play a victim. And, Maggie, she’s an action star. She’s a bad-ass. So, she was another really interesting get.



A.J. Friar:
Yeah. And, how was it getting the filming location for this movie? Because, being set in Thailand, you got to get it close to it looking like Thailand.

Darren Bousman:
Well, that was Thailand. So, we were able to go to a place called Krabi, which is about a two hour flight outside of Bangkok and shoot in such a fantastic, beautiful location. And then, the other half of the movie was shot in Bangkok in like the dead center of Bangkok. And so, it was such a unique and crazy experience because, you’re in a different culture, you’re dealing with a completely different set of rules, as it relates to filmmaking. So, that was probably my favorite part was getting the chance to leave the States and go to a different place and kind of just blend in with the culture and surroundings.



A.J. Friar:
Right. And, one final question for you, Darren. This is kind of another departure from you, because last time we had you on Infamous Horror, it was for Saint Agatha, which was also kind of a departure from you. Like a departing from what mainstream horror audiences may know you from, like being a producer on The Collector and the Collection, and then also directing short films. How is it just going the independent route and having that freedom and luxury of departing from the typical film you may be included in?

Darren Bousman:
So, The Collection and the Collector are some of my absolute favorite movies of all time. So, thanks for bringing those up. I just like to do different things. I don’t want to be stuck in one type of movie, in one type of genre. And, I’ve made… from making musicals, to now making religious horror films, to going back and making more Saw movies. It’s just something that I think is the best thing about my career, is that I’ve had the ability to kind of leap frog and jump around into different subgenres.



A.J. Friar:
Yeah. And, we at Infamous Horror are extremely looking forward to the new Saw movie, as well. So Darren, thank you so much for joining us this afternoon. It’s been really fun.

Darren Bousman:
Thank you, so much.

A.J. Friar:
All right, have a good one, Darren.

Darren Bousman:
Bye.

DEATH OF ME is available In Theaters, On Demand and Digital October 2nd.

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