Jack and Diane is one of the latest thrillers being marketed (kind of) as a horror movie. Though the term is loose, read on to see what the director thinks of this trend in relation to his film. [Read our review of Jack and Diane here.]
--Was getting the title "Jack and Diane" any challenge? (I hear John Mellancamp is not a very nice person!)
BRADLEY RUST GRAY: The film is named after two girls I met on the sidewalk over ten years ago. Of course I was smitten by their names referring to Mr. Mellancamp's song. It was a catchy coincidence, especially because a few of our other films are also named after song titles. I lost touch with the girls and so I wrote the film imagining what their story might have been. Possibly, through the film I'll be able to find them once more and find out.
-- We love The brothers Quay! How'd they come on board to the project?
BRADLEY RUST GRAY: My wife [So Yong Kim] and I met the Quays in 1994 in London and we've been friends since. They read our scripts, offer advice, and give us free coffee from time to time. My wife and I asked them if they could kindly help us out by doing animation for the film and they obliged. We didn't need to speak too much since we wanted them to really open up their own unique vision of the world inside Diane. It was truly a special honor to work with them on this film.
-- Would you describe Jack and Diane as a horror movie, of a kind?
BRADLEY RUST GRAY: Not really. I'd describe it as a love story which tries to create the different feelings one goes through when they fall in love. For me love can be terrifying when you realize how vulnerable you've become. But it's not true love unless you go that deep and you give that much of yourself over to the other.
-- To whom do you, as a filmmaker, relate closer to -- Jack, or Diane?
BRADLEY RUST GRAY: There are parts of me in both of the girls. Jack talks a bit like me. She starts talking before she knows exactly what she's going to say. She's brash and wrong and stubborn, but she's trying to say the right thing. Her presence is a thin armor for her insecurities. But Diane is more the center of the story. Seemingly fragile, but determined. So I guess I'd say, Diane's the person who I relate closer to on the inside and Jack's the person I relate closer to on the outside.
-- What's the next project you're looking forward to tackling?
BRADLEY RUST GRAY: I'm working on a script now which will be entitled Blood. The actress whom I'm writing it for had a dream that would be the title of the film, so that's one of the only definite pieces. I'm terrified of it in many ways, but it's thrilling and under my skin at the same time. It's been pulling and writing itself in my head, so I feel like I'm just following the story through the woods in the fog. With no one's hand to hold... yet. Obviously, So Yong and this actress have to both love it too - that's part of the big fear. We'll see what happens. Right now it tastes like a glass of sweet milk with some very spicy almost wood-like pieces of dark chocolate in it.