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Karyn Kusama on Jennifer's Body

Published September 24, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Fox Atomic
Jennifer's Body PosterJennifer's Body
After Diablo Cody won the Oscar for writing Juno, everyone was buzzing about what her next script was. Director Karyn Kusama landed Cody’s follow-up, the horror comedy Jennifer's Body. She said Cody did all the heavy lifting for her.

Karyn Kasuma Directs Jennifer's Body

“Luckily for me, the writing was so good,” Kusama said. “Beyond her now famous and notorious dialogue, her writing is so good that I was able to really see the movie and really think about it visually and think about the thematic material in the movie. So I had a lot to chew on from that first read.”

Fox is not marketing Body as the follow-up to Juno, and Kusama hope that is not what people expect. “I tried not to think of it as the follow-up to Juno. I tried to think of it as a follow-up to my last film, so for me as a director, I’m always just trying to find my next work. So for me that was the bigger issue was moving on from my last film.”

Megan Fox stars as the cannibal cheerleader of the title. Amanda Seyfried plays her mousy friend. Typical Hollywood, they mess up her hair and put on some glasses and suddenly she’s the geek.

“You know, it’s funny. Somehow, that’s just a Hollywood thing that you have to hire a beautiful girl and then somehow do stuff to her that’s making her be signified as not beautiful anymore. I wonder if that’s been done from the beginning of movies though. We just love beautiful women and I keep thinking of people like Hitchcock and how he would take a beautiful woman and then sort of have other women around her who were equally stunning but then they would be the plane Janes.”

All the violence Cody envisioned remains in Kusama’s cut. There were no MPAA issues for her. “We were lucky. I think by today’s standards, we knew that we were getting an R. Once we knew that the language alone was going to eliminate our possibility of getting a PG-13, not that we ever wanted it, we sort of felt like we were pretty free to do what we wanted to do, and if anything pull back when we wanted to.”

These days, violence is fine as long as you don’t show any boobies. “I know. It’s a very, very disturbing trend.”

After Girlfight, Aeon Flux and now Jennifer’s Body, expect Kusama to make some more girl power movies in the future. “There’s not enough of girl power for me so I can never get my fill perhaps. I’m considering a lot of other kinds of movies right now that sort of run the gamut so we’ll see. They all have strong and interesting female characters though. There are a couple of low budget psychological horror films that I’m really interested by. There are a couple of bigger sort of more popular entertainments, a little bit more like comedies. All of them are sort of genre hybrids. I realize that’s what interests me.”

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Fox Atomic

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