On baby corpses, redundant volunteering, mammograms, and
PK: Your next film [an adaptation of Laura Lippman's crime
novel "Every Secret Thing"]
is a departure. It's about eleven-year-old killers.
NH: Yeah these two girls that kidnap a baby. It's
psychologically complicated. Which is why I like it. Why they're so fucked up,
screwed up, and what lead them to get to this point. But it's a suspense story,
because a baby was taken. It's not gory. I wouldn't want to do that. It's hard
enough to deal with a baby corpse.
PK: So there's no baby corpse.
NH: There's no baby corpse. It's off screen. It's hideous
enough. You know, being a mother. But what I like about it is the characters
and the complexity of their problems and their motivations. It will be a
challenge, but hopefully a bigger budget.
PK: Eleven-year-old killers like Hit Girl [in "Kick-Ass"].
NH: Oh God. I haven't even seen it and I don't approve of
it. Some people love it. I don't know; it looks really damaging.
PK: I was one of those people who liked it. It's a black
NH: Doesn't it devalue human life?
PK: Yeah, that's part of the humor.
NH: I know that like "Pulp Fiction" devalues human life, but
it was such a brilliant movie, I laughed all the way through it.'
PK: Do you have any favorite movies that have been out
NH: "A Serious Man," the Coen Brothers movie. How could you
feel bland about that movie? I saw "Greenberg." I saw "Date Night" with my
kids. I liked "The Messenger."
PK: How did you feel about "The Hurt Locker" winning?
NH: I was really happy about it. It's an embarrassment that
it's the first time. It's crazy. It's a very particular movie, a very macho
movie, and it doesn't even seem like a low budget movie. I hope it's not an
anomaly. But things don't change overnight. I mean, Obama was elected but now
everybody hates him.
PK: Were you active politically when he was campaigning?
NH: A little bit. I went to Nevada. Las Vegas. I don't know if it did any good,
but a friend of mine and I knocked on people's doors to make sure they would
vote. It was surreal, in these really bad neighborhoods these two white ladies
walking up to black people's doors and trying to get them to vote. It was worth
it just for that insane experience. I just felt like, if he lost, I couldn't
live with myself for not having tried. Again, it's about me (laughs).
So often I
volunteer where I'm not needed. The last place I volunteered was a day care
center in Santa Monica.
These poor families brought their kids there. But there were five white ladies
there with nothing to do. I was like, this is great, but I want to do something
I'm needed for. Right now I'm too busy to have a commitment. But I would like
to have a commitment again.
PK: It seems like the studio was more into "Please Give"
than previous releases.
NH: I think so, I mean they released "Friends With Money" on
Sony Pictures Classics. This one's getting a lot of publicity. I mean Jennifer
got more publicity than I've ever had. But this one seems to be a bit
bigger, or better received, or more out there.
PK: What sort of release is it getting?
NH: I'm not sure. I'm not there. I want to hide in the
bathroom and hear people talk about it.
PK: Do you check reviews?
NH: Yeah. I'm gonna start not. There's so many critics now.
There used to be just 5 or 6 papers. But now online like are like 500 every
hour. And they're just douche bags for the most part. The negative ones. When I
read a bad one, I don't usually finish it.
PK: A lot of your material is also taken from real life. It
must be very personal when people criticize.
NH: Very much so. I want to write them back and say "No no
no no. I know who this person is, and they did it for this reason. You don't
know what you're saying." I don't mind when they say if characters are unlikable,
because I know sometimes I'm unlikable. And that's okay. Basically if they
don't like it my mother says they don't understand it. It's possible they could
understand it and not like it.
PK: What was your reason for the opening montage?
NH: I want everyone to get mammograms when they turn 40.
That's my strategy.
PK: That true?
NH: No. I mean, of course everybody should, but that's not
my motivation. I guess I like to shock. It's not like I sat down and thought
"what shocking thing can I put under my titles?" I just was writing about the
character who gave mammograms. And then I thought, "oh, let's just show a bunch
of boobs under the credits. Wouldn't that be funny?" I thought maybe that would
be offensive. But then I found that song ["No Shoes" by the Roches] , and I was
so excited, because I thought it was so perfect. And then we put it in and it
seemed to work. I was very, not so much concerned but curious to see how people
would respond. You know, am I doing myself a disservice. People already call my
movies chick flicks. Am I just digging my own grave? But that hasn't been the
case. I seem to be educating a lot of men on mammograms.
PK: I guess it's even more brutal than that.
NH: Yeah we didn't squish. See, if I was a dude, I would
have squished, because I would have said "keep it going, keep it going."
PK: Who were they?
NH: They're extras. And they get a nudity bump. And they
sign that they're not gonna show they're faces.
PK: I had no idea it was so organized. When you started
making movies, I heard that you were inspired by people like Steven Soderbergh.
NH: Yeah, and Jim Jarmusch. And I remember seeing like Aki Kaurismäki movies. Such dry humor. They made me feel like I could do it. What's your next
PK: George Romero. You're kind of like a female George