The sad story of Carrie White, the bullied teenage girl with telekinetic powers, has been told four times: In Stephen King’s 1974 novel, in Brian De Palma’s 1976 film adaptation and in two Broadway musicals, one of which is infamous for being amongst the biggest flops of all time. So what could a new Carrie movie offer? A female perspective.
“At heart, Carrie is the story of a mother and daughter who are at war because the mother believes her daughter is evil,” says Kimberly Peirce ( Boys Don’t Cry, Stop/Loss), who directed the new film. “But it’s also the story of the gym teacher who becomes a mother figure to Carrie and the story of two girls who torment Carrie and then respond in different ways.” Peirce, 46, grew up in Miami and says she identified with Carrie, who in an early scene is bullied by her classmates in the locker room after she gets her first period.
“I was always cute, but I was also skinny and tiny in high school,” Peirce says. “I can understand why Carrie looks up to other girls and wants to be like them but knows she’s never going to be that beautiful. The kids in Miami are amazing-looking. On Facebook, I’m friends with all my former classmates at South Miami Jr. and Senior High, and it’s hilarious. I look at their pictures, and they’re all gorgeous!”