I am Guinevere Turner - writer, director and actor who has been working in film and TV since I first got into the game in 1994 with my film Go Fish. I've been in some movies, including The Watermelon Woman, Chasing Amy, and Treasure Island. I teamed up with Mary Harron to write American Psycho and then The Notorious Bettie Page. I was a staff writer and story editor on Showtime’s The L Word, and I played the nightmarish Gabby Deveaux on that show. I've written and directed five short films, two of which showed at Sundance, some of which played on TV and around the world, and some of which were completely ignored.

Here is my proof. Ask me anything!

Comments: 197 • Responses: 79  • Date: 

pfelon46 karma

Who's the worst director you've ever worked with and why is it Uwe Boll?

queen_guinevere39 karma

Yeah, Uwe was tough. He yelled at me. No one is allowed to yell at me.

idiotimmortal24 karma

First off, American-Psycho is one of my favorite movies. Everything about it is just phenomenal. So, thank you for writing it.

What was the most challenging part of writing that movie? How do you feel Christian Bale did in his portrayal of Bateman? Did he improvise or ad-lib any of his lines?

queen_guinevere50 karma

Thank you! I think Christian was flawless. So good. No improv or ad lib there. The only thing he did that wasn't in the script was to moonwalk right before he kills Jared Leto. Which I thought was genius, but Bret Ellis wrote in an article that he thought it was too much.

transmigrant15 karma

There's always debate about whether it was in his head or if everyone else were so caught up with themselves they ignored it. Can you clarify this once and for all?

sergixio143 karma


queen_guinevere90 karma

Thumbs up to getting it!

transmigrant3 karma

Someone below you disagrees, hence the question.

queen_guinevere118 karma

No one can disagree with me on whether it is all in his head in the movie. I wrote the script. Or I guess they can "disagree" all they want. It's not really a matter of opinion.

transmigrant4 karma

So it IS all in his head in the film? I need an answer!!! (PS. I love you).

Edit: Also, why the shit is the screen writer of one of the most amazing films being down voted for personal opinions of their own script?

queen_guinevere54 karma

Thank you! I am trying to clarify and I get down voted? Not cool!

dynamicperf-34 karma

You wrote the script, but not the novel. It is possible that Ellis intends a contrary or more interpretive ending and that ambiguity is so hardwired into his story that you couldn't possibly screenwrite it with any accuracy without that embedded haze. Therefore, if Ellis intends otherwise, it may not have actually happened whether you like it or not.

queen_guinevere35 karma

Really? I didn't write the novel? Because I got very confused and thought I wrote the novel and actually it's Bret Easton Ellis who is all in my head. Thank you so much for reminding me. Phew. I am so embarrassed.

UltravioIence4 karma

Its definitely all in his head.

I've read the book multiple times. Kind of a difficult read, lots of rambling and nonsense, but its extremely fucking brutal and graphic. If you've never read it and like the movie, i definitely recommend it. Not for the squeamish, though, he does a lot more shit in the book than in the movie. (Like murdering way more escorts and a child)

queen_guinevere21 karma

I guess Ultra has the answer. In the book it seems like it's all in his head, but it is still ambiguous. In the movie it is not all in his head. There, clarified.

tvplease10 karma

With a great resume, how come you need to crowd source for Creeps? Is the market for original content dead?

queen_guinevere8 karma

Crowd funding is how indie films are getting made these days! Little movies don't tend to make money like they used to, so big money people aren't putting themselves on the line as much. Plus crowd funding is a cool way to interact with fans and potential fans. Nerve wracking, but exciting!

tvplease2 karma

What's considered "little?"

queen_guinevere5 karma

I would say under 5 million.

Honkeyass2 karma

Do you make films for the crowd funding?

queen_guinevere2 karma

This question makes no sense to me. The crowd funding is the hard part you do so you can do the also hard part of making the film!

Honkeyass1 karma

But how do you get crowd funding? Like by releasing a small bit of what you want the final product to be?

queen_guinevere3 karma

Oh I get your question - everyone does it differently, depending on their budget. Go look at indiegogo and kickstarter and look at films. Its all different. I used puppets in mine because I don't have the actors yet!

daveofreckoning6 karma

In your opinion, did Pat Bateman kill all those people, or was it just a psychotic episode?

queen_guinevere11 karma

"In my opinion"? I would think that whatever I think is what the truth is, and not just an opinion. But seriously, the book is ambiguous, but we wanted him to be REALLY killing people in the movie. Which we kind of failed at because people still ask that question. But we kind of didn't fail because people argue about it. And you win if you've made a movie that people are talking about!

daveofreckoning3 karma

You know at the end when the lawyer guy says that he had dinner in London with Paul Allen, I thought that it made Bateman doubt whether he'd done it. The simpler solution was that the lawyer had mistaken someone else for Paul Allen. It was sufficiently ambiguous to at least raise the question. For the record I LOVE that movie. Love it, and so does my wife. Have you seen this video of Huey talking about it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fk15H6PjBis

UltravioIence5 karma

You should read the book. Im like 99% sure it was all in his head.

soliloquizer2 karma

If it's all in his head, there's no point to the film. The theme and statement depends on it being real.

queen_guinevere15 karma

Let us not forget that a film based on a book can have a different point than the book.

UltravioIence1 karma

He's insane. THATS the point, its all in his head. He literally leaves bodies in the tub, then comes back and theres an open house going on.

queen_guinevere14 karma

Or... maybe... the world he lives in is so desensitized and commerce based that they just cleaned that shit up and kept it quiet because they want to sell the place...

dephtones5 karma

is there something that was cut from American Psycho that you wish could have been in the film?

queen_guinevere11 karma

No, nothing. But I wish Mary hadn't made me lie on the bathroom floor naked covered in fake blood when you can't even tell it's me!

Obradbrad5 karma

When you wrote the screenplay, was Christian Bale your top choice for Pat Bateman? Are there any other actors you would've preferred over him?

queen_guinevere10 karma

When Christian came in, we were sold immediately. Even though it was before he got all tan and buff and perfect. I wouldn't have wanted anyone else. We actually offered it to Billy Crudup before we met Christian, but he turned it down. I wonder how he feels about that now. And I don't even mean that sarcastically - I really do wonder how he feels about it.

McDoogleSnatch1 karma

And don't forget all of the talk about maybe DiCaprio taking the role...

queen_guinevere4 karma

Oh who could forget that? It was more than talk, it was a Variety announced 20 million dollar offer from Lions Gate at the Cannes Film Festival. That was some craziness but luckily it all came back down to earth and Mary Harron got to direct and Christian got to be Bateman.

Doctorpat4 karma

Did you draw anything from real life when writing American Psycho?

queen_guinevere21 karma

Not really. I mean I guess it helped to have dismembered a few bodies in my youth, but other than that, no.

RowBoatCop13 karma

I see no mention of Bloodrayne, which is outrageous. Any stories about Uwe Boll? I heard he used your first draft as the shooting script for Bloodrayne. I think he is one of the few directors who has grown a lot. Rampage and Assault on Wall Street easily his best films.

queen_guinevere7 karma

BloodRayne! My finest work. If you want to see me talk all about working with Uwe, watch a documentary called Tales from the Script. I talk all about it, and don't hold back. Even do an impersonation of him. Also it is a good documentary.

Bowser883 karma

How did you feel when you wrote the screenplay ? Im a really big fan of the novel and film.

queen_guinevere4 karma

I felt pretty darn good! I thought it was funny and I really hoped other people would too. Mary Harron and I laughed a lot while writing it.

Bowser881 karma

Well thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I am a really big fan of your work, amd cant wait to see what you come out with next !

queen_guinevere7 karma

Well Bowser88, it's coming in the form of a film called Creeps! More dark comedy. But no serial killing in this one.

TracyWhitelaw3 karma

My gf wants to know, is it weird that someone has had a crush on you since they were 19 (now aged 38!)? How do you feel knowing that by simply sharing your talent you have had such a fundamental impression on someone's life?

queen_guinevere2 karma

Ha ha Tracy it is weird but good! I just met a woman the other day who said she fell in love with me from the poster and decided she was gay. Awesome! The more people I can turn gay the better.

Cunfuse2 karma

Did you have any interaction with Bret Easton Ellis when writing the screenplay? If so, what's he like?

queen_guinevere3 karma

Yes we hung out with him quite a bit actually. He's funny, as you might expect. Dry witted, fun to hang with. We had a great time. It's so great to be able to hang with the novelist while you are writing the screenplay- its own kind of insight into the text.

whiskeywarriorofdoom2 karma

Who are you super gay for?

queen_guinevere6 karma

Whoops. I answered this question in the wrong spot! See below, re: Owen Wilson.

Dewy_Wanna_Go_There2 karma

What is...your name? Sorry I'm ignorant. Loved the movie though, brilliant work.

queen_guinevere2 karma

ummmm... Guinevere Turner?

Cliffy_Is_A_Paradox2 karma

Hi Guin! I was looking forward to this AMA. I have a screenwriter question. How do you yourself flesh out your characters? I create baackground stories for each character, stories that I myself relate to, yet my characters feel... cardboard? What's your process for character development? (im at work and my phone is.dying. Forgive the errors.)

queen_guinevere1 karma

My number one trick: steal things from real people. Not entire people, just aspects of their personalities, stories they tell you, specific physical habits that they have. I am always mining real people. You can take that in the creepiest way you like.

gogojack2 karma

So let's say I'm a person who is only familiar with you via documentaries like Tales From the Script and the Indie Sex series, and yet is fascinated and wanting to learn more...what work of yours - acting, writing, directing - should I start with?

p.s. thanks!

queen_guinevere2 karma

I would say American Psycho is pretty popular - and it's good. And not as violent as you might think from the title. But don't get me wrong, blood spatters and people die!

poplols1232 karma

Would you ever write stuff for online shows? e.g. shows that are on youtube

queen_guinevere12 karma

Weirdly I'm pretty gay for Owen Wilson. I would love to make a movie and cast him as a butch lesbian.

queen_guinevere0 karma

I would totally do that. There's some cool stuff out there.

GorillaBallet2 karma

What do you remember the most about a young Kevin Smith and a young Scott Mosier when they were showing "Clerks" at Sundance and you were showing "Go Fish"?

queen_guinevere4 karma

Ah the salad days. They had a whole lot of questions about lesbians and it cracked me up.

sodangfancyfree2 karma

thanks for doing this!

how was your experience at sarah lawrence college?

what music are you into? odd question, but did you know stephin merrit or claudia gonson while growing up in boston?

favorite books, fiction and non-fiction?

hey, you were the one who said "get up here and sing, bitch!" in chasing amy. woa, cool.

queen_guinevere5 karma

I was totally the "get up here and sing, bitch!" girl in Chasing Amy. Also I was responsible for the location - we shot in my friends lesbo bar called Meow Mix. And notice Joey Lauren Adams is wearing lots of rings - she told me it was her homage to me. I wore lots of rings in the 90s.

queen_guinevere1 karma

My experience at SLC was amazing. Drugs, sex, and a fantastic education. Love that place. An ex-girlfriend of mine used to say "You know what they taught you at that school? They taught you how to act rich!" That made me laugh. Acting rich is actually a useful skill.

switchblade552 karma

when you wrote the screenplay, how did you feel it would be accepted to the public?

do you feel the movie is better today than it was then (cult status?) ?

queen_guinevere9 karma

It's funny - I feel like the movie is much more popular now than when it first came out. I was just talking with the director about it the other day - and we were saying "Were we ahead of our time?" Not everyone loved it back then. My friend Kevin Smith saw it and then cancelled a dinner date with me. Years later I ran into him and he said "I really hated it at first, and I didn't know what to say to you, but I recently saw it again and it's genius!"

gracebatmonkey2 karma

Go Fish is one of my favourite movies of all time - meant a lot to me when it came out for being so rare! Thank you for all the effort it took to make it and make sure we got to see it!

How do you balance acting and writing at the same time? Do you prefer one over the other?

queen_guinevere4 karma

I love both. I am a Gemini. I write until I get lonely, then I act until I hate everybody and want to be alone again. It works out nicely.

queen_guinevere-1 karma

Glad you liked Go Fish! I watched it recently with director Rose Troche at a screening and we were laughing so hard that we had to eject ourselves from the theater. WHAT AM I WEARING?!

gracebatmonkey2 karma

Hah! It was a different time, that's for sure.

My friends and I were so happy to have something out there that validated our existence, we forgave a lot.

queen_guinevere2 karma

Not to mention that you might have been wearing something similar, maybe?

gracebatmonkey2 karma

Hells, yes! In fact, I still have the butchered purple flannel I was likely wearing while watching it.

queen_guinevere2 karma

Ha ha. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

chiindustry2 karma

2 things--- 1) GENIUS and 2) what kind of porn do you enjoy?

queen_guinevere6 karma

2 things back 1) me or you? and 2) you first

bionicnipple2 karma

Im late to the party but I want to say that American Psycho is a masterpiece. The dialogue about Phil Collins always cracked me up, how did this scene develop?

queen_guinevere3 karma

In the book there are entire chapters that are just rants about different 80s artists. We transposed that into a monologue. If you read the book, there are more!

TheSandmanECW1 karma

How did you feel about the sequel? And how would you feel about an eventual remake?

queen_guinevere3 karma

Ha ha the sequel was quite a piece of work. A remake would be interesting, but... why? (I didn't mean why did you ask I meant why would anyone want to do that?)

Hellisothersheeple1 karma

American Psycho was fantastic. One of my favorites of all time.

queen_guinevere1 karma

Glad you like. I like it too. The funny thing is that it might have taken me a while to see it if I wasn't part of making it (and in it) because I am really scared of scary movies.

Holbac1 karma

Do you remember the decision to leave out, I think the chapter was titled.. 'Killing Small Child at Zoo'? I thought this was one of the most hilarious parts of the book, just the way Bateman deadpans and it is an exaggeration of all the ridiculous evil stuff going on

queen_guinevere1 karma

Yes of course - we just had to pick our violent scenes carefully and let some go even if they were good. You will notice when he makes his confession into the phone toward the end, I tried to put every gnarly thing he did in the book in that speech.

PriPhy1 karma

How did you get into your job?

queen_guinevere1 karma

Made a movie in 1994 called Go Fish out of a need to see a lesbian film that spoke to us and our world. It was all downhill from there...

sfinktasezwa1 karma

I'm taking a writing for film class at High Point University. My teacher wrote Heat Wave and Possession. He want's us to write a script ourselves but I can't seem to think of anything good. Can I get some suggestions?

queen_guinevere1 karma

That's a hilarious question to ask a screenwriter. If I had something good, I would hoard it carefully!

_m991 karma

What was your favorite part in American Psycho?

queen_guinevere6 karma

OMG I've seen the movie so many times that it changes. There is a moment that was a total Reese Witherspoon invention, where she is in a restaurant with Patrick and he is trying to break up with her/tell her he's a serial killer and she looks across the room and points to her ring finger and mouths "Love it!" It's just one of those perfect movie moments that says it all.

_m995 karma

My favorite part is when Patrick Bateman records that phony answering machine message

queen_guinevere2 karma

You mean "Hasta La Vista, Baby"? Now THAT is something I made up, that isn't in the book. Director Mary Harron was like "What is that?" and I had to tell her about Tone Loc and how people said that a lot in the 80s. At least people I knew.

i_hate_usernames_1 karma

do you have to be in set while the movie is shot. if so, how was your relationship with the actors.

queen_guinevere4 karma

What? What movie? What actors?

Accent121 karma

I just finished American Psycho for the billionth time. The credits literally just stopped rolling on the screen. Also watched Dogma again the other day. When trying to adapt something from a book to the screen what do you take into consideration? Meaning, how do you decide what gets in and what gets left out? Thanks for doing this!

queen_guinevere3 karma

My pleasure! There is no real formula to adaptation - and American Psycho really defied adaptation because there are whole chapters that are just rants and no plot. We had to come up with the idea that when he starts to rant about music, shit is going to hit the fan.

[deleted]1 karma


queen_guinevere3 karma

Well when I was in 3rd grade my mom would say "It's just because they're jealous." But I knew it was really because they hated me.

PinkBootedBandit1 karma

american psycho is ny fav movie of all time. perfectly done

queen_guinevere1 karma

Wow. Thank you. Will pass that on to my pal Mary Harron.

stiva1231 karma

I noticed you're raising money for your next movie "Creeps." I already supported you on Indiegogo. What else can I do to help out? I really love your work and want to see more of it!

queen_guinevere1 karma

Thank you thank you! You can help by telling other people about it!

JackXDark1 karma

How did working in Britain on Preaching to the Perverted compare with making films in the US?

...and are you on board for the sequel that a little bird told me Stuart Urban is currently writing?

queen_guinevere1 karma

Working in Britain you break for tea no matter what! So that's cool. And hell yes! I will be in Stuart's movie. Excited to go back to London. Probably won't be able to party like I did back then. Whew.

Mr_Hypocrite1 karma

OMG I love your work and I can't wait to see your next film! What are you working on right now?

queen_guinevere4 karma

I'm raising money through Indiegogo to direct a film that I wrote called Creeps. Its a comedy, it's gay, its dark - good times!

youareinsane0010011 karma

How do you feel about this?

queen_guinevere1 karma

I think it's hilarious! I love mistakes in movies. I bet Gideon Ponte, the production designer, isn't too thrilled.

thedarkness66661 karma

Is your next film going to be as crazily radical as American Psycho? If so I want to see it now now now exclamation point.

queen_guinevere1 karma

Yes "crazily radical" is what I am generally going for! No death in Creeps though. Unless you count the death of souls.

strictmachine811 karma

How did you feel about the direction The L Word went in in the latter seasons?

So glad you are doing this, I have been a fan for about 15 years.

queen_guinevere3 karma

Thanks! I actually didn't watch the latter seasons. Mostly because everyone was always complaining about it to me, and I wasn't working on the show anymore, so there was nothing I could do! So I just stopped watching so I could respond with a blank expression.

pfelon1 karma

Are there any fiction writers (novel or short story) whose work you particularly like? Have you read much of Bret Easton Ellis' other works?

queen_guinevere5 karma

There are a million! I am a huge fan of Joyce Carol Oates, and I rabidly read short fiction anthologies. I've read Bret's The Informers - that was some wacky shit!

MAINO1 karma

are you willing to write a screen play for the "canadian psycho"? do you know him?

queen_guinevere2 karma

I am not familiar with this Canadian psycho of which you speak...

queen_guinevere2 karma

OK, my friend just told me about it. Why on EARTH would you think I know that guy? WTF?

psullivan51 karma

Unlike 10 or 15 years ago, there are now SO many ways to show independent films these days. What is your opinion about where the industry is going for both better and worse? How is this impacting your current funding campaign?

queen_guinevere3 karma

OK Mr. Serious Business! I don't know where the heck the industry is going! Everyone says it's all about TV now. And it really is. There is so much good stuff on TV.

psullivan52 karma

HAHA, Sorry, didn't mean to come off cold and business like! A lot of people I know are comparing the movie business today to the wild west in the sense that people are still looking for where to find their "gold mine". If that makes any sense.... :-)

queen_guinevere4 karma

Yep, you just never know. Movies like Blair Witch Project and The Crying Game keep us all hopeful and hungry to be the next big thing!

iamnotgoodatthings1 karma

I've probably written a novel at this point but then I read it and hate it so I throw it all out and start over.

Does this ever happen to you? If so, how do you deal with it?

queen_guinevere1 karma

Of course! I hate things that I write all the time! And I have many many screenplays that gather dust in the corner. I deal with it by drinking heavily and crying myself to sleep.

orangejews1hunnit1 karma

What are some tips for beginning screenwriters/directors as to how to begin their first project?

queen_guinevere5 karma

Sit down, stop talking about it, and start writing. And remember that it's almost always easier to rewrite something than to stare at a blank screen, so get some words down and get over yourself!

oison1 karma

do you like what you write ?

queen_guinevere1 karma

I like some of it, I hate some of it, and some is just OK. Luckily usually the stuff I like is the stuff that the world sees. (Usually.)

bca9221 karma

So I haven't read the book, but it turns out a lot of what happens in Patrick Bateman's Head. How much of the film takes place in his mind? Or does it all?

queen_guinevere5 karma

I think Bret meant meant it to be all in his head, but we certainly did not. Things get a bit skewed towards the end, and he's seeing things because he's losing his mind (an ATM that says "Feed ME a stray cat") but he's really killing people.

princesspeachcherie1 karma

All of the most successful people in the entertainment industry are Illuminati or Scientologists. Do you think this is a coincidence or are the rumors true?

queen_guinevere3 karma

Drama! I think that's a bit of an overstatement. Certainly the Church of Scientology has some pretty successful members, but, you know, sometimes people are just talented and hard working. For real.

Katelyn891 karma

That book horrified me, and I loved it. How did you feel about American Psycho?

queen_guinevere2 karma

The book? Horrifying indeed! Rough rough rough! Some things I wish I had never read. But had to read a million times.

FightingAgainstTime1 karma

Hi, thanks for doing an AmA!

As a writer looking to get into writing for television - what the hell do I do?! I've got a few spec scripts (original pilots and tv specs) and I'm planning to do the usual fellowship applications this upcoming year (ABC, NBC, Disney, Nicholl, etc.) but that's about all I got! I know it's the usual 1 in a million shot, but do you have any specific advice to give to a fellow writer?

queen_guinevere4 karma

I really don't know! It's competitive and writers' rooms are smaller and smaller. I only got my job in TV because I'm gay.

queen_guinevere2 karma

So I guess I am saying "Be gay."

FightingAgainstTime1 karma

I appreciate the honesty, and I'll give it my best shot!

queen_guinevere4 karma

It's not easy, but you know, some of us manage, for the sake of our careers.

Mikeaz1231 karma

I am one of the few who like American psycho upon its theatrical release. One thing I find funny is that I thought it took place in modern times when it was released, and I didn't realize it was an 80s setting until I saw Reagan on the tv at the end! I was just curious if minimizing the 80s stuff was intentional ?

queen_guinevere3 karma

No, we were trying to go all the way with the 80s stuff. In truth, I think it was too close to the 80s for it to stand out as much as it does now. (Even though it came out in 2000)

spacepie81 karma

Do you think Scott Disick could pull off playing Patrick Bateman?

queen_guinevere4 karma

What I don't know about Scott Disick could fill a warehouse!

daniel_decrissio1 karma

I loved American Psycho! My friend and I have been quoting it non- stop for the past few weeks and it made me realize how wonderfully written it was. What is your favourite of Bateman's lines in the entire movie (mine is probably "Your compliment was sufficient Louis..")?

queen_guinevere4 karma

Hmmm... I think it has to be "Sabrina, don't just look at her ass, eat it." Though I do also like "I don't like Huey - he's too... Black sounding." Mr. Bale certainly can deliver a line.

shakha1 karma

I'm sorry if this isn't a question about you (I've loved everything I've seen you in, though), but I don't think I'll get another chance to ask this. Mary Harron is one of my favourite filmmakers, but it has been eight years since The Notorious Bettie Page (I know she made the Moth Diaries more recently, but that film was so disappointing). Is there a reason why she's not working much anymore? Is there some blacklist I'm not aware of, or is it for the same reason that so few women get director work in the American film industry?

queen_guinevere1 karma

No blacklist! She recently directed the Anna Nicole Smith movie on Lifetime, and she has also directed a lot of TV. I don't think it's a woman director thing - its just hard to get movies made. Don't worry, she's working on it!

Chaos_OH1 karma

I would like to say thank you for making the fine piece of work that is American Psycho. I started to read the book and couldn't imagine the detail orientation that had to be put into the script.

How was it making the script and not being able to put how Bateman literally describes everything in its smallest detail yet still portraying how psychotic he is?

queen_guinevere1 karma

I think that Christian's super taut, controlled manner and his almost monotone voice that also sounds on the verge of hysteria tells a story all on its own. He just seems super nuts!

basedrew0 karma

Any connection with Hitchcocks' film Pyscho? Just noticed the last names of the killers in the film are Bateman and Bates

queen_guinevere1 karma

Bateman is the novelist Bret Ellis' name/creation, so maybe... but I don't know.

indeeds0 karma

I'm laying in bed...hungover....and need a shit. I can't move out of fear of some leakage

queen_guinevere5 karma

You should transfer that fear to what just leaked out of your fingers and onto the internet.

indeeds2 karma

Crisis averted. I loved Bloodrayne BTW.

queen_guinevere2 karma

You and the five other people who saw it!