Mary and Riley sat down with The Bitter Script Reader to discuss how the idea of Faults came to be in a two part interview. Part two will be posted tomorrow where they’ll talk about the plot twists of FAULTS and asking Mary what kind of writing it takes to interest an actress of her caliber… and what she hates seeing in scripts. For now, here’s some highlights from part 1 of the interview:
BSR: With FAULTS, did you set out deliberately to write something that was low-budget and easy to produce?
RS: Definitely. I wrote it thinking that I would have to Kickstart it, because we did that with THE CUB. We got like $5000 for THE CUB, thinking for the next thing we could get $50,000-$100,000, thinking I could do this on my own, not realizing that had I done this on my own, I wouldn’t have been able to find the motel room. [We wanted to make the motel room] its own thing. It’s very brown, and a lot of production design. If I was doing that on my own it would have been not as good.
SR: Now Mary, I had a question for you. As Riley’s writing this, I assume you know you’re gonna act in it. Were you feeding him “I’d love to play this kind of part” or “Don’t do this because I hate when I see this in scripts?”
MEW: I don’t know… I was so excited as I was getting the pages of what he was writing but I was also really scared because the character he was writing for me just seemed really, really hard. She’s sort of enigmatic and doesn’t give much away, but also has to be really complex and I was sort of like “I don’t know how to do this.” I loved Leland’s character so much, Ansel, and was like “this character’s sort of flashy and fun!”
BSR: “Can you make him a woman in his twenties?”
RS: The only thing that Mary said that influenced the script in any way was we got to a point where, like 40 pages in… she said, “Ansel’s so cool and eccentric. Can Claire have any of that?” And so the next day I wrote the scene where she does the screaming thing, just because I wanted her to do something weird, and it ended up being one of my favorite parts in the whole movie.
MEW: At that point, Claire was just doing a lot of explaining about what the cult is, so I kind of was poking him a little bit, “give me something.” And I still was scared to play the role even at the end, but then once we were doing it, it was like the most fun I’ve ever had in a role, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with it until we were really going.”
RS: What I love about that is that it is a hard part and I didn’t realize it was such a hard part. Like I knew she could do it, so I didn’t even think about it as being a difficult role, which is why it was funny to me when she read it and was like “This is really hard!”
MEW: And I was worried he was trusting me too much, even when we were shooting it–
RS: I never give her notes because it’s always what I want. I’m like, “That was perfect!”