Neil LaBute

(Neil N. LaBute)

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  • Born: March 19, 1963
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Playwright, Film Director, Screenwriter, Actor









Neil N. LaBute is an American playwright, film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is best-known for a play that he wrote and later adapted for film, In the Company of Men (1997), which won awards from the Sundance Film Festival, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the New York Film Critics Circle. He wrote and directed the films Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), Possession (2002) (based on the A.S. Byatt novel), The Shape of Things (2003) (based on his play of the same name), The Wicker Man (2006), Some Velvet Morning (2013), and Dirty Weekend (2015). He directed the films Nurse Betty (2000), Lakeview Terrace (2008), and the American adaptation of Death at a Funeral (2010). LaBute created the TV series Billy & Billie, writing and directing all of the episodes and is also creator of the TV series Van Helsing. He also directed several episodes for shows such as Hell on Wheels and Billions.

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But even with a character like Cary who is relatively outlandish, at the end of the movie he's in a place where I wouldn't have expected him to be - taking on the responsibility of a woman who is pregnant and who used to be his best friend's wife.
But for me, it feels like a natural extension of what I've been doing: exploring relationships. Here you have two relationships and we can explore how difficult it is for people to be together.
Everybody has the ability to be manipulative, to be hateful and deceitful.
Everyone has a little bit of Howard and Chad in them. I think there's Christine in all men as well.
Everyone has a story.
First I would probably place men at the bottom of the food chain. On a grander scale, I would say they're reacting to change. Feminism has got to be part of that. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
I didn't choose BYU, I like to think it chose me.
I have a healthy view of what one can do with art. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I make movies I want to see. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I see bits and pieces of me in all the characters in my films.
I think Christine and Chad are on the opposite extremes of the spectrum. Christine is a model victim, and Chad is a model perpetrator, and Howard is closer to the middle.
I think the more the actor lets you know what he thinks of the character, the less the audience cares - like a comedian who laughs at his own jokes.
I wanted to make these people real, not like they were in a painting. Like these are people who don't know they're in a period movie. Those concerns are incredibly immediate.
I wanted to tell a story that interested me as much in the telling as in the watching.
I was always looking for the most dramatic emphasis.
I was very careful to cast guys who were very good-looking and very fit and who had a certain sense of privilege about them, because with that sense of privilege comes contempt.
I will say that the idea of a woman being deceptive came from that original discussion with critics and reporters about if woman could do that kind of thing. Evelyn, herself, grew out of the discussions about how capable women are of deceit and lying and manipulation. Women
I would be more frightened as a writer if people thought my movies were like science fiction. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
If we put the camera on ourselves, our friends and neighbors, we'll come up with some scary stuff.
I'm more than open to hope, but I think men and women have a difficult time dealing with each other and often take the low road. Time ;Women ;Hope
In a relationship you have to open yourself up. Relationships
Just in the past few years - since I've been making movies, which isn't a very long time - you now have a culture that is fascinated and informed about the box office in a way that sometimes filmmakers weren't even. Time ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
My best male friend is my best friend until he crosses me. We're all protective of the self.
My business is can I create a world that's possible and could happen? I think that's the only thing that I have to do, and I think that I have done that each time. Time ;Business, Commerce & Finance
People have perhaps gotten to the point where for the most part movies are a just bit of escape. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
People think my work is therapeutic. I don't see it that way. It's not like I'm saving money from a weekly therapy visit by writing down my life. Life ;Money, Coins & Minting ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Relationships in general make people a bit nervous. It's about trust. Do I trust you enough to go there? Trust
There is a lot of absurdity sometimes, not just in Mormonism but often in other religions that want to pretend that no bad happens in their church, rather than taking care of what bad does happen.
Unrequited love is always a great thing. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
We humans are a fairly barbarous bunch.
We live in a disposable society. It's easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name - we call it recycling. Society
With In the Company of Men, the misogynist label stuck early and firmly. In the end, it probably did hurt the film a bit, because getting women into the theaters was difficult. Women
Without In The Company of Men, I could still be teaching, so who knows if this would've existed.
You start as an audience member and create a world you're interested in, and then you move into the telling of those stories, bringing what has interested you as an audience member.

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