Trivia / Carrie

  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Sissy Spacek was widely thought to be too pretty for the title role, the character in the book being described as chunky, mousy-haired and covered in pimples with Spacek being a tall thin redhead with clear skin. But Spacek's Oscar nomination speaks for itself. The character was then rewritten slightly, saying that she would be pretty if she made an effort to tidy herself up a bit.
    • Angela Bettis from the TV remake is another example, not really matching the book's description but giving a great performance as Carrie. Though she did work hard to match other parts of the character's description.
    • Chloe Moretz, while stunningly beautiful even before She Cleans Up Nicely for the prom, absolutely nails the painfully shy and socially awkward Carrie White. It's actually uncomfortable to watch how withdrawn she is.
    • Similarly Chris is olive skinned and black haired in the book but in the '76 and '02 movies is played by blonde actresses - Nancy Allen and Emilie de Ravin - who absolutely nail the bitchy attitude. Subverted in the 2013 film where she's played by natural blonde Portia Doubleday - who went brunette for the role.
    • Kandyse McClure turns in a great performance as Sue in the 2002 film that most viewers don't even notice the Race Lift. Ironically enough McClure still has a strong resemblance to Amy Irving, despite being black.
  • Acting for Two: In the 1976 film Betty Buckley plays Miss Collins and also dubs the voice of the boy on the bike who shouts "creepy Carrie" as Carrie walks home.
  • Acting in the Dark: Betty Buckley didn't know Miss Collins would die until the prom scene was filmed.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Carrie's statements about her own faith in the 2002 film were added in after David Keith suggested putting in some positive comments about religion.
  • AFIS 100 Years Series:
  • Billing Displacement: John Travolta, who was then the star of Welcome Back, Kotter, got second billing on the posters behind Sissy Spacek, even though Billy was, at best, the seventh most important character. Home video releases continue this tradition now that Travolta is a Hollywood icon.
  • Blooper:
    • In the 1976 film when Sue is having her nightmare, her mother can be heard saying "Amy" by accident.
    • When Miss Collins is disciplining the girls, she says to one girl "Katie" and the girl reacts. Yet her name is confirmed to be Helen in subsequent scenes.
    • Margaret's corpse's feet can be seen moving when Carrie drags her into the closet.
    • In the 2002 film when Detective Mulcahy is looking through Carrie's yearbook, the same six students are on each page.
  • Canon Welding:
    • Margaret White works at the Blue Ribbon laundry company. This is the same company Bart Dawes of Roadwork was also employed by, and one of the company's locations had their speed ironer become demon-possessed in The Mangler. It's unlikely that these were all the same locations.
    • Also, depending on how literally one wants to take it, Margaret White is said to have "fought the Black Man", which could also be said as "The Dark Man". Did she have an encounter with Randall Flagg, and could this be what drove her so insane?
  • Creator Backlash: Before he finished writing, Stephen King threw the entire manuscript in the trash, disappointed with how it was turning out. His wife Tabitha read it, loved it, and pushed for him to continue writing. The rest is history. He still regards the book as one of his weaker efforts, without the polish of his later novels, comparing it to "a cookie baked by a first grader — tasty enough, but kind of lumpy and burned on the bottom." According to his own account, he had originally been challenged to write something with which women could identify. He wrote the shower scene, didn't like it and threw it out; his wife, who had trouble with her periods, rescued it. The shower scene was what amazed every woman at Doubleday. Harlan Ellison said:
    "…that opening sequence in which the telekinetic, Carrie White, gets her first menstrual experience before the eyes of a covey of teenage shrikes, and more than the light bulb in the locker room exploded. Xeroxes of the manuscript were run off; they were disseminated widely in-house; women editors passed them on to female secretaries, who took them home and gave them to their friends. That first scene bit hard…It was Jungian archetype goosed with ten million volts of emotional power. It was the commonly-shared horrible memory of half the population, reinterpreted."
  • Creator-Preferred Adaptation: King believes that DePalma's film adaptation is a superior work to his novel.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • 26-year-old Spacek in the '76 version, 29-year-old Bettis in the '02 version.
    • Inverted with 15-year-old Moretz in the 2013 version, is a year younger than Carrie in the book and three years younger than the 2013 Carrie (age 18). Played straight with the other teenage characters which makes Carrie look even younger, smaller, and more vulnerable in comparison.
    • The 2002 version zigzags it. Kandyse McClure (Sue) was 22, Tobias Mehler was 26 and Meghan Black (Norma) was 24. Katherine Isabelle (Tina) and Emilie de Ravin (Chris) were borderline, both being around 19. Chelan Simmons (Helen) was 18.
  • Deleted Role:
    • In both the '76 and 2013 versions, a scene was shot featuring young Carrie making rocks rain on her house, but was cut from the final film. The scene is included in the 2002 version, but happens as a flashback rather than a prologue.
    • Jasmine Guy filmed scenes for the 2002 version as a psychic detective who would lock horns with Detective Mulcahey. They were all cut late in production.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Portia Doubleday, a natural blonde, became brunette to play Chris in the 2013 film.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Several cases.
    • Sissy Spacek did not fraternize with the rest of the cast during filming, so as to make the sense of isolation that Carrie felt more authentic.
    • Sue Snell's mother was played by Amy Irving's real life mother, Priscilla Pointer, which caused some real-life emotions to spill into the scene where she comforts Sue following her nightmare at the end of the film. If you listen carefully, she even slips up and calls Amy by her real name at one point.
    • During filming of the scene where Miss Collins is chewing out the girls in gym, Brian DePalma was standing behind Amy Irving just off screen and whispering horrible cruel and hurtful things into her ears in order to make Sue's look of misery and guilt on camera look genuine.
    • In the prom attack scene, they used an actual fire hose on P. J. Soles (who played Norma). Her screaming and collapsing onto a table and then passing out was real. She ruptured her ear drum doing that sequence, lost consciousness, and was deaf in that ear for six months after filming.
    • Also, Betty Buckley says the terrified look on her face right before she gets killed is real, since they hadn't been able to test the falling backboard to make sure it would stop where it was supposed to before hitting her and no one knew for certain whether it would work.
  • Executive Meddling: Both the director and Chloe Moretz said that the 2013 film would be more like the book, it ended up being essentially a Shot-for-Shot Remake. A leaked screenplay all but confirms this.
  • Fake American:
    • The 2002 version, having been shot in Vancouver, was so jam-packed with "Hollywood North" Canadians-playing-Americans that it would be simpler to list the actors who weren't Canucks: the Americans Angela Bettis, Patricia Clarkson, Rena Sofer, and David Keith, and the Australian Emilie de Ravin.
    • The 2013 version has English actress Gabriella Wilde as Sue, Australian actor Alex Russell as Billy, and like the '02 version, tons of Canadian actors (it was shot in Toronto this time). The only Americans in the cast are Chloe Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, and Portia Doubleday.
  • Heel Realization: Nancy Allen and John Travolta didn't realize just how villainous Chris and Billy really were until they saw the final version. They thought they were more of the comic relief while filming.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Amy Irving and Kandyse McClure. If not for the fact that Amy is white and Kandyse is black, you could easily mistake them for sisters.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The original musical adaptation had an extremely short run and for the longest time was never heard from again. Miraculously, a small handful of bootleg recordings of the production were made and managed to survive long enough to be put onto the internet. It wasn't until the recent revival in 2012 that an official soundtrack recording was made available.
  • Method Acting:
    • In the 1976 version, Sissy Spacek deliberately isolated herself from her castmates during filming.
    • In the 2013 version, Chloe Moretz sewed dresses for herself (though they weren't used on-screen), and visited homeless shelters and spent hours on end locked in a closet in order to simulate what Carrie's mother put her through. She also insistednote  that she not be told when the pig blood would be dumped on her head, so that she'd be just as surprised by it as Carrie would be.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The original trailer for the 1976 version shows a different shot of Carrie in the shower scene - where she's hunched against the wall as they throw the tampons at her. Likewise the original voice of the boy on the bike is heard, whereas he's dubbed by Betty Buckley in the finished film.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Judging by accounts of what she was like on-set, Sissy Spacek was one of these. When trying to come up with a good fake blood, Sissy said she'd be willing to just use actual blood. (They chose to use red corn syrup instead.) Plus, when they were planning on having a stunt double perform the scene where Carrie reaches out of the ground to grab Sue's arm, Sissy insisted on doing the scene herself because she wanted to experience being Buried Alive.
  • Old Shame: Angela Bettis hated the 2002 remake. It was a Money, Dear Boy role for her (specifically, she was hoping the planned TV series would give her a steady paycheck), and she wouldn't have seen it if she hadn't been in it.
  • Playing Against Type: Emilie de Ravin is more known for playing heroic characters. Her turn as Alpha Bitch Chris in the '02 film was different for her.
  • Playing Gertrude: Betty Buckley as the gym teacher was only a couple of years older than the actresses playing her students. There is some merit to this as Carrie's narration in the book states that the teacher looked so beautiful at the prom that she could have passed for a student. Miss Desjardin is said to be a young teacher on her first year anyway.
  • Production Posse: Brian De Palma, John Travolta, and Nancy Allen reunited five years later for the film Blow Out.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Angela Bettis who plays Carrie in the 2002 film was a fan of both the book and the original film.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Amy Irving and her mother Priscilla Pointer played Sue and her mother respectively.
    • The song that plays during Carrie and Tommy's dance at the prom is sung by Katie Irving, Amy's sister and Priscilla's other daughter.
    • The boy on the bike is played by the director's nephew Cameron.
    • In the Japanese dub of the 2013 remake, both Keiko Han and Megumi Han voice Margaret and Carrie respectively, who are also mother and daughter respectively both in film and in real life.
  • Star-Making Role: The 1976 version was this for Sissy Spacek.
  • Stillborn Franchise: The 2002 version was a Pilot Movie for a series that was never made.
  • Technology Marches On: In the 2002 version a teenage girl using her cell phone to make a call in lieu of texting and mentions of e-mail being used as communication between two teenage girls horribly dates the movie that was at one time intended to be an update.
  • Throw It In:
    • When Piper Laurie first read the script, Carrie's mother seemed so operatic and ridiculous to her, she honestly believed the movie was a comedy. She played the role accordingly, and was laughing between takes at the lunacy of it. Her over-the-top cartoonish portrayal stayed because it arguably made her even more terrifying. Of course, the most terrifying thing of all might be that she still believes it's a dark comedy.
    • Norma hitting Carrie with her red baseball cap was improvised by PJ Soles. She joked that it was what convinced the director to give her more lines and screen time.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Inverted. The actress who played Carrie's mother thought the movie was a dark comedy, insisting that anyone who would write "dirty pillows" into the dialog had to be joking.
  • Too Soon: The 2013 version was delayed from March 15 to October 18, just two months before its planned release date. The studio's explanation was that it was to take advantage of the lucrative Halloween market for horror films, but director Kimberly Peirce contends that the real reason was the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting making it uncomfortable to release a film with Carrie's subject matter just three months afterwards.
  • Viral Marketing: The 2013 version had a slew of this. The two main vehicles for it were the website You Will Know Her Name, containing images from the "White Commission Report" investigating Carrie's rampage, and a phone number, (207) 404-2604, with a recording of Carrie and Margaret on the other end.
    • The number is now 1-855-522-7713. In addition, there are some time-specific recordings (for example, Margaret berates the caller in February for being a "whore" by celebrating Valentine's Day).
    • The creators of the 2013 adaptation also ran a viral marketing campaign in the form of a candid camera prank. They used Practical Effects to make it look like a girl with telekinetic powers was going nuts in a coffee shop after having coffee spilled on her. As of this writing, it has over sixty million views.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The production of the original film experienced a literal example of Special Effect Failure, detailed in the special features on the DVD. The finale was supposed to involve Carrie calling down a meteor shower on her house, destroying it. Indeed, the interior scenes, showing the rocks coming through the ceiling, had already been shot. However, when they shot the exterior of the house burning down, the rig that was supposed to drop the stones malfunctioned. The production didn't have enough money left to redo the shot, so they simply filmed it sans meteors.
    • Amy Irving was in very close running to be given the role of Carrie. However when art director Jack Fisk persuaded the director to let his wife Sissy Spacek audition, Irving ended up with the role of Sue instead.
    • Norma's role was smaller originally, and PJ Soles was only cast for two weeks. But Brian DePalma was impressed by her performance and expanded her role.
    • The original film was cast in a joint session with the casting of Star Wars, which creates some very interesting casting possibilities. Allegedly, Carrie Fisher was originally auditioning for Carrie White before she was cast as Princess Leia. Speculation is that Carrie Fisher objected to the nude scenes in Carrie, while Sissy Spacek didn't, so Carrie Fisher got to be in Star Wars while Sissy Spacek got to be in Carrie. Fisher later Jossed these rumours, saying she would have had no problem with the nudity.
    • Bernard Herrmann was the first choice to score the film but died during production. Pino Donaggio replaced him.
    • More split screen effects were filmed for the 1976 version. Word of God is that they turned out badly and only the few that looked good were used in the movie.
    • The 2002 remake was originally intended to be a pilot for a TV series that was never picked up. Some of the plot points that would have likely been in the TV show showed up in the movie, such as Carrie looking for others like her, and her lack of control of her powers and going in a trance-like state. The Shop, the fictional government organization from Stephen King's books (like Firestarter and The Tommyknockers) would likely have also been involved as the government agents hunting her. One could imagine that the show would have been something like Carrie meets the Incredible Hulk TV series, or (given Bryan Fuller's involvement) an earlier version of Heroes.
    • For the 2013 remake, Shailene Woodley was offered the role of Carrie, but turned it down; had she taken the role, it would've teamed her up with Ansel Elgort as onscreen partners a full year before The Fault in Our Stars. Haley Bennett, Dakota Fanning, Emily Browning, Lily Collins, and Bella Heathcote also auditioned for the role, with Bennett allegedly having been the front-runner alongside Chloe Moretz. Jodie Foster was also considered to play Margaret, while Ivana Baquero auditioned to play Chris.
  • Write What You Know: In the introduction he wrote for more recent editions of the novel, Stephen King stated that he based the title character on two girls he knew growing up, both of whom died before the age of thirty. One, who he refers to as "Tina" to protect her identity, was the inspiration for Carrie's relentless teasing and bullying, while the other, "Sandra", inspired her religious fanatic mother and isolation from the rest of society.

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