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Bryan Singer / Director

October 18, 1998|Steve Hochman

Director Bryan Singer has followed his acclaimed "The Usual Suspects" with "Apt Pupil," a film about two unusual suspects, a teenage boy (Brad Renfro) and a former Nazi (Sir Ian McKellen), locked in a battle of wills. Singer, 32, says the film, based on a Stephen King story, isn't about fascism or racism, but "the evil men do--and women."

DISTURBING BEHAVIOR: "There weren't a lot of people in Hollywood who wanted to make this movie. But definitely it appealed to some people--they trust that I'd make it into a good film that will scare people."

SCARE TACTICS: "As much as it's disturbing, what's the next best thing to making people laugh? That's scaring the [expletive] out of them. The world--at least America--was scared by a guy in a dress stabbing some woman in a shower. That was pretty cheap, pretty intimate."

OVERLOAD: "As a boy, the 'Holocaust' miniseries, I didn't watch it. Seen tons of things, had a thorough Holocaust unit in high school and just couldn't take more. But 'Schindler's List' was terrific, reminds you of these things, the realness of it. But my film's not about that."

SCREENING ROOM: "Just saw two movies I really liked. One disturbed me a great deal, the other entertained. The first was Larry Clark's new film, 'Just Another Day in Paradise.' The one I enjoyed was 'Get Real,' an English teenage gay love story--very real, an audience-pleaser."

ANTIHERO: "I remember Ian had some concern about the audience being too seduced by his character. And then about four days into the shoot he slipped into it like feet into Italian shoes. I almost said something, but didn't want to spoil it. You don't want to say, 'Audiences will like you--you're an evil Nazi.' "

TOO MUCH INFO: "Doing 'X-Men' for 20th Century Fox. Prepping the movie now and completing the screenplay with a couple of writers. It's a little complicated and I don't want to say much, but if you go on the Internet you can find out what underwear they're wearing."

KING OF THE HILL: "[Stephen King] and I spoke on the phone a number of times before shooting, but mostly about getting the deal and his experience writing it. Then I was on my own making the movie. I showed it to him in New York and we had a wonderful dinner with his two sons. He seemed to like the movie a lot, which made me happy."

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