An Interview with Heathers Director Michael Lehmann

I recently had the fantastic opportunity to ask Michael Lehmann, who directed Heathers, a mix of my own questions and some questions from Heathers Fashion followers. He was super polite and so kind to speak with me!

Heathers Fashion: What was your favorite scene to shoot?

Michael Lehmann: There were no particular favorites to shoot that I can recall, but I will say that the funeral scenes were really fun and interesting.  They were a good mixture of emotionally affecting, darkly funny, and visually challenging.  The whole shoot, by the way, was a pleasure.

HF: Were any of the scenes improvised?

ML: NONE of the scenes were improvised.  Dan Waters wrote a brilliant script with very specific language, and none of us felt that improvisation would improve things.  

HF: Who are your inspirations?

ML: My biggest film inspirations are Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, and Douglas Sirk.

HF: Why did you choose the costumes you did?

ML: Some elements of costume (colors in particular) were specified in the script, but for the most part Rudy Dillon our costume designer made the excellent choices. All I had to do was say which ones I liked best of the choices she brought me.

HF: We’ve heard rumors of an alternate ending. Can you give us more details about what would’ve happened? Would you have preferred this ending?

ML: There were a number of alternate endings, but the one we liked best had JD succeed in blowing up the school, ending on a prom in heaven.  I would have preferred that ending, but the studio said they simply wouldn’t make a comedy dealing with teen suicide in which the main character ends up killing herself and others.  Given events of the last 25 years, maybe the studio was right.

HF: There’s a line in the movie, right after Heather Chandler dies and Veronica and JD are writing her “suicide note”. Veronica tells JD, “It’s good. Have you done this before?” JD doesn’t reply- are we to assume that he has done this before?

ML: We are not to assume that JD has done this before, but we are meant to wonder about it.  His response is ambiguous, so it should tell us nothing one way or another, but of course he doesn’t say ‘no’!

Heathers Fashion would like to thank Mr. Lehmann for taking the time to talk to us! It was truly a delight.