Mary Harron

Director, Screenwriter, Journalist
A former reporter of the punk-rock scene whose entree to filmmaking came via British TV documentaries, Mary Harron made the jump to features with the much-awaited "I Shot Andy Warhol" (1996), the story of Valerie ... Read more »
Born: 11/29/1951 in Canada

Filmography

Director (13)

Constantine 2015 (Tv Show)

Director

Anna Nicole 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Director

The Moth Diaries 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

Fear Itself 2008 (Tv Show)

Director

The Nine 2007 (Tv Show)

Director

Big Love 2006 (Tv Show)

Director

Six Degrees 2006 (Tv Show)

Director

The Notorious Bettie Page 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

The L Word 2004 (Tv Show)

Director

American Psycho 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Homicide: Life on the Street 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Director

Oz 1998 (Tv Show)

Director

I Shot Andy Warhol 1996 (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (4)

Revenge of the Mekons 2014 (Movie)

(Herself)

Even Scarier Movie Moments 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

This Film is Not Yet Rated 2006 (Movie)

Interviewee (Actor)

In the Company of Women 2003 (Movie)

(Actor)
Writer (4)

The Moth Diaries 2012 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Notorious Bettie Page 2006 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

American Psycho 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

I Shot Andy Warhol 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (3)

The Notorious Bettie Page 2006 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Weather Underground 2003 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Edge 1991 - 1992, 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Producer

Biography

A former reporter of the punk-rock scene whose entree to filmmaking came via British TV documentaries, Mary Harron made the jump to features with the much-awaited "I Shot Andy Warhol" (1996), the story of Valerie Solanas, who in 1968 shot and wounded the art-world legend. A Canadian raised in London, Harron moved to New York in 1976, delighted to leave the stuffiness of her Oxford education behind to work for an alternative film company running its kitchen. She began writing for Legs McNeil's PUNK magazine and in 1977 penned a lengthy piece for VILLAGE VOICE that explained and explored the London punk scene, introducing what had been a somewhat underground movement to mainstream America. Seemingly a constant presence on pop culture's cutting edge throughout her career, Harron, who participated in and observed the Studio 54 era, the last chapter of the sexual revolution before drugs fell out of favor and AIDS and other STDs prompted more circumspect behavior, remained fascinated by the Warhol "Factory" scene of the late 60s that had so intrigued her as a teenager.

Relationships

Tony Blair

Companion
British Labour Prime Minister dated in the 1970s while both were attending Oxford

Don Harron

Father

Stephen Vizinczey

Step-Father
author of "In Praise of Older Women"

John Walsh

Husband

EDUCATION

University of Oxford

Oxford , England
edited ISIS magazine

Milestones

2006

Co-scripted and helmed the HBO biopic, "The Notorious Bettie Page" starring Gretchen Mol in the title role

2005

Directed an episode of the HBO funeral drama, "Six Feet Under"

2004

Directed an episode of Showtime's lesbian drama "The L Word"

2000

Co-scripted and helmed the controversial "American Psycho", starring Christian Bale; while shooting in Toronto (substituting for NYC), the film ran into protests from a victim's rights advocacy group led by the mother of one of the two victims of Paul Ber

1998

Primetime episodic debut as director, the "Sins of the Fathers" episode of NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" (aired in January); show executive produced by Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana

1998

Helmed "Animal Farm" episode of HBO's "Oz" (aired in August), executive produced by Levinson and Fontana

1996

Co-wrote and directed first feature, "I Shot Andy Warhol"; shunned by Warhol pal Lou Reed, leader of the Velvet Undergound, drew solace from the fact that she did have Warhol friends on board, including the Undeground's John Cale who provided the original

1991

Returned to New York as producer of PBS' "Edge", a monthly magazine program exploring American pop culture; served as segment producer for "Art Crisis" and "Oliver Stone"; roomed with a pre-drag queen RuPaul

1990

Hosted "UK Late", a British TV talk show

1977

Wrote first in-depth article about English punk in the American press for Village Voice

1976

Moved to the East Village in NYC; began writing for Punk Magazine; first American journalist to interview The Sex Pistols

Grew up in central London

Returned to London; worked for five years as a researcher with four of those years doing in-depth research for "The South Bank Show"; began directing segments for TV magazine shows (i.e., "The Late Show")

Bonus Trivia

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"I don't mock my rock 'n roll days, but I realized that a rock writer's career doesn't change much after the age of 22. And I shouldn't be doing the same thing at 40 that I was doing at 22. It took me awhile to get into movies, but I realized it was what I always wanted to do." --Mary Harron in New York, February 5, 1996.

.

"The thing I found difficult is that people here don't understand television experience [in Britain]. There is no independent film, everyone goes to work for English TV."People are very patronizing here if you have worked in television. There is a lot of television comedy here, like Roseanne's show, that I admire. And there is also a lot of good writing in crime shows like 'Homicide'. But no one takes television seriously. In terms of survival I would have no problem doing television. But no one understands what I did before. They were short, very stylized films. For example, I did a half-hour film about boredom for Channel Four." --Harron talking with Rose Troche in Filmmaker, 1997

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"I had been doing quite well as a journalist during the punk explosion in the late 70s. I did an article anbout the Velvet Underground, the band most closely associated with Warhol's Factory, for NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS. And, I also wrote an article about Warhol's influence on pop culture for MELODY MAKER. I actually got to interview Warhol for that piece, as well as peopel in his circle. So, by the time I set out to write my script, I felt pretty comfortable that I knew my story." --Harron quoted in DGA Magazine, January 1999.

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On "American Psycho" getting slapped with a NC-17 rating for its depiction of the film's star Christian Bale in a three-way sexual encounter with two prostitutes: "The scene is not about sex, but about sex as a transaction, so we made it deliberately banal and distant. That Bateman [Bale's character] is looking at himself in the mirror and not at his partners seems to be an issue for the MPAA, but his expression sums up his frighteningly detatched relationship to the world around him. To me it's one of the most significant scenes in the film and to cut it would cause serious damamge." --From Harron statement, quoted in part by Charles Lyons in Daily Variety, January 18, 2000.

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