October 9, 2007
Neil LaBute is not a bastard. Nor is Neil LaBute a misanthrope, a misogynist or a malcontent.
Despite the repellent nature of the characters and scenarios he's conjured for stage and screen, LaBute-over the phone, anyway-is a pretty likable guy. He's not one of the soulless, woman-hating corporate assholes from is breakout film "In the Company of Men." He isn't a manipulative, callow prick like the cretins who populate his play and movie, "The Shape of Things."
He's none of these things-but he's eerily good at creating these convincingly awful people and placing them in a morally repugnant fictional world. His acidic body of work also includes "Your Friends and Neighbors" and "Nurse Betty" for film, along with "Fat Pig" and "In A Dark Dark House" for theater.
LaBute, in fact, is so unlike one of his sociopathic douchebags that he will be returning to KU-where he received a masters degree in theater and film in 1989-to kindly deliver a lecture on his work called "Life Onstage and on Film." Also uncocksuckerlike of him, LaBute took time out of finishing his upcoming film, "Lakeview Terrace" (with Samuel L. Jackson,) to chat with little ol' lawrence.com. He spoke with us from his editing suite in Los Angeles about revisiting Lawrence, conspiracy theories surrounding his work, and having his own adjective.