This ‘Diary’ was long in the works

Filmmaker held out to make the vampire tale she wanted

On April 11, at the low-key Tribeca Grand screening of IFC’s “The Moth Diaries,” helmer Mary Harron pondered what kind of moth keeps a diary.

“A busy, angst-ridden, adolescent moth,” she said with a laugh, adding that her contempo vampire tale set in a remote all-girls school is actually a Gothic coming-of-age drama with a moth allegory. “It’s really about the intense and crazy emotions of young girls as they go through adolescence — that difficult time between childhood and adulthood.”

“Moth” marks Harron’s first film since 2005’s “The Notorious Bettie Page.” She says that’s not by choice. “It took me years to get this made (because) it’s not gory enough. It’s not thrill a minute. Also, it’s very hard to get an all-girl movie made unless you have Megan Fox or a ‘Gossip Girl,’ and I wanted girls a bit younger than that.”

Harron was so eager to cast Lily Cole as the film’s presumptive vampire, she filmed during summer vacation before the actress’s final year at Cambridge.

Cole was surprised by the results. “When I watched the film, I was, ‘Oh my God, she’s really creepy.’ Obviously, I couldn’t accommodate that perspective when I was doing the film. A creepy character doesn’t know they’re creepy.”

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