Screenwriter Steve Barancik

Interview courtesy of Network

This month, Network is proud to announce the release of the stylish and steamy neo-noir erotic thriller The Last Seduction Special Edition on 12th June 2006 as a two-disc set.

Steve Barancik is an accomplished writer who broke into the film business with his first screenplay, Buffalo Girls, filmed and released as The Last Seduction in 1994. He later went on to co-script the 2003 police thriller No Good Deed, starring Samuel L. Jackson and shared story credit for Domino in 2005, based on the true story of Domino Harvey, daughter of film actor Laurence Harvey.

Steve resides in Tucson, Arizona, where he is a producer and performer with Monolog Cabin, a group of writers who perform their own comedic personal essays. His most recent endeavor is the website, Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write, a site that recommends books for children, offers advice on how to find free and discounted kids books, and provides information to new authors on writing and publishing.

Directed by respected independent director John Dahl (Rounders, The Great Raid, Red Rock West), The Last Seduction won a number of awards for Fiorentino’s powerful performance, including Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards, the London Critics Circle Film Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.

Barancik's screenplay was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award but was beaten out by Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.

We talk to Steve Barancik about The Last Seduction and recent projects he has been working on.

Q: Why did you originally name the screen play Buffalo Girls and were you upset that the title was changed for the film?

A: I suppose I tend to prefer a cryptic title that provokes a little curiosity. Buffalo Girls was meant to refer to Mike Swale's (Peter Berg's) back-story, the relationship he stumbled into in big city (for him) Buffalo, NY. That errant encounter is the thing that drives him, in some fashion, or at least wracks him with self-doubt.

The Last Seduction, on the other hand, is a title that makes no sense to me, especially given the company's licensing of the rights to a sequel, the cleverly entitled The Last Seduction 2. It was my feeling at the time that they should have been required to rename the original something on the order of The, As It Turns Out, Not So Last Seduction.

Q: Did you have any involvement or influence in the casting of the characters in The Last Seduction, in particular Linda Fiorentino and Bill Pullman?

A: No involvement at all, though I couldn't have been happier with the results, and I include Peter Berg in that as well. I do remember being called a couple of times to ask how horrified I would have been with certain casting choices. I recall a shudder of terror at the mention of Mimi Rogers.

Q: The Last Seduction features a femme fatale character, very similar to Sharon Stone’s character in the earlier released film Basic Instinct. Was this character influenced by that film and the presence of the strong female character in the 90s, or more on your own personal experience?

A: No influence at all from Basic Instinct, I'm proud to say. If anything, I was operating slightly under the influence of Kathleen Turner's character in Body Heat. The real core of my femme came from pondering the notion of what kind of woman I myself would be particularly vulnerable to.

Q: Did this exploration of the strong female character hold you in good steed for your later screenwriting in No Good Deed and Domino?

A: Well, it certainly got me a lot of work there for awhile. I'm afraid the best explorations of it are in my un-produced work.

Q: Did Linda Fiorentino have any input in to her character’s screen dialogue?

A: She properly focused her energies on the interpretation of said dialogue, rather than the rewriting of it.

Q: What's your favourite line or scene from The Last Seduction?

A: My favourite line has always been, "When I've done it and you haven't, it is." I love its cadence, but I also love it because it means absolutely nothing out of context. You have to watch the movie to know what the its are. (It occurs in a scene between Peter Berg and Linda Fiorentino in Linda's office.)

My favourite scene is the one in which the Pullman, Fiorentino and Berg characters finally come together, in New York City. It became my favourite during rehearsals. It worked so well, and so many different ways, that it dawned on me that everything that preceded it in the movie must really have been working.

Q: You have worked on quite a few films in your career. Do you feel The Last Seduction is your best piece of work?

A: Certainly my best produced work. Thankfully, I don't consider it my best script. (Though others might.) If I thought my first script were my best script, I'd pretty much have to put a bullet in my head, wouldn't I? (Or at least a little mace down my throat.)

Q: A special feature included on The Last Seduction Special Edition is The Art of Seduction, a new, exclusive documentary about making the film with Linda Fiorentino, Peter Berg, Bill Pullman, director John Dahl and yourself. Can you tell us a bit about what we can expect from the documentary?

A: Well, I haven't seen it, so I can't tell you about much more than my part in it. My shirt colour, I'm told, was a remarkably fortuitous choice given the colour of the hotel room we shot it in. The cameraman thought I must have ESP. I can also tell you I can't wait to see it.

Q: Tell us about your latest project Provocative and how you moved from adult screen writing to writing for children.

A: Provocative is a spec I wrote years ago, picked up - and later returned, largely undamaged - by Dreamworks. I'd love to get it going somewhere, someday, but that hasn't happened yet. Provocative is the story of a femme fatale lawyer. Is that redundant?

Children's books are simply something that become instantly important when children enter into your life. It was hard for me to figure out which books you should be getting and which books you should be avoiding, so the website is largely about helping parents with that.

All of the children's book writing that I've done so far has been for my daughter only. These books feature strong female characters but nothing in the way of femmes least to date. I do share a couple of the books - for free - on the website.

If readers want to read a humorous, extended account of my writing career, they can find it at

If they page to the bottom they can read my comedic essay, Breakfast Food For Thought, the true story of how a box of Cap'n Crunch changed my life.

More information:

DVD review:

The Last Seduction - Special Edition

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.


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