Girl, Interrupted

Character: Lisa Rowe
Original Release: December 8, 1999 (US)
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: James Mangold, Lisa Loomer, Anna Hamilton Phelan
Produced by: Cathy Konrad, Douglas Wick
Running Time: 127 minutes
Box Office: $48,350,205 (Worldwide)

Unable to cope with reality and the difficulty that comes with it, 18 year old Susanna, is admitted to a mental institution in order to overcome her disorder. However, she has trouble understanding her disorder and therefore finds it difficult to tame, especially when she meets the suggestive and unpredictable Lisa.

Cast & Characters

Winona Ryder (Susanna Kaysen), Clea DuVall (Georgina), Brittany Murphy (Daisy), Elisabeth Moss (Polly), Jared Leto (Tobias Jacobs), Jeffrey Tambor (Dr. Potts), Vanessa Redgrave (Dr. Wick), Whoopi Goldberg (Valerie), Angela Bettis (Janet), Jillian Armenante (Cynthia)

Photo Gallery
Filming Dates: January 25, 1999 - April 14, 1999
Filming Locations: (view all)
  • Hanover, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Reading Public Museum - 500 Museum Road, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Harrisburg State Hospital - Cameron and Maclay Streets, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 218 North Pine Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA (Daisy's house)
  • Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder sang the song "Downtown" in this movie and you can view a video clip in the video archive and read more about it here.
  • Angelina Jolie avoided any communication with Winona Ryder when making this movie claiming that if she saw anything human about Winona Ryder, she wouldn't have been able to act out the sociopath character of Lisa Rowe as effectively.
  • Much of this movie was filmed at the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) State Hospital, which was still in use for treatment of mentally ill patients until it closed in 2005.
  • In a 2000 Charlie Rose interview, Ryder revealed her strong passion to produce the film, indicating that it took seven years to get to the screen. After reading the book, Ryder immediately tried to secure the rights; however, a week earlier they had been purchased by Douglas Wick. Ryder then decided to team up with Wick along with her manager Carol Bodie, who acted as executive producer along with Ryder. Ryder also stated that she tried hard to persuade James Mangold to direct the film, who was reluctant at first. She states that Mangold was the right man for the role as director after she saw his directorial debut Heavy (1995), which explored similar themes to Girl, Interrupted.
  • The scene were Lisa Rowe screams "Where is Jamie?" to Susanna Kaysen, the name of Lisa's friend was changed to Jamie after Angelina Jolie's brother James Haven.
  • Lisa Rowe recites a poem by Dorothy Parker called "Resume": "Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful; You might as well live."
  • The book and film Girl, Interrupted take their title from the painting "Girl Interrupted at her Music" by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.
  • The song "Angel of the Morning" on the film's soundtrack was composed by Angelina Jolie's uncle Chip Taylor.
  • Rose McGowan and Claire Danes auditioned for the role of Lisa Rowe.
  • Winona Ryder handpicked James Mangold to direct after seeing his film Heavy (1995).
  • Factual errors: In the film, Susanna is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder but it did not exist as a diagnosis in the DSM II, which would have been the diagnostic manual used during 1968 when the film is set. Borderline Personality Disorder was not a formal diagnosis until the DSM III which was released in the 1970s.
  • The author, Susanna Kaysen, was among the detractors of the film, accusing Mangold of adding "melodramatic drivel" to the story by inventing plot points that never happened in the book (such as Lisa and Susanna running away together).

Different Versions
  • Director James Mangold states in the DVD commentary that the original cut was 3 hours long. This version has not been shown publicly nor released on any media; however the DVD contains 15 minutes of the scenes deleted from the final cut.

Memorable Quotes

Lisa Rowe: You know, there's too many buttons in the world. There's too many buttons and they're just - There's way too many just begging to be pressed, they're just begging to be pressed, you know? They're just - they're just begging to be pressed, and it makes me wonder, it really makes me fucking wonder, why doesn't anyone ever press mine? Why am I so neglected? Why doesn't anyone reach in and rip out the truth and tell me that I'm a fucking whore, or that my parents wish I were dead?

Lisa Rowe: Lady, back off!
Mrs. Gilcrest: Was I talking to you?
Lisa Rowe: No, you were spitting on me, so mellow fuckin' out!
Mrs. Gilcrest: Don't you tell me what to do.
Lisa Rowe: Look, she gave your husband a rim job. Big fuckin' deal! I'm sure he was begging for it, and I heard it was like a pencil anyway.
Mrs. Gilcrest: Why you - how dare you!
Lisa Rowe: Some advice, okay? Just don't point your fuckin' finger at crazy people!

Lisa Rowe: Take one fuckin' step and I'll jam this in my aorta!
Valerie: Lisa, your aorta is in your chest.
Lisa Rowe: Good to know! I'll make a note of that...
Valerie: Good.

Daisy: You're just jealous, Lisa... because I got better... because I was released... because I have a chance... at a life.
Lisa Rowe: They didn't release you 'cause you're better, Daisy, they just gave up. You call this a life, hmm? Taking Daddy's money, buying your dollies and your knick-knacks... and eatin' his fuckin' chicken, fattening up like a prize fuckin' heifer? You changed the scenery, but not the fucking situation - and the warden makes house calls. And everybody knows. Everybody knows. That he fucks you. What they don't know... is that you like it. Hmm? You like it.

Susanna Kaysen: What the fuck are you doing Lisa?
Lisa Rowe: I'm playing the villain, baby, just like you want. I try to give you everything you want.
Susanna Kaysen: No you don't.
Lisa Rowe: You wanted your file, I found you your file. You wanted out, I got you out. You needed money, I found you some. I'm fucking consistent-I told you the truth-I didn't write it down in a fucking book! I told you to your face. And I told Daisy to her face - what everybody knew and wouldn't say, and she killed herself. And I played the fucking villain, just like you wanted.
Susanna Kaysen: Why would I want that?
Lisa Rowe: Because it makes you the good guy, sweet pea. You come back all sweetness and light, and sad and contrite, and everybody congratulating you on your bravery. And meanwhile, I'm blowing the guys at the bus station for the money that was in her fucking robe!

Lisa Rowe: You think you're free? I'm free! You don't know what freedom is! I'm free. I can breathe. And you... will choke on your average fuckin' mediocre life!

Lisa Rowe: Good luck, crazy bitch.

Lisa Rowe: All you have is mustard and your chickens! I am going to be the Cinderella at Walt Disney's new theme park, Susanna's gonna be Snow White. You can come if you want. You can be the Cocker Spaniel that eats spaghetti.

Lisa Rowe: I'm gonna miss you, Suzie Q.

Lisa Rowe: That is fucked up, Daisy.

Lisa Rowe: We are very rare and we are mostly men.
Janet: Lisa thinks she's hot shit cause she's a sociopath.
Cynthia: I'm a sociopath.
Lisa Rowe: No, you're a dyke.

Lisa Rowe: Is that a dare or a double dare?

Lisa Rowe: Help me understand, Dais 'cause, I thought you didn't do Valium. Tell me how this safety net is working for you. Tell me that you don't take that blade and drag it across your skin and pray for the courage to press down. Tell me how your "daddy" helps you cope with that. Illuminate me.
Daisy: My father loves me.
Lisa Rowe: I bet with every inch of his manhood.

Lisa Rowe: Hey Torch, what'a doin?
Polly: Nothing.
Lisa Rowe: Well, why don't you go in your room and do nothin'.

Susanna Kaysen: Has she come down yet?
Lisa Rowe: No... But she's been playing that SHIT ALL MORNING!

Susanna Kaysen: What happened to Polly?
Lisa Rowe: What needs to happen? No one's ever gonna' kiss her, man. You know, they're building a new Disneyland in Florida. If I could have any job in the world, I'd be a professional Cinderella. You could be Snow White. And Polly could be Minnie Mouse. Everyone would hug her and kiss her and love her and no one would ever know what was in that big ol' head of hers, you know?

Margie: You're looking better, Lisa.
Lisa Rowe: Why thanks, Margie. So how's the engagement going?
Margie: You know.
Lisa Rowe: No, I don't. I've been away remember.
Margie: Joe wants me to... before the wedding.
Lisa Rowe: Fuck his brains out - use a rubber.

Lisa Rowe: C'mon Daze, don't take advantage of her just 'cause she's new.
Daisy: Get the fuck out or I'm calling Valerie! VALERIE!
Lisa Rowe: Yeah, why don't you call Valerie, shall we? Let's call Valerie and ask her for some Colace just like Suzie Q's got in her fuckin' hand. Why does it STINK in here?

Lisa Rowe: So what's your diag-nonsense?

Lisa Rowe: If talking did shit, we'd be out of here by now.

Georgina: Lisa, is Daisy really getting out?
Lisa Rowe: Yeah, she coughed up a big one.
Susanna Kaysen: But how could - I mean she's... insane.
Lisa Rowe: Yeah, well that's what ther-rape-me's all about. That's why fuckin' Freud's picture's on every shrink's wall. He created a fuckin' industry. You lie down, you confess your secrets and you're saved. Ca-ching! The more you confess, the more they think about settin' you free.
Susanna Kaysen: But what if you don't have a secret?
Lisa Rowe: Then you're a lifer, like me.

Lisa Rowe: So, have you had your first Melvin yet?
Susanna Kaysen: Who's that?
Lisa Rowe: Bald guy with a little pecker and a fat wife. You're ther-rapist, sweet pea. Unless, ah... unless they're givin' you shocks. Or, God forbid lettin' you out. Then you get to see the great wonderful Dr. Dyke.

Lisa Rowe: You're playing Betty Crocker and cut up like a goddamn Virginia ham.

Lisa Rowe: You shared a man with that woman?

Quotes from Cast & Crew

"I remember thinking, 'Oh we're going to turn out to be great friends.' But I think she needed to be able to look at me just as the character Susanna, not as Winona, so in a very respectful way she just kind of kept her distance. I saw her at one of the awards shows but I haven't really seen her since. What she's accomplished after the film in terms of humanitarian stuff, I'm just really happy she did that. I remember in the press junket for Girl, Interrupted she would just be so open about her problems and then I would come in and everyone would think I was so boring. So it's really great to see she's found her calling in her personal life."
- Winona Ryder in 2010

”It was a family of actors. I remember James did a lot of improv where we would be our characters and just be in the ward…. I would just barge into everybody’s rooms and do whatever it was that I felt like doing. That was my character!” she laughs. ”The director would help the artist find a family, and then the director backs off. I think that’s something I applied.”
- Angelina Jolie, on director James Mangold in 2011

Awards & Nominations

Academy Awards - Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Angelina Jolie
Golden Globes - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Angelina Jolie
Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role - Angelina Jolie
Awards Circuit Community Awards - Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Angelina Jolie
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards - Favorite Supporting Actress - Drama - Angelina Jolie
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards - Favorite Actress - Drama - Winona Ryder
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards - Best Supporting Actress - Angelina Jolie
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards - Best Supporting Actress - Angelina Jolie
Empire Awards - Best Actress - Angelina Jolie
Online Film & Television Association - Best Supporting Actress - Angelina Jolie
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards - Best Supporting Actress - Angelina Jolie
Teen Choice Awards - Film - Choice Actress - Angelina Jolie
Teen Choice Awards - Film - Choice Drama
Teen Choice Awards - Film - Choice Hissy Fit - Angelina Jolie
The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards - Worst On-Screen Female Hairstyle - Angelina Jolie
Young Artist Awards - Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress - Brittany Murphy