MaXXXine director says he relates to Elizabeth Debicki's cutthroat character "more than he'd like" as she compares the fictional director to him

elizabeth debicki as liz in horror movie maxxxine
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Following on from X and Pearl, writer/director Ti West's trilogy closer MaXXXine sends Mia Goth's Maxine Minx to Hollywood in her pursuit of stardom. Wanting to become an actor following a successful career in the porn industry, Maxine lands a role in chilling horror sequel The Puritan II hoping that will help her make a name for herself.

That fictional movie is directed by Tenet star Elizabeth Debicki's cutthroat character Liz Bender, a no-nonsense and ambitious filmmaker who is very passionate about her work. Whilst discussing the real-life inspirations behind her character, Debicki revealed to Collider that "there's a little bit of Ti in Liz", referring to the MaXXXine director himself.

And so, whilst in conversation with West, GamesRadar+ and the Inside Total Film podcast brought up Debicki's comment. Laughing, the director admits that as soon as he put a filmmaker character into the movie, he was "doomed" to get a response like her's: "Anytime you're the writer and director of a movie where there's a writer or director in the movie, you are certainly doomed for people to see parallels to that."

Continuing, West agrees that he probably does have things in common with Debicki's bold filmmaker, especially when it comes to the more "preposterous" parts of the character. However, as he emphasizes, that wasn't intentional and it's perhaps more prominent than he would have anticipated.

West adds: "I'm sure there are some [similarities], you know. When I write, I don't think of it that way. I'm trying to hopefully bring people behind the curtain a little bit to see what it's like to be a filmmaker and to see that maybe you have these ambitions for what you're doing, but maybe you're also aware that what you're doing is thought of in a certain way. And you're trying to make your best in that kind of hypocritical landscape a little bit. But, you know, I'm sure Elizabeth [Debicki] is probably right in some of the more preposterous natures of the character. It probably relates to me more than I'd like."

MaXXXine releases in theaters worldwide on July 5. For more from our interviews, here's the team discussing shooting at locations from Hitchcock's Psycho, why they see Maxine as a superhero in this chapter, West on whether its time awards bodies recognize horror films, and Goth teasing Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Frankenstein movie.

And to stay up to date with what is coming soon to the big screen, check out our guide to the upcoming movies to watch out for.

Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.