Every single art form is involved in film, in a way.
And I taught acting for years, and without knowing it that was the real thing that started bending me toward directing.
You don`t normally do another presentation of All About Eve. You do one All About Eve, and that`s it.
I didn`t believe that I`d ever be lucky enough to be able to make a living as an actor.
I`m hands-on in areas where I can make a difference. There`s no sense in me standing on set; the director doesn`t need me there.
I didn`t grow up thinking of movies as film, or art, but as movies, something to do on a Saturday afternoon.
(on working with Al Pacino on "Bobby Deerfield") He`s always asking questions. He`s very hard on a director. In a nightclub scene he wanted to know, "Is this the first or second time we`ve been here?" He wants to know what day of the week it is for a scene. He wants to know the entire background to the relationship with the character played by Anny Duperey. "Did I pick her up? Did she pick me up?"
But, I`ve made films in Japan, in Yugoslavia, all over Europe, all over the United States, Mexico, but not Hollywood.
No, I never went to college. Always regretted it, always envied people who did.
You know, essentially when you do a play you`re reinterpreting a work of art that already exists. That`s not what happens with a movie.
(on Meryl Streep) The danger I`m talking about here is that she tends to sound boring because she`s so perfect.
I mean, certainly writing, painting, photography, dance, architecture, there is an aspect of almost every art form that is useful and that merges into film in some way.
With a movie you`re creating from the beginning this particular work, let`s not call it work of art, because very few movies are works of art, let`s just call them bits of popular culture, whatever they are, sometimes very rarely by accident a movie becomes a work of art.
For example, a man who might not have enormous charisma, who could be president 40 years ago, and who was a deserving president, I don`t know that George Washington would be a president today, I don`t know that Abe Lincoln would, I don`t know that Roosevelt would.
I don`t value a film I`ve enjoyed making. If it`s good, it`s damned hard work.
You are not an active creator of the film.
I don`t know about liberal bias, but people of a liberal mentality are probably attracted in greater numbers to the arts than people of a conservative mentality.
When you make a film you usually make a film about an idea.
(on Paul Newman) There`s stillness in his acting now that is quite magnetic. You can feel his intelligence, you can see him thinking. He has the depth of a clear pool of water.
I mean, I don`t know anything else that I would try to do, but it`s a very frustrating thing to do, because you are trying to take what`s a fantasy in your head and make it live through the minds of 200 people.
I`ve produced my own films for twenty years now - it means I have to talk to less people.
By that I mean, I think that it is true that politics and political heroes have to satisfy our need to be greater than mortal in some way, and that`s led them into creating illusions, sound bites, focus groups that tell you what to do.
I personally have never made a movie in Hollywood, because I don`t want to get up in my own bed and then go to the movie set, and then come home at night to my real life.
The very reasons sometimes that you make a film are the reasons for its failure.
I mean, movies are like your kids or your fingers and toes or something, it`s pretty hard to pick favorites.
I mean, the truth of the matter is, I like the failures as much as I like the successes, it`s only the world that doesn`t like the failures.
Reading a novel of a private experience, very, very different, the nature of it is very different.
Well, I was born and raised in the Midwest, in Indiana specifically, and my childhood was full of weekend movies, you know, the Saturday and Sunday popcorn movies.
Film is a collective experience, as you know.
I mean, certainly it`s the single biggest event, I think, in terms of popular entertainment, or art even, if you say that, of the 20th Century. It`s been film. It`s the 20th Century`s real art form.
The director is the teller of the film, the director tells the movie, like you would tell a story, except in this case you`re telling a movie.
I think it`s a terrible shame that politics has become show business.
Well, the wonderful thing about making movies, oddly enough, is that they`re sort of highly motivated graduate studies in one or another field.
From my point of view I work just as hard, I care just as much, if the films fail it doesn`t make me suddenly disown them, it just doesn`t.
(Says his favorite part of filmmaking process is:) Editing, because I`m alone and there isn`t the necessity of having to organize so many people. Editing feels almost like sculpting or a form of continuing the writing process.
We talked about Tootsie, the idea in Tootsie is that a man becomes a better man for having been a woman.
Burt Lancaster was largely responsible for me becoming a director.
Well, there`s no question that a good script is an absolutely essential, maybe the essential thing for a movie.