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The Best Things Said to Indiewire in 2015

The Best Things Said to Indiewire in 2015

[Click on the name for the full interview.]

“Our medium is called motion pictures, but it could also be called emotion pictures.” — Walter Murch

“The Academy, which is a private organization, could save the industry by saying, “It’s our award and we can do whatever we want.” They could say that any film putting out paid solicitation ads of any kind — all these for your consideration ads that cost millions and millions of dollars, which just solicit awards — they could say that any film using them is disqualified from the Academy Awards. It would end it overnight.” — Edward Norton

“I’ve got a badass home theater situation, so I enjoy it. But what I really enjoy more than anything is like these film series showings of a 35mm print with an audience of a couple hundred, or however many want to show up to a special screening, and the sense of community in the darkened theater. That will forever be important.” — Richard Linklater

So it’s a list of like, four women who are going to be considered for those kind of roles. So I think that’s why the rumors happen, because they’re like, ‘Who else? Surely not another girl can wield a gun,’ you know what I mean? ‘A woman doing push-ups? There’s only one who can do that.” — Emily Blunt

“It is hard when a movie like ‘The Cobbler’ doesn’t connect critically. I’d never had that experience. But even when I was going through it, I had to have a good perspective about things, and sometimes in those situations I have the ability to go, ‘Wow, this is really interesting. This has never happened, and it’s a really intense feeling.'” — Tom McCarthy

“I think it’s nice to show people that I won’t ruin your fancy drama. If you’re considering putting me in one and you thought maybe I’d ruin it, maybe I won’t.” — Seth Rogen

“I remember Jane Fonda describing this moment where she stepped away from filmmaking at the point where she was a lead actor, and came back and suddenly she went, ‘Where’s my role?’ I’ve been so surprised and excited by the offers that have come my way. The rest is out of your control.” — Cate Blanchett

“I don’t think the film is a political film in any way. I don’t think it’s a film that has an agenda or that’s preaching to the audience. I think because of that, it really allows the audience to go into it without any defenses up and they can experience these two people falling in love.” — Rooney Mara

“During interviews in the aftermath of this disaster, I said that people would see it differently in 50 years. I said that. I think it’s a very well-made, elegant movie from an artistic, visual point of view.” — Paul Verhoeven

“I would go into these stupid auditions and I knew I was like, never going to get cast as the girlfriend or the cheerleader, and I loved those shows. I just don’t know if that’s the kind of actor I am. It’s a little bit of a combo of what I actually do like to do and what interests me and what I’m not bored by, and also just I don’t know if I’m very good at that other thing.” — Elisabeth Moss

“That is still my proudest professional accomplishment — that at 25 years old, I became a working actor, and I’ve been doing it since I was 25 years old. Anything beyond that is gravy. So this is all gravy, I’m in the gravy. At some point, the gravy will stop flowing and I’ll do something else.” — Bryan Cranston

“Make whatever you’re going to make, but go through and change a bunch of first names to female names, and when it says ‘CROWD GATHERS’ put, ‘comma, HALF FEMALE.’ And there you have it. A gender-balanced movie, some female characters that aren’t stereotyped. It’s so easy. You don’t have to worry about anything.” — Geena Davis

“This is an industry that doesn’t embrace risk in terms of materials or talents. We definitely felt the onus was on us to demonstrate that we had a viable story and that we were the ones to tell it.” — Laura Ricciardi

It wasn’t an immediate go for anybody, but it was always worth thinking about. I kind of got down the pipeline at a lot of places but I didn’t get anyone to pull the trigger because, honestly, when was the last time you saw a movie like this from a studio? Because they’re not making it, they didn’t make it. I sort of didn’t see what was happening as clearly as I thought, but I understood in a way that they have an agenda, they need to make these tentpole movies, they want to be in the franchise business and I come along with a story about a 70-year-old man and a woman running a startup. These are not things they’re making movies about, so it was a hard decision but I kept trying.” — Nancy Meyers

Whenever I read things about me that say ‘female screenwriter,’ I have to say, ‘Well, why can’t I just be a screenwriter?’ Or when people say ‘rom-com writers,’ ‘No, I am a person who has written a film that is in a genre.’ For me, that is my continued mission.” — Tess Morris

“I just feel like the people who watched the movie and made that rating were shortsighted and took the wrong message and got the wrong idea from the film. It’s a very good example of what we’re trying to say: Society is very afraid of teenage girls and afraid of sexuality amongst teenage girls. People don’t talk about it because they’re scared of it.” — Bel Powley

“I always like the Cassavetes Award because that’s, to me, one of the most interesting ones, because it’s sub-$500,000, so that was like the first one I looked at, and then I saw the image, and I kind of just freaked out. After I saw the [nominations], I stared at my phone and I think I said, ‘Get the fuck out of here,’ like 10 times in a row, just out loud. I couldn’t think of any words but ‘get the fuck out of here.’ It’s pretty surreal.” — Charles Poekel

“Torture porn has always sucked because it’s bad filmmaking. It’s lazy filmmaking. It’s hard to get suspense. It’s hard to get an audience to jump. It’s not hard to put a guy’s wiener in a vice and poke it with a stick for a half hour. Anyone can do that.” — Bruce Campbell

“Things now are so fast-paced and they just: cut, single, single, single, single! Everything moves so fast. Characters are saying joke, joke, joke, joke! And stuff back [in the ‘70s] was more conversational. It felt more natural and real. Everything had more room to breathe. […] Now I think the instinct is for everything to wrap up in a nice bow and the guy and the girl get together and everything is good. Those movies didn’t always end like that.” — Aziz Ansari

“No one ever sits in a Q&A and says, ‘So how did it feel to be a male filmmaker? And having two male leads, was that difficult, was that interesting to you? Why did you have two male leads?’ I would love to get to the point where that sounds as absurd as it does when you flip it.’ — Patricia Rozema

“I, at this moment, don’t really have much of an interest to do a drama on a network. I don’t think you can compete with what you can do on cable. I just don’t think it’s possible, just in terms of the stories you’re allowed to tell, the freedom of stories that they give you. It’s a really unfair advantage. […] On cable, if it’s dramatic, you can do it. That’s an unfair fight. Now comedy I actually think is the only place that the networks are as strong or stronger. I would make a case that, pound for pound, comedies are funnier on [broadcast]. I mean, look, there are shows I love on cable — I love ‘Silicon Valley’ — that are funny. But, listen, I’ll watch ‘Modern Family’ over ‘Nurse Jackie’ any day.” — Rob Lowe

“If I could tell you the one thing that surprised me the most last year was how angry some people got when we said, ‘Look, the cause of the Departure will never be answered.'” — Tom Perrotta

“A critic or commenter is somewhere saying, ‘Well, she’s not very likable.’ Well, how fucking likable are you?” — Shalom Auslander

“Quite honestly, I hadn’t been tuning into USA. I know they’re in a period of rebranding, and they’re taking some pretty bold chances, as evidenced by picking up our show. [But] I had the discussion with my agent. I said, ‘Is this show going to have a big blue sky in it? Is it all going to be gumdrops and rainbows and roses?'” — Rami Malek

“That is where that indie-film-loving audience that used to go to the art house [goes]. They are now home in front of their televisions. […] A friend of mine had a great line the other day, he told me ‘When we were kids, films were for adults and television was for children. And now the reverse is true.'” — Edward Burns

“I’m not going to share any stories because I don’t remember half of them and the rest are too dirty to talk about.” — Kyle Chandler

“You know, I guess I never really think of Mulder as a cop, first of all. Or Denise Bryson from ‘Twin Peaks’ as a cop. Mulder’s a very bad cop. He never solved any case ever. ” — David Duchovny

“I’ve always appreciated real time [and] space in films and TV. It’s a particular rhythm. It’s more common to the European market. It’s a rhythm I enjoy watching and a rhythm I enjoy participating in. It’s a space that feels more like life.” — Gillian Anderson

“The reason people participate in projects like this is because they have that basic human need to be understood. Nobody wants to die without telling their story or explaining who they are in an authentic way.” — Andrew Jarecki

“I’m making the films that I’m fortunate to be able to make, and film seems like the glamour medium. And it is, quite frankly, to be able to hang out with people like Brad Pitt or Chiwetel [Ejiofor] or whomever. It’s glamorous. What am I going to say? I mean, André Benjamin is a friend of mine now, it’s pretty glamorous.” — John Ridley

“A lot of people lamented the death of the water cooler moment, which I think died long before ‘House of Cards’ anyway, but now we have something that’s much cooler than the water cooler. We have the Internet. So you can have conversations, not just with your coworkers or your family, but with people around the globe about an episode or a series or a season.” — Beau Willimon

“The idea with comedy is that there are a lot of fun challenges inherent in it. And the joy is figuring things out. The joy is how do we surprise people? The joy is how do I surprise myself? How do we do something different than we’ve done before? When that becomes increasingly difficult and it doesn’t feel like a fun challenge anymore, it just feels like work, that’s when I think it’s time to stop.” — Paul F. Tompkins

“In general, I think writing characters, no one is 100 percent good or bad, and certainly the bad characters never think they’re bad themselves. Even the worst characters don’t feel like they’re bad guys on the inside.” — Darren Star

“I wish they would do a thing where they say, ‘Everybody has to do this thing and then they can become a TV director.’ For somebody like me, who was a former athlete, going from white belt to black belt to qualify in small tournaments to get to the big tournaments, I thrive on actual rules. This fucking bullshit here is the wild wild West.” — Lexi Alexander

“I’m just obsessed with all things romantic, and I think love is the great drug in life. To me, watching great love stories is like doing drugs. Sitting in a movie theater and crying for 20 minutes and not getting out of my seat till the lights come up, trying to pretend I’m flying — I live for that and that’s what I’m trying to do.” — Drake Doremus

“Television traditionally is a one-way experience. Sit on your couch, we’ll show you a thing, and you laugh at it, and we’ll kind of indicate when we want you to laugh at it, to the point where we will sometimes even have a laugh track, so you know exactly when we want you to laugh. And I think to me, young people just aren’t buying it because they reserve the right to participate. It’s what they’ve grown up knowing. So I think games on late night shows are reflective of the fact that it’s like, well, that person’s doing something that’s on my level. You see people on ‘Fallon’ smashing eggs on their heads. And it’s like, well, that’s a regular person in a weird way. That’s a much more regular person than a Carson interview ever was. I think people in the suburbs don’t wanna feel that separation. They actually wanna feel more included. And I think games cut that distance between Hollywood and real life.” — Chris Gethard
“When ‘Safe’ came out, it bombed. People walked out of the screening at Sundance. And, now, 10 years later, everyone is saying it’s one of the best films of the nineties. So you really, really don’t know, all you can do is do your work and enjoy doing your work. The best part of the movie for me, is making the movie.” — Julianne Moore

“It wasn’t cable that did the first HIV-positive sex character, it was ‘ER.’ And not until ‘Looking,’ a cable show 20 years later, is there a lead character who’s HIV-positive. This is all broadcast television, not cable. Cable has not been in the forefront of really telling the tough stories, stories about guns, abortion, HIV deniers. We did it all on ‘SVU.'” — Neal Baer

“I mean, I look at what Caitlyn Jenner went through; who would choose that? People are literally saying about Caitlyn, ‘Oh, she’s doing it for a television show or for publicity.’ Who would do that for a television show or publicity? Are you insane? I think people who have no understanding of how difficult this road can be. So whenever, with us, with queer people, we have to constantly say, ‘This is who we are.’ And the best way to do that is by not being invisible, I feel. And I’ve just lived that my entire life.” — Lea Delaria

“[Oscar Isaac] was great to direct because often he had really good ideas about what he wanted, but he was also so flexible. There were scenes where he would go, ‘No, I don’t want to do it here.’ He said this is the wrong place to have that argument. I said, ‘Yes, that is where arguments happen, in the wrong place. So we are going to do it in the doorway, right where an argument should never happen. In the doorway of a café, that is where you are going to break down.’ ‘What? Okay, I’ll try it,’ and he did. It was genius. It was just genius. Often, that is what you do in directing: You try and put something in the wrong place because that is where life happens, in the wrong place.” — Paul Haggis

“[Jealousy] is such a universal emotion that everybody has, I think, especially towards the people that they love the most and they want the most for. Ironically, those people can also be the people whose success threatens you the most, because you’re constantly comparing yourself to your husband or your best friend or your this, or your that. And your significant others are the people that you are measuring yourself against as you go through life, and so very often those loving supportive feelings can quickly turn into feeling threatened and jealous. I think we all feel so ashamed of those feelings, that we don’t really explore them enough, or talk about them enough.” — Emily Mortimer

“In the end, we should not define each other by our sexuality. We should define each other by our capacity to love. Because love trumps everything, don’t you think?” — Beau Bridges

“What a producer does, I feel, is a combination of what all the people in ‘Mad Men’ do. You have your John Slattery who’s always selling, always trying to sell a client. And then you have Jon Hamm, who’s doing the creative, and people are giving him pitches and he’s coming up with pitches, and then you have Robert Morse who’s running the business side of it and has to have a big picture long view of things. All of those things have to carry equal weight, but you can never rest on what you’re in production on now. You always have to look at that six month horizon and remember whatever you’re doing now you’re going to be done with pretty soon. So what are you going to be doing in six months? Always be selling. As they say in ‘Glengarry Glen Ross.'” — Jon Stern

“Twenty years from now, when someone’s watching ‘The Leftovers’ on Netflix or HBO Go, it’s not like they’re going to put a warning on the front of it saying ‘Warning: this episode includes violence to dogs and it will never tell you where the people went.'” — Damon Lindelof

“All historical shows should be made as contemporary shows. By that, I mean it shouldn’t be about looking back. You should treat the characters as contemporary, modern people because in the world that they inhabit, they are modern. In the world they inhabit, they’re living in the here and now and you have to treat the characters in that way.” — Gareth Neame

“You just try to be as good as the writing. When writing is really good, it makes you try to go up to it, as opposed to pulling down to you. It makes you reach for whatever that is.” — Ted Danson

“If you’re doing a play, you’re playing that character six nights a week. So you’re in this interesting emotional groove. In TV you’re starting and stopping. And when you take a break between seasons, I always say it’s like putting on a wet bathing suit: When you come out, it’s a little uncomfortable.” — Carrie Coon

“For me, there is no way you can act supernatural. You have to ground it.” — Christopher Eccleston

“As you know, the TV landscape we’re in right now is so competitive. There’s so much being made and what it’s led to is a situation where they want you to take risks. They want you to do things nobody else is doing. It’s remarkable. It’s the polar opposite of when I started off in television, which was the mid-’90s, when they were afraid of risks. It was risk-averse. This was like, we must take risks, otherwise no one is going to watch our show. And so you’re rewarded for being bold and pushing the limit.” — Frank Spotnitz

“With social media nowadays, people call everybody out who’s an asshole. It’s very hard for a director to be an asshole now. Anyone can be called out.” — Cary Elwes

“Women who don’t like other women are fucking assholes. That’s all there is to it. Those women are assholes.” — Krysten Ritter

“I can’t control what people take away from it. Although, I guess that’s what the purpose of all these interviews is, is to control the narrative around my show and tell people how to react and how to look at it. But I don’t know, man. People are going to get what they get. And I think that’s the beautiful thing about television.” — Raphael Bob-Waksberg

“I related to everything. Everything. Every single saying, every aspect of what her journey is, I was in the middle of it at that point in my life. Ultimately, I think that it was a good thing, but at the time, it was quite overwhelming. It’s like being faced with a mirror that’s like an inch from your face and you can’t look away. But it was really terrific.” — Saoirse Ronan
“They were this monster of femininity — five heads, ten arms, ten legs.” — Denize Gamze Erguven

“I’d like to think that this is creating a balance for us. We’ve been locked for all of our lives in an apartment, and now we’re in the spotlight, experiencing all of the things at once.” — Mukunda Angulo

“I look for a good story and good characters. I’ve just happened to [find them] in independent movies.” — Dakota Fanning

“Take risks. Try to find not chosen ways. It’s not a business. Entertainment is an important issue, of course, because everybody wants to have an audience. But if you just make a product, then it’s senseless. You need soul and you need risk for that. You need to find your way.” — Kornél Mundruczó

“When you wet the bed, at first it’s warm, then it’s cold. Things change.” — Michael McKean

“There were so many lucky things that happened on the way to making this film. I’m just amazed. You look back and you think there are so many things that could’ve gone wrong or just been slightly different, and none of us would be here with this film now.” — Lenny Abrahamson

“People talk a lot about preparing for characters, but they don’t talk as much about coming off of them. You take a piece of that character with you and you leave a piece of yourself behind. There’s a strange metaphysical exchange.” — Brit Marling

“Two people fainted while watching the movie. That’s the best compliment we’ve had so far.” — Severin Fiala

“Films should make audiences be participants by thinking about them after.” — Hannah Fidell

“I don’t think just disliking the subject matter counts as a good reason to not like a movie.” — Whit Stillman

“If we’re only reflecting what it is to be a young boy coming to terms with sexuality, then girls are always going to be the objects of those stories.” — Marielle Heller

“Neither Jason Segel nor Jesse Eisenberg wanted to do a caricature or an impression. They wanted to understand the souls of these people.” — James Ponsoldt

“My first thought was, ‘I cannot believe this movie exists.’ I didn’t even have to finish it. I started emailing [League] and was like, ‘Get everybody to watch it. Now.'” — James Shapiro

“My character is sexual, and not the way that women are usually portrayed sexually in films. She just has a sexual life that’s hers and independent.” — Natalia Tena

“More people are fatally attacked every year by hogs than by sharks. They will eat you alive and leave nothing.” — Kimberly Levin

“Oh, my God, I did all sorts of things. I spoke to sex therapists. I spoke to people themselves. I went to sex clubs. I went to fetish clubs. I found this one fetish…sexual arousal from having your eyeball licked. I remember looking at the guy and going, ‘Wow, that is crazy.'” — Josh Lawson

“It’s much more fun to play someone who is pushing a boundary.” — Mia Wasikowska

“I hate that indie can be a ‘cool brand.’ It’s like buying jeans where the knees are pre-ripped.” — Taika Waititi 

“I’m interested in art that asks more than it answers.” — Tim Blake Nelson

READ MORE: The Best Things Said to Indiewire in 2014

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