I’m Not There [about Bob Dylan‘s life] explores different pockets of a man who refused to be categorised. I have always loved his music, but I’m terrified about this because I am besotted. I watch the press conference he gave in San Francisco in 1965, or whenever it was, and just think, ‘I love you.’ The worst thing an actor can do is fall in love with someone they’re about to portray, but I’m not playing him – my character is called Jude. It’s a riff on who Bob Dylan could possibly be. When I saw the script I thought, ‘This is so out there I can’t run away from this.’
Q: And was this a chance to write about Americans?
A: Yes. And I married three of them. The last one has lasted 142 years — actually, 18 years. I used to feel that we (British and Americans) needed each other. We needed your can-do and enthusiasm, and you needed our skepticism and irony and analysis. I thought the two put together produced a rather good human being. I think the English have gotten so obsessed with money now that we no longer provide the counterbalance to your culture, which has always been obsessed with money and getting worse.
Did the CIA ask you not to put stuff in?
No, they were very helpful.
Did you have Martin Scorsese on speed dial?
From time to time I talked to Marty about certain things, yes. [Laughs]
Why such a long time between directing stints?
I was working on this for eight years. And I wasn’t offered much, actually.
"I’ve always tried to reach a wide audience," said Holland in an interview during the Tokyo International Film Festival. "And I wanted this film to appeal to people who had never heard of Beethoven, much less the Ninth Symphony."
â€œI just want to let [‘We Are Marshall’] speak for itself,â€ McG said. â€œItâ€™s funny to be known as a pop culture, high-energy guy thatâ€™s always in a good mood, when Iâ€™m mentally ill. Donâ€™t act like Iâ€™m Mr. Jacuzzi and girls in bikinis and Hollywood. Thatâ€™s not who I am.â€
On their off days [from "Lawrence of Arabia"], "Omar Sharif and I, we would vanish to Beirut." He sighs. "In the better days." In those days, Beirut was the glamorous playground of the Middle East. "Beautiful." He says sadly. "Poor Beirut. Poor Lebanon. Poor Middle East."
The pair spent their breaks visiting the "fleshpots as one now calls them." He appears to be referring to brothels. He says that whenever people ask Sharif, a close friend, what he remembers most of the shoot, "he always says fleshpots. But for me it was wonderful. One never was used to that heat and the aridity. The nothingness. It isn’t pretty sand; it is just nothing, grit. Flat."
We can’t decide what’s better â€” that he told that story at all, or that he suggests anyone alive today would actually use the term "fleshpots," which is so terribly Mr. Burns of him: "I’ll take two pounds of Bristol’s Toffee. Oh, and don’t wrap it too tightly. I’m hungry now."
"This is a love story between patients, not between a patient and a doctor. A doctor tries to cure a patient, but the patient just understands diseases that other patients have. Il-sun loves Young-gyun as she is, along with her illusion and fantasy. I think love is something that makes you love problems that your loved one has even though you canâ€™t fix them,â€™â€™ Park said.
"Francis Coppola said to me once that it’s the kind of thing you only do at the beginning of a career when you’re incredibly naive. Its frivolous nature is so not what I would think of doing now. When there are retrospectives of my work, I’ve always said, ‘Oh don’t put Bugsy in it.’ It didn’t represent who I thought I was as a filmmaker."
Q: But for the big movies, for action-adventure films like "War of the Worlds" or the next installment of the "Indiana Jones" franchise, have you cracked the code? Meaning, if Steven Spielberg makes this movie, then boy, we will print money.
A: All of us think we’ve cracked the code until the moment we fail.
Q: The director Stanley Kubrick thought you had. I read that Kubrick would call, collect, from his estate in England to ask why one film or another was a blockbuster or a flop.
A: He would never call collect. But Kubrick did keep calling. He thought I had a crystal ball, and I spent years trying to convince him I did not. So whenever one of my films came out and failed, like "Empire of the Sun" [1987, about a British boy in a WWII Japanese internment camp], I’d phone and say why the heck did I make that one? Stanley and I used to laugh about that. After a couple of back-to-back successes, I thought I knew something. There are trends. You follow it until the public grows tired of it. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to know the public will go to see a "Harry Potter" sequel or that the second "Pirates of the Caribbean" will make more money than the first.
+ And for my next role (Observer)
+ SPEAKING OF DVDS: JOHN CLEESE (SF Chronicle)
+ Yeah, I’m Talkin’ To You (Time)
+ Journey into the mind of a musical genius (Japan Times)
+ The Full-Throttle Flash Guy Is Gone (Cue Violins) (NY Times)
+ ‘I am human. All too bloody human.’ (LA Times)
+ â€˜Mr. Vengeanceâ€™ Back for Romance (Korea Times)
+ It’s The Godfather – with splurge guns (Telegraph)
+ Steven Spielberg & the Next Crusade (Washington Post)