Do you find that process, the preparation process, pleasurable?
Well, it’s pleasurable in the same way that doing crunches is pleasurable. It’s pleasurable because of the result. It’s like you always have to do three more reps.
Everybody in the arts is a lazy motherf***er no matter how hard they work. If they work hard, it’s because they’re so goddamned lazy they hate themselves. So when you’re doing the planning, the question—just like three more reps—is: “It’s not good enough. Am I willing to accept almost right?” Or, “Can I think harder, can I work harder?” Somebody said, and I think it was Manet, “Almost right is child’s play.”
And what is it that drives you past “almost right”?
Well, you might say it’s pride. It’s certainly a sense of responsibility. Here you’ve got the greatest job in the world and a 100 people relying on you on the set and 100 million people are going to see it, it might be good to do a good job.
Do you prefer writing to directing?
I have no idea. And if I did I wouldn’t tell because I’d think about it later and realize I’d been lying.