The casting is the most important thing. If you cast a picture really well a lot of things take care of themselves. You get actors that like to give a lot to the role and who appreciate the role on the same level that you do. If you miscast it, you're working an uphill battle a little bit and maybe you can come out okay but you can't always come out great.
A talented executive would be somebody who knows how to surround themselves with a lot of people that will make him look good. You could say that about a politician or you could say that about a head of a major corporation or what have you. The people you surround yourself with are very important.
I just kind of had my own impressions growing up with Hoover as a heroic figure in the 40s - actually the 30s, 40s, and 50s and beyond - but this was all prior to the information age so we didn't know about Hoover except what was usually in the papers, and this was fun, because this was a chance to go into it [ during filming 'J. Edgar Hoover' ]
I'm a great supporter of transcendental meditation. I've been using it for almost 40 years now - and I think it's a great tool for anyone to have, to be able to utilize as a tool for stress. Stress, of course, comes with almost every business. I think there are enough studies out there that show that TM is something that could benefit anybody. It's a great system to use. Otherwise, why would I've been doing it for all these years, for almost half of my life?
None of the pictures I take a risk in cost a lot, so it doesn't take much for them to turn a profit. We don't deal in big budgets. We know what we want and we shoot it and we don't waste anything. I never understand these films that cost twenty, thirty million dollars when they could be made for half that. Maybe it's because no one cares. We care.
Maybe I`m getting to the age when I`m starting to be senile or nostalgic or both, but people are so angry now. You used to be able to disagree with people and still be friends. Now you hear these talk shows, and everyone who believes differently from you is a moron and an idiot - both on the Right and the Left.
It's halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half. It's halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they're hurting. And they're all wondering what they're going to do to make a comeback. And we're all scared, because this isn't a game. The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again. I've seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life. And, times when we didn't understand each other. It seems like we've lost our heart at times. When the fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead. But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that's what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can't find a way, then we'll make one. All that matters now is what's ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win? Detroit's showing us it can be done. And, what's true about them is true about all of us. This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines. Yeah, it's halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin.
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At Waco, was there really an urgency to get those people out of the compound at that particular time? Was the press going to make it look heroic for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms? At Ruby Ridge, there was one guy in a cabin at the top of the mountain. Was it necessary for federal agents to go up there and shoot a 14-year-old in the back and shoot a woman with a child in her arms? What kind of mentality does that?
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Stage actors are usually much more conscious of speaking up and making sure that everyone can hear in the back of the theatre; a film actor probably thinks of that a little less. Unfortunately, there's a style of acting going round, especially with the younger actors, where they talk without even moving their lip. Maybe it's because my hearing probably isn't what it was 40 years ago but I'm sitting there going "What did they say"?
I just feel that I enjoy the work more than I ever have... or just as much certainly. I enjoy making films behind the camera equally to making them in front of the camera on all those years. I just enjoy it, that's all. I've been lucky enough to work in a profession that I have really liked and so I figured I'd just continue until someone hits me over the head and says "get out".
I had always planned when I started directing in 1970 that after a few years I'd get tired of looking at myself on the screen and say: "Hey, let's not do that any more." But then every once in a while something pops up. I'm not saying it won't happen again but probably the odds get less as you set yourself for roles that fit your age group.
After directing awhile, you get an instinct about it, but you have to be able to trust your own feelings. Invariably, two-thirds of the way through a film, you say, "Jeezus, is this a pile of crap! What did I ever see in it in the first place?" You have to shut off your brain and forge ahead, because by that time you're getting so brainwashed. Once I commit myself to a film I commit myself to that ending, whatever the motivations and conclusions are.
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The main thing is to do each project the way you want, and if they find an audience, that's terrific. And if they don't, there's nothing you can do anyway, so don't let it concern you that much. An awful lot of good movies have done badly and an awful lot of bad movies have done very well. There are no real rhymes or reasons for it. Sometimes the stars don't always align right. But if you've done the best you can, you feel pretty good about it.
Over my career I played some badass characters. So, people sometimes think I should have a .44 magnum. But that's not true, I don't have that. But I do fire them and I do enjoy target shooting and all that sort of thing. I'm not much of a hunter. I don't like killing animals, but I love to shoot.
These people who are making a big deal out of gay marriage? I don't give a f*** about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We're making a big deal out of things we shouldn't be making a deal out of. They go on and on with all this bulls*** about "sanctity" - don't give me that sanctity crap! Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.
The story [for the western genre] is everything. Whether it's a book or a screenplay, the story drives everything. And if you just go out and try to make one by putting on boots and jumping on a horse and riding off... If you don't have the material, the characters and the things to overcome and conflicts that give life to drama, you don't have it.
Every once and a while somebody writes a script, but even regardless of what age you are, most of the actors would all agree that it's all based upon material and the material has got to spark with you. It may be great material but you think it's great material for somebody else. Or it's great material and I'm perfect for it. So, you just have to make that judgment and if you feel in the mood to do it.
I had three points I wanted to make: That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who's not doing a good job. But I didn't make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.
Abuse of power isn't limited to 'bad guys' in other nations. It happens in our own country. Those in power get jaded, deluded, and seduced by power itself. I have a reverence for individuality. I've always considered myself too individualistic to be either right-wing or left-wing. I like the libertarian view, which is to leave everyone alone. People should be able to be what they want to be and do what they want - as long as they're not harming other people. I am a libertarian.
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