On his childhood
As a kid, I already loved westerns. My idols at the time? Gary Cooper, James Stewart, John Wayne…
I was born during the Depression and my parents were starving, but as kids, we really didn’t notice. My sister and I were always given enough.
Today, we’re killing ourselves with political correctness; we’ve really lost our sense of humor…
On The Bridges of Madison County
The film was inspired by a book. When I first read it, I thought that the protagonist should have been the woman and not the man. Meryl Streep didn’t like the book, but she changed her mind after reading the screenplay.
On the number of takes during shooting
I like to do a first take to see what happens on the faces of my actors. If everything works after the first take, everybody becomes caught up in this positive dynamic, and it really helps with the rest of the shooting.
On his passion for directing
Cinema is completely emotional; it’s not intellectual at all. An example: I like playing golf, but I don't want to have to play golf. It’s the same with directing.
The director's filmography has been a firm fixture at Cannes over the past few decades. His first appearance was in 1985 with Pale Rider, followed by Bird (1988), White Hunter, Black Heart (1990), Absolute Power (1997), Mystic River (2003) and Changeling in 2008, with the latter earning him the Special Jury Prize for the 61st edition of the Festival. The director was President of the Feature Film Jury in 1994, and also attended the Festival in 2008 when Manoel de Oliveira was awarded his Palme d'Or.