In the Pearl harbor crisis, there was a wholly American, selfless response, down to how the nurses dealt with the attack, using their stockings to dress wounds, their lipstick to mark who would live or die. Imagine that. That is what hooked me.
Do you know what directors go through? It's just hell. Like, why do I work so hard - to think I'm only going to see this movie five times and then never see it again 'cause I'm so sick of it? What is it worth, honestly?
What I look for in a script is something that challenges me, something that breaks new ground, something that allows me to flex my director muscle. You have got to think fast in this business, you've got to keep reinventing yourself to stay on top.
The psychological root behind this competitive streak is that I was an athlete when I was young and took sports really seriously. I look at directing as a sporting event. It's a race, a marathon. It's great when it clicks - which is why I push my crews so hard so we can excel.
I don't see anything wrong with spending a lot of money to make big action movies to entertain people. Yet somehow, I come under special scrutiny. I mean, why don't people get upset if Dow spends $300 million to invent some new chemical? Audiences like popcorn movies. What's wrong with that?
I can be very reserved about things. My business side isn't shy. I can be like a general. But I've got a shy side. I'm also a lot deeper than people think, and a lot more sensitive. But I don't let people in too much.'
I am very good at handling a huge movie, with a million things going on. I'm very decisive, clear in what I want. I'm very cost-conscious, in terms of how to get the big bang on the screen. I'm very good at making things happen very fast.
I love doing big movies. It's awesome! You have all these toys. The thing I like about this movie is, like they always say, directors have the biggest train sets! Don't tell anyone, but I'd do this for free.
We don't make movies for critics. I've done four movies; there's millions upon millions upon millions of people who've paid to see them. Somebody likes them. My greatest joy is to sit anonymously in a dark theater and watch it with an audience, a paying audience.
The press don't like to say nice things because nice is boring. It's much better to label me the devil. What we do is not brain surgery. We are entertainers, plain and simple, and we're responsible to bring that money back, to make a profit.
It's... a hard thing for a director, to think you came up with a shot, something from your mind, and someone died while doing it. It's the worst thing you'll ever have to live with. It was very hard for me to get back on the horse again.