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Quotes / Wag the Director

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I remember reading news stories about Patrick Stewart being unhappy about the apparently asexual Captain role he had been handed on the show and was going to the lengths of suggesting that he would quit if something wasn’t done about it. So it comes to two episodes in a row where the Captain has become irresistible to women (well Dr Bev and Vash) and he even starts getting his chest out to prove his virility.

"This script is a nice first pass, Mister Spielberg. But I have some notes."
Drew Magary on Edward Norton, "The Hater's Guide to the 2015 Oscars"

Listen to (Kevin) Smith talk about Cop Out and Bruce Willis, and you come away with the sense that he doesn't always know how to get the best out of a strong-willed, big-name star; the same is evident here.

Hello John, it's Ron Howard. I'm looking at your contract here, and I know I am 'to honor any and all of Mr. Depp' acting choices even if they are poorly motivated or downright effeminately contrarian,' but can we talk about this? Look, I love Shirley Temple as much as the next guy. And I think I figured out a way you can keep the curly wig, but can we lose the 'good ship lollipop' dress? Please? I'm begging you. I mean, this is The Jonas Salk Story. Also, let me know what you think about those 15 scenes that are all in slow motion with violin music.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, Robert Rodriguez addressed the issue head on by saying that he knew Alba wouldn't go topless, but he wanted the best actress for the part, and that that was more important. Four seats down, Eva Green and Josh Brolin — both of whom bare almost all in this film and others — did an admirable job of not facepalming.
Topless Robot, "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Is as Frank Miller-y as a Taliban Whiskey Enema"

Real Life

I don't think even Tom Stoppard or Harold Pinter could have written a scene that would have satisfied both Tom and Lalla at that point.
Paul Joyce on directing Doctor Who, "Warrior's Gate"

When you hire the Marx Brothers, you get three Assistant Directors.

(reading) We know a little place in the American Far West, where Charlie Briggs chops up the finest prairie-fed beef and tastes...' —This is a lot of shit, you know that?!
Orson Welles, Findus Foods Frozen Peas outtakes

Eddie Mayoff played a Pentagon general whose passion was laundry. He was more nightclub performer than actor but, in his serene pomposity, a delight onstage. He, too, was hard to work with. Small eyes, aglitter with paranoia, set in a great slab-like face. Whenever he wanted a line changed, he would begin a monologue. 'They take out their quarter, see?' He would pantomime a phantom quarter being removed from his pocket. 'They put it in the slot, see? They get on the subway.' He'd sway back and forth, on the train. 'They come downtown. To the Booth Theater. Then they...' He would describe minutely the mind of 'they'—the Mayoff fans—who would be outraged or shortchanged if he were to say 'and' rather than 'but.'
Gore Vidal (on the making of Visit to a Small Planet), Palimpsest

I struggled with letting in other people’s opinions. I never let directors talk to me, because I was so spoiled. I started off with people like Miloš Forman, Sidney Lumet, James Lapine, unbelievably gifted people. So there I was saying, ‘Don’t talk to me, I don’t want your opinion.’ I behaved abominably. I don’t care if my work was good or if I got an award for it. I’m not proud of how I was then, and it pained me.
Mandy Patinkin on his role on Chicago Hope

There’s a part of me that’s a Hollywood animal as well. I can’t wait to get into the writer’s room and see how we do this. I feel like I’m finally rolling into the next phase of my adulthood.

“I wish the next phase of her adulthood was at the bottom of a volcano” said the writers who have to deal with her when she comes into the writer’s room to share her ~ideas~.

I've worked with the greatest directors of all time. Francis Ford Coppola. Monte Hellman. You know why they're great? Because they let me do whatever the fuck I wanted!
Harry Dean Stanton to Alex Cox while making Repo Man.

I've made over a hundred pictures. How many have you made?

One doesn't so much direct a Charles Laughton picture as referee.

I think Hitch and I could have really hit it off, but the script kept getting in the way.

"Willis called the shots like he did on '(Hudson) Hawk' and like he used to do on 'Moonlighting'. He had scenes rewritten. He did what he wanted to do. We were working with Orson Willis."
Production Member, Striking Distance


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