Wednesday, January 19, 2000

Interview: Corona's Coming Attractions

Corona Coming Attractions, Written By Jean-François Allaire
January 19, 2000

15 Questions For Paul Thomas Anderson

I had the privilege of interviewing Academy Award nominated director Paul Thomas Anderson. His previous works include Hard Eight, Boogie Nights and this month's release Magnolia. Here are the results of our brief chat:


Are you disappointed by the Golden Globes nominations?

Sure I feel disappointed by the Golden Globes -- it's fun to win stuff. I want more! But I'm real happy for Aimee. She deserves some major recognition.

Since the critical success of "Boogie Nights" have you felt any pressure from the media and the industry concerning the critical success of "Magnolia"?

I feel pressure but it's self-induced pressure. I want to have success for me, not for anyone else.

Does the box-office results of your movie matter to you?

The box-office does matter because it means that the film is communicating well if it makes money. I want my films to communicate. Yes, it matters....I don't know if it means that I'll be able to do it better, though...(meaning: if I wanted big time success in dollars and cents if I'd be able to do it...)

Do you plan to do what the industry calls a "commercial" film anytime soon?

I thought Boogie Nights was commercial. I thought Sydney was commercial. I think, but am losing hope, that Magnolia is commercial...so....

Will you ever direct a movie where you don't have final cut?

No, I will not direct a movie if I don't have final cut.

Concerning the PTA regulars (John C. Reilly, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Baker Hall): do you write specific roles for them in all of your movies?

All the roles are written specifically for the actors in the film. Yes.

How did you get Tom Cruise for "Magnolia"? What is Tommy like?

Tom Cruise is the coolest, hardest working guy I've ever been around. He works so hard and is so dedicated. I hope I make a hundred films with him. He called me after seeing Boogie Nights -- we had a mutual admiration thing going --

Will you write Tom Cruise a role in your next project?

I plan to write for Tom as much as I can --

Any actors or actresses you're dying to work with?

I'd love to work with Juliette Binoche... Kate Winslet's great and so is Adam Sandler.

Any truth to the rumors that you've done a cameo in "Little Nicky"?

Little Nicky cameo -- no that's Quentin. Me: I just love Adam Sandler. [DP note: Today's Hollywood Reporter confirmed this...]

What was the last movie from the past two years you saw that amazed you?

The last movie I saw that really amazed me was Sweet and Lowdown. Sean Penn is soooo f**king great it blows my mind.

What do you think of the Internet?

The Internet....is uh....I don't know.

Is there any other amazing stories to tell from the San Fernando Valley?

I hope there's more amazing stories to tell from the valley -- otherwise I'm out of a job.

What's next for Paul Thomas Anderson?

What's next is: Sleep. Sleep. Write. Sleep. Drink Coffee. Drink Bourbon. Drink More. Sleep. Watch movies. Sleep. Write. Watch movies. Be a good boyfriend.

What advice would you give to any young writers?

Advice: You own your brain. Which means: You OWN your material. Do not sell it until you feel safe. Nothing beats the pride of OWNERSHIP.....authorship is great but ownership is better.

Special thanks to Mr. Anderson and his agent Mr. John Lesher for helping me getting this mini-interview done.

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