I remember watching the 'Iron Man' cartoons when I was younger. I remember reading the origin stories and some of the Silver Age stuff, and I read 'The Avengers' - 'The Defenders' and then 'The Avengers' - and that sort of brought me into 'Iron Man.'
I was the worst extra, I was 'that' guy. I was the guy on the phone trying to get the Oscar for best extra - for best background performance.
Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins' set the bar very high for the superhero movie, as it showed that you could get a great cast for these movies and take a real filmmaker's perspective.
For something to be profitable doesn't necessarily mean it's the best thing in the world for the director. You judge a movie by different standards - I've worked on comedies, and now I've worked on superhero movies, and the reviews are almost parenthetical in both of those genres.
When Ron Howard does 'Rush,' he has to learn and steep himself in F1 culture and European racing culture, and that's part of the fun of the gig. You learn to learn. Your real skill as a director is being a learner and an observer. You're constantly learning another thing in context.
There is no free lunch, so if you're playing with the big train set - on big movies - it's a lot of money they're entrusting you with, and you have to get that money back for them. I don't take that responsibility lightly.
The irony is that the more unapologetically sexist men are in movies, the more women tend to be attracted to them in person.
You have an hour and a half or two hours - maybe two and a half hours - in a movie, and it has to be a self-contained three-act structure. It's like a rock and roll song. Certain things have to happen for it to be a toe-tapper and get people excited, leaving the theater.
Between the theme parks and the movies, the Disney iconography was probably the first set of archetypes that I was exposed to. Walt was able to expose me as a child to the full array of emotions, including fear and sorrow. Those movies and attractions haunted my dreams and made a deep impression on me as a child.
Unfortunately, we are not painters and authors, where we can do something in isolation. We require a lot of money to create what we create. It's almost like being an architect: You can't be an architect and build whatever buildings you want to.
Once you buy into a television show, there doesn't have to be resolution from week to week. You can develop characters and storylines and react to the audience, so you get more of a serialized version of storytelling where you can go much deeper into each character. It's more like a novel.
I find that people... very few people think that what they're doing is bad, and usually the people who think what they're doing is bad it has more to do with guilt.
There's a lot of real estate in our brain dedicated to facial recognition and to physics. That takes a lot of processing power out of our brain.
Online theft has changed the business model of filmmaking because the DVD market is very soft. So, more ambitious, compelling, character-driven narrative of a certain budget level isn't really a viable business model in the eyes of the studios right now.
'Made' is about opening your heart to people who deserve your love and not trying to turn other people into something that they're not: not trying to save people who don't want to be saved. If you go down that dark path, you're not going to end up doing any good.
If you look at the mythology of aliens, there's a lot about gold. It's about them coming for gold; whether that's a simplification or not. If you think of 'Chariot of the Gods,' there's this reoccurring theme of gold.
I've always wanted to call the shots because I would rather fail than not have a chance to figure it out on my own.
I've been in the service industry. I've bar-tended. I've waited tables, and I've worked at pizza places; I've made pizza. I've had a lot of jobs, and many of them were in the food service industry.
Thankfully, I have a background as an actor, and you learn how to live in that world of not knowing what's going to happen next.
I've hit a point where my big luxury is getting to work on the things I want to work on. That's my hobby. It's being able to do a movie like 'Chef,' where you don't get paid, where you get paid scale, but you get to do exactly the movie you want to do. To me, that's worth more to me than whatever money I would have gotten paid.
I'm not on chef level, but I'd make a good line cook. That's not too shabby.
For me, I love food. It's my greatest pleasure and also the thing that could ruin you as well. It's one of those things where, if you're not thoughtful about it, it could be unhealthy. But if there's a mindfulness about it; it actually is a wonderful tool of emotional expression.
I know that when I watch TV, I want to be transformed and transported, not just by the characters that I grow to love over the hours and seasons of watching but also the world that it plants me into.
Scorsese's been a hero of mine since I was young. If you saw 'Swingers,' you know I was definitely fixated on his body of work.
I'll basically eat anything that a chef puts in front of me. One of the reasons is respect for the chef. I watch chefs eat at other chefs' restaurants, and they're very aware not to leave anything over because the chef is watching very closely. It's a very sincere interaction when two chefs are cooking for one another.
I'm a very lazy person by nature. I have to be really engaged, and then I go straight from lazy to obsessive. I couldn't study chemistry, but I could memorize all the books for Dungeons and Dragons. It was ridiculous. The trick is to find what I like to do.
I love 'Star Wars,' you know, and I can't remember the last story meeting I've been in where 'Star Wars' wasn't referenced. It's so perfect in so many ways.
I just adored 'Shaun Of The Dead.' That's a true mashup. That's a real Romero-era zombie movie and a real Gen X indie comedy. That was before zombie movies were cool, before 'Zombieland' and 'I Am Legend,' and now it has become a whole sub-genre.
I like reading reviews. If they're clearly hating on you, I try not to read that deeply. But if they really are trying to understand, it's interesting.
I don't 'handle' people. It's so much easier to manipulate actors than to really have an earnest discussion with them. It's very easy to say whatever's going to appease them and then turn around and do whatever you want to do. It's difficult to be forthright with people, because the job does not lend itself to that.
I wanted to be a New York City firefighter. I didn't make it in, though.
I think what is nice about 'Elf,' and why it doesn't play as one long sketch, is that the character actually grows up during the course of the film. It's not just a character that you can keep checking in on and keep doing sketches about. It's a story. I'm pretty proud of how we told it.
I don't know that a movie like 'Daredevil' did better for having Ben Affleck then 'Spider-Man' did having Tobey Maguire, who was a relative unknown at the time.
I remember the first script I wrote after 'Swingers' was a Western, and I just couldn't get it made.
There's a nostalgic aspect to the 'Iron Man' franchise for me.
I don't have a lot of patience for movies that aren't cleanly told.
If you're going to be an R already, you may as well be 'The Hangover,' and you may as well be as shocking as possible, because that's what delivers the most return.
I've always been fascinated by chefs and the worlds of chefs - what they do is incredibly cinematic.
I don't want to be an art-house movie guy, where people who go to film school can discuss your work, but people who haven't studied cinema can't appreciate it. By the same token, I don't want to be the guy who's making this commercial pap that people lap up but that disappears the minute you leave the theater.
Movies like 'Chef' are not really box-office monsters in the summertime and don't really fit into Hollywood's business model any longer. Even if 'Chef' is successful, it will be successful in the context of what it is. There's a limited upside to a film that's so small, but there's also limited exposure for the people who backed me.
I'm a pretty early adopter of social media. There's a whole subculture to it. I'm smart enough not to tweet things out of emotion.
The ultimate storyteller is Shakespeare, who was able to get the 'groundlings' to laugh at his bawdy humor and storylines but could still be studied by scholars to this day for the complexity of his language, meter, and symbolism. That's the real guy.
I want to make sure everyone's having a good time because when I ask you to come to my movie, I'm throwing a party for you. I want you to enjoy it.
Half the people think I write Obama's speeches; the other half think I'm on 'Entourage.' So I'm at the level of fame where people kind of know who I am, but they confuse me with other people.
I can't begin to tell you how fulfilling the perennial nature of 'Elf' on television has been for me. It's great to be able to connect parents with children both emotionally and through humor.
When it comes to celebrities and tabloids, to me that is a bummer. That's a little disappointing. And it is amazing how things really get made. I always used to think that where there is smoke there is fire, and now I see stories pop up out of nowhere with no basis in reality.
Of course I danced a lot when I was making 'Swingers.' The swing music scene was big in Hollywood, and I went to places like The Derby. And, after I wrote it and was trying to get it made, I would go every week so I'd be good at dancing.