People test movies within an inch of their life so that the entire audience experience is a uniform one.
In some shape or form, we do have an emotional connection to our head of state, even if, for the most part, they seem very remote.
I am drawn to characters so full of internal contradictions. Idi Amin was one. I loved writing him.
It was so interesting to discover Nixon was a Californian. I always think Nixon should come from a cold place.
My experience is, I do a table reading, and it's literally like it's written in colossal neon lights what's wrong with the screenplay.
I'm not good at fantasy, no. I have been offered stuff, and I can't get my head around it.
It is a fairly serious thing that you're doing if you're writing about people who are still alive and who still have a role in public life. Sometimes you don't want to be reminded too much of the responsibility.
You can't ask someone to act middle-aged. Someone has to bring their own fatigue to it.
I wrote 'Hereafter' quickly and without mapping it out too much or being too schematic. As an exercise, I think that was incredibly important.
There are so many projects that I've written and had to abort because either I felt too distressed by what I was doing to the people who I was writing about, or they couldn't cope with it because their view of themselves was so far removed from reality.
There are people who are bound journalistically to a code of ethics that means they can't quote something that isn't sourced, whereas what I do is entirely unsourced. I effectively fictionalise history and yet somehow aim at a greater truth.
I don't understand and don't enjoy sci-fi, and it's just that if people aren't real, and they don't live in a real and recognizable society, I don't understand what to do.
Nixon had lists upon lists upon lists. They were tragic lists saying, 'Smile more,' or, 'Be stronger - remember, it is your job to spiritually uplift the nation.' This understanding of his limitations is heartbreaking.
I have no directing ambition whatsoever. And as long as I meet filmmakers like Tom Hooper, Stephen Frears, and others who allow that collaboration, I can't see why I would ever want to direct.
Most leading actresses have this energy, this 'Look at me. Here I am.' They're powerful; they're beautiful.
I'm not being presumptuous, I hope, when I say that 'The Crown' is little bit like 'The Godfather.' It is essentially about a family in power and survival.
If you don't belong somewhere, that outsider status you have gives you perspective. Of course, another word for outsider is 'exile,' and that's not fun at all.
Barack Obama winning the election had an instant impact on everything - race relations, national self-esteem, tolerance. It also had an instant affect on 'Frost/Nixon.' At a stroke, instead of being a piece that reminded people of the agony they were in, it became an uplifting message about the agony they had escaped.
I don't think I'm an unhappy person. It's just an intensity, not a depressive thing. It's just not having enough layers of skin. It's exhausting.
Sometimes it's okay for an audience not to understand everything that's going on.
I can't relax when I'm watching a biographical drama because it's so close to what it is that I do that I just long for more fiction - so that I can switch off.
I think I stumbled upon a voice people associate with me with 'The Deal.'
If you have distance from the events, then your story can work as an analogy or parable rather than its literal narrative.
It is devastating, losing a parent. I don't really know what the effect is, but I suppose people might call me an ambitious man, and I'd say that an ambitious man is a damaged man.
It's madness to hand in a script to a director, leave them alone, and for the director not to want the writer there with rehearsals and the shoot.
I do have an innate understanding of where a story should or shouldn't go, in a way that I don't think can be taught.
I don't want to become too self-conscious - it's why I never read reviews, even the good ones.
As a child, I grew up the son of German immigrant parents, so I grew up being teased and called 'Fritz' at school. When I married my wife and went to live in Vienna, I was teased for being a Brit.
Generally, I read nonfiction. There's very little fiction that I enjoy enough to spend my time reading. I am generally a nonfiction guy.
The first and primary requirement for me in a director that I'd want to work with is: do they love writing, and do they love the collaboration process with writers?
You're either a person with a conscience, or you're not. I think I've got quite a fine conscience.
Self-destruction is such an interesting thing for a dramatist, and what's particular to Nixon is how human the failings were that led to his downfall.
Movies feel like work, and reading fiction feels like work, whereas reading nonfiction feels like pleasure.
The films of which I'm most proud I've written are the ones that pivot on forgiveness.
For a younger generation to imagine a time where there was no security at airports - going around the world in the bar of a jumbo jet, 'Tell the plane to wait, I'm running late!' - there is something very Austin Powers about David Frost, a man who, in all seriousness, would approach women in a safari suit, with sideburns.
I'm not an artist, and I want to take risks, and when the possibility of failure occurs, it's because the idea is all exciting or interesting as a high wire act, and sometimes you've got to fall off, just by virtue of the fact that you're constantly trying to evolve and do new things.
I don't think of the crown as this glamorous thing. It's this murderous, bejeweled thing, the crown.
For 'Frost/Nixon,' everyone I spoke to told the story their way. Even people in the room tell different versions. There's no one truth about what happened in those interviews, so I feel very relaxed about bringing my imagination to the piece. God knows everyone else has.
Robert Bolt's storytelling is the kind that I grew up with and aspired to.
There were a couple of things I lost sleep over with the play 'Frost/Nixon,' so I went back and addressed them a bit more in the film.
I just feel that if I'm English and writing about an American president, I have got to have someone on my side who can help me out when I'm lapsing into lazy or obvious European skepticism.
If you think about what you do, if you become self-conscious about it, you've got to be very careful. Because I really like to write without self-awareness of what I'm doing.
As any showrunner will tell you, it is crushing work. It is around the clock. It is like a monastic commitment that you make.
Sometimes you are lucky enough to get offered things, and there is no rhyme or reason. I am very lucky because I come from England, and you have a whole range of things offered to you, from television plays and shows and theatre, so much more to explore, so it's never really money.
The irony of what I do is that the more you reveal someone in their frailties and shortcomings, the more we feel drawn to them and forgiving we feel of them.
I've done a lot of work in Hollywood and theatre, but to be honest, the biggest pleasure I've ever got is from the TV single plays I've written. It's a format where you don't mind saying, 'I want to tackle some important themes head on.'