When you rehearse a play, you spend four weeks with one goal in mind - to wean the actor away from you. You want the actor to become completely independent and to understand all the emotional and psychological moves within the character.

The very reasons sometimes that you make a film are the reasons for its failure.

I am not a visual innovator.

I don't know about liberal bias, but people of a liberal mentality are probably attracted in greater numbers to the arts than people of a conservative mentality.

And I taught acting for years, and without knowing it that was the real thing that started bending me toward directing.

I feel no terror when I'm acting. There's no tension. It's just a part.

It's hard for me to fall in love with a piece of material enough to want to direct it.

Making a movie is a network of decisions that keep multiplying as you go. You leave a trail of decisions behind you, and that's how you start to see the shape of what you've done. When you get far enough, you turn around and say, 'Ha, that's the movie.' It's only then that you find out if it's going to work or not.

If I'm lucky, in my wildest dreams I can make a picture every three years.

I really think that people never go wrong by telling the truth.

I knew I wasn't going to be any great shakes as an actor - the way I looked, I would play the soda jerk or the friend of a friend.

I think a lot of creative people are uncomfortable with therapy. Because you're basically trying to 'solve' the unconscious. And the unconscious is where it all comes from.

What's overwhelmingly clear is 'Havana' didn't work for people, but why it didn't work I don't feel I can put my finger on in a way I can learn from.

There isn't a studio in the world that wouldn't burn half its soundstages to get a Tom Cruise movie.

Kubrick and I were pretty good friends.

We progress by leaps and bounds technologically, medically - we can live longer, we can... but you know, in the year 1230, they knew as much as we know now about the human heart.

I personally have never made a movie in Hollywood, because I don't want to get up in my own bed and then go to the movie set, and then come home at night to my real life.

Beginnings and endings are not interesting; audiences want the high point, which means you've got to get to it and get to it now - get the gun out fast, the clothes off quick.

This thing called chemistry, which I can't define and wouldn't know how to, either works or it doesn't. Sometimes a love story can involve very talented actors, but we are not invested emotionally in whether they end up together.

It's when the lawyers themselves become bad guys that you begin to have a serious problem.

Compliments aren't really a journalistic angle.

The problem with filming something is that we struggle desperately to make three dimensions out of two dimensions. It can't be done.

You hope that the responsibility of making movies will fall into the hands of essentially moral people.

If I want to make people moved or cry in a film, I figure out what the room looks like, what the people are wearing, what time of day it is, what the light is, how to photograph it, where to put the camera. It involves optics and costume design and set design and architecture.

I'm not going to pretend to know one more thing than I know.

No country could claim to be civilized if its legal system weren't available to everyone in it.

What makes architecture extraordinary is that you're looking at the building, but your peripheral vision is also seeing how it fits within a space. And it's seeing more than one part of the building at one time.

People sense when you're pretending, when you're worried about your own ego.

For example, a man who might not have enormous charisma, who could be president 40 years ago, and who was a deserving president, I don't know that George Washington would be a president today, I don't know that Abe Lincoln would, I don't know that Roosevelt would.

I remembered myself as an unpopular and rather sad kid.

I mean, I don't know anything else that I would try to do, but it's a very frustrating thing to do, because you are trying to take what's a fantasy in your head and make it live through the minds of 200 people.

From almost the first time I stepped on a stage, I knew that was what I wanted to do.

For reasons which I can't logically explain, in all of the films I've done, I've ended up doing love stories of one kind or another, and it seems to me that love stories are extremely dependent on the obstacles you can place between the lovers. There is no love story without it.

Well, the wonderful thing about making movies, oddly enough, is that they're sort of highly motivated graduate studies in one or another field.

You have to go by your instincts in casting.

With a movie you're creating from the beginning this particular work, let's not call it work of art, because very few movies are works of art, let's just call them bits of popular culture, whatever they are, sometimes very rarely by accident a movie becomes a work of art.

I've always thought of Denys Finch Hatton as a combination of Hubbell Gardner from 'The Way We Were' and Jeremiah Johnson. He is this ultimate individualist.

I like thrillers a lot. There's a lot of discipline connected to them. You can't be as freewheeling as you are with character pieces.

Well, I was born and raised in the Midwest, in Indiana specifically, and my childhood was full of weekend movies, you know, the Saturday and Sunday popcorn movies.

I sort of straddle the line... between personal movies and mainstream Hollywood.

I learned everything, right or wrong, about honor and love, all those things, when I was a kid watching movies. I learned as much there as I did from my parents or my schooling or anything else.

Film is a collective experience, as you know.

I didn't believe that I'd ever be lucky enough to be able to make a living as an actor.

I fly an aeroplane, and I think a lot about how much I do not want ever to run into an optimistic air traffic controller. I just don't. I want a guy down there who's just waiting for the worst crash possible and petrified that it's going to happen on his watch. And then I feel safe flying into his territory.

American movies are the most popular movies everywhere, and it is true that the quality is far from uniformly terrific.

There's no money in documentaries.

But, I've made films in Japan, in Yugoslavia, all over Europe, all over the United States, Mexico, but not Hollywood.

Even if it's a thriller or a comedy, it's always a love story for me, and that's what I concentrate on, because the love stories are my surrogates for the argument: two people in conflict that see life differently.

At some point during the filmmaking process, you lose objectivity, and you need the eyes of someone who understands the process and has been in the trenches.