When I was 20, I was living in the Alps, snowboarding and studying political science. I blew out my knee, and I began to realize my days in the sport were numbered; the reality was I would never be a pro.

Cary Fukunaga

Cary Fukunaga

Profession: Film Director
Nationality: American

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I wanted to make my sophomore film as different as possible. I didn't want to be pigeonholed. I didn't want to be identifiable.

Tom Hooper had done 'John Adams,' and David Lynch did 'Twin Peaks.' I figured I could do eight hours of television, and I wanted to.

I think about a Richard Avedon photo series, the kind of faces he gets of real people, which I find so captivating. Fellini was also great in filling his films with this ambiance, this environment, sometimes chaotic and carnival-like, but people's faces were always amazing.

I don't really put trophies out. I don't keep trophies around my apartment.

I'm better suited to be a director, I think. I see myself as the general author. I hate the word 'auteur,' because it sounds so solitary when filmmaking is anything but solitary.

You need the actors to feel as much ownership of the performance and the direction of the story as you do to get the most out of everyone's potential. Part of it is just making sure we all have the same vision.

Increasingly, there's much better material on television, but there's not always the time and money to make it, so you've got to make sure you make it in the right place. It also depends on time commitment; a lot of directors will make a pilot, but a series is just a whole other level of involvement.

When you have a script, and you're discussing what it can be, and who going to play what role, that's a kind of like a fantasy football game. You can imagine these different dream teams interpreting these characters that only exist in your head.

I don't believe happiness comes out of material gain, for sure.

My ideas tend to be either really big in terms of like, the logistics, or really small.

'Victoria Para Chino,' my 2nd-year film at NYU, gave birth to 'Sin Nombre.'

Going from having an Atari to a laptop changed everything. It allows me to work anywhere I want and send my work home - I can work anywhere in the world.

Every single substitute teacher growing up could not pronounce my name, so whenever someone pauses, I'm like, 'Oh, that's me.'

My mom loved the old black-and-white films.