The Best Things Said to IndieWire

The Best Things Said to IndieWire in 2016 @IndieWire

18 de dezembro, 2016 0 Por Artes & contextos
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Over the course of a year, we talk to a lot of Hollywood’s brightest talents, about the projects which have inspired them most and the industry which at times supports, and at times hinders, their efforts to make their best work. As individuals, we’re often blown away by their insights; in gathering them together, we end up with a portrait of a community of artists and creators who love their art, for better and for worse.

Here are some of the best things our favorite actors, directors, writers, producers and more have shared with us over the last 12 months.

Diversity in the Industry (and The World)

“Do I want to make a huge studio picture that’s incredibly successful? Fuck yes, of course.” – Lake Bell

“‘Dolores, run!’ The first take we did, I ran — I’m not supposed to run. [laughs] Everyone was kind of looking around, confused, and then I slowly crept back onto set and they asked, ‘What happened?’ And I said, ‘I’m so used to running. I’ve never been asked to stay and save the day.’ I got a little teary-eyed and a couple of women on the set got a little teary-eyed, and I thought, ‘Wow. This character is really important.’” – Evan Rachel Wood

“I think we live in a world where we tend to put people in boxes. We’re not looking at each other’s humanity enough. And ‘Rectify,’ hopefully, has allowed people to look at a group of small town people in a more complex way than they’re often portrayed.” – Ray McKinnon

Stranger Things

“Stranger Things”


“So I’m standing in the room with them, and Ross Duffer comes over to me and is just like, ‘Bzzzzzzzz’ on my head, and I’m like, ‘What’s that mean?’ And Ross said, ‘Well, you’ve got to shave your head!’ I sat in the chair, and, one by one, they cut it off. I was like, ‘Oh no. What have I done?’ And they told me, ‘I want you to have the mind-frame of Charlize Theron in “Mad Max.”‘ I thought, ‘Wow, that’s such an amazing way to put it.’ It was the best decision I’ve ever, ever made.” – Millie Bobby Brown

“There’s a ways to go, but there’s no denying that some of the best TV at the moment — comedies and dramas — are being made by women.” – Sharon Horgan

“It can be difficult, it can be uncomfortable at times. Do you make a stand on this thing, and if you do, are you going to be considered ‘The black guy who’s doing this’? But you don’t want to let it slide… it’s like chess. And you’re trying to be a good writer in the room. There’s all these levels of not just the work, but the perception of how you’re perceived in the work. To navigate that can be tricky.” – “Insecure” executive producer Prentice Penny, on being African-American in predominantly white writers’ rooms


Issa Rae, Prentice Penny, Melina Masoukas of “Insecure”

Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

“When I see actors, you don’t ask them about their age, you’re looking at them for a character. I can understand the idea that you don’t want to be judged on your age or have anybody have preconceived notions when you’re reading for a role or being seen for a role.” – Darren Star

“You spend so many years giving in to other people’s visions. I spent a lot of my time with great ideas and being on sets where male directors really were not interested in hearing the ideas of a 21-year-old, or a teenager, or any woman in their mid-twenties. I think in the 25 years I’ve been acting, I’ve maybe worked with two or three female directors.” – Amber Tamblyn

“I’m an immigrant and I think being an outsider in your home is something that I really relate to. I was like, 10 [when I immigrated].  So when Donald [Glover] was saying how strange it is to be black in America, and how you’re kind of outside of the main conversation in a way, I really related to that in a lot of ways.” – Hiro Murai

“You don’t have to spend time convincing [Netflix] that an audience is gonna show up for my characters. They already know that. But for whatever reason, you still have to spend time convincing movie studios and the marketing departments that a black face is enough to get an audience to show up.” – Justin Simien

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

“Rogue One”


“There is a need to have a modern approach to this world. There was a need for a ‘Star Wars’ film that talked about racial diversity, that rethinks the role of women, that is modern, that has more to do with the world we live in.” – Diego Luna

“I set out my career thinking that there were enough stereotypes about black women, so I wanted to make a difference in this arena. The only area where I have power is in the roles I choose, so I want to portray progressive images of women…I drew the line at crack addiction. I’m not going to play a crack addict. Life is so amazing, because whenever you say ‘I’m not going to do that,’ or draw a line in the sand, life comes and tests you.” – Naomie Harris

“Well, let me just say, as I’ve gotten older, the parts have gotten better. As I’ve gotten older, it got bigger and bigger. The parts got bigger and bigger and more interested and more complicated.” – Margo Martindale

“I personally don’t understand us living in a world where 50 percent of the population are women and such a minuscule percentage is being reflected behind the camera. When you think about the impact film has on culture, to not have female voices infiltrating this art form that is so influential, we are all the poorer for it.” – David Oyelowo

“Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. The theory that I had really didn’t hold up, [which] was that you could be a female [filmmaker] and could do something that makes money, but they still could say, ‘We don’t like it.’ You could go, ‘Well, I don’t like it either,’ but that doesn’t count. That was that.” – Amy Heckerling

The Ever-Evolving Film Landscape

“The rules have changed, but I never whine about that. Of course, they’re going to change. Everything’s different. It’s what you can pull off, how you get away with them. You should always have backup careers.” – John Waters

“I thought five people would see this film: my mom, my sister, and maybe a few close friends.” – Barry Jenkins




“No picture ever said, ‘Shot on digital, but please excuse the fact that it looks a little crappy, because it was easier for the filmmaker.’” – James Gray

“I don’t know how helpful it is to encourage people to be artists. I think it can be irresponsible. The killer is that we’re living in a world where that loud popping sound you hear that is getting louder is multiple bubbles bursting … People are making all this crap, there’s no market for it, and nobody can see it.” – Paul Schrader

“I find the speed of things to be a constant assault.” – Kelly Reichardt

“The idea of doing something like [‘Goliath’ was] because the independent film business is pretty much over. Independent films now, they want to give you $2 million to make it, 21 days to shoot it and they want 10 movie stars in it. We thought the whole point of independent film was that you don’t know who everybody is, but that changed a long time ago. So now, if you want to do realistic, kind of heavier acting stuff, you do it on Amazon or Netflix or whatever or HBO. So that was the idea behind me doing it. That was the initial reason for doing it, was that I wanted to do another ‘extended independent film’ like I did with ‘Fargo.’ … I realized that this is where independent film is now. It’s on those things. It’s not in theaters. I mean, you get some crummy little distributor and nobody ever sees it and it goes on Netflix anyway.” – Billy Bob Thornton

Chris Large/FX

Billy Bob Thornton on “Fargo”

Chris Large/FX

“I get royalties for my previous work most of which I redistribute to partners and financiers; I use the scraps to buy myself a burrito and that’ll hold me over for a day or two before the hunger sets in again.” – Patrick Shen

“I’m always asking, how can I circumvent middle management that I’m not interested in, because those are the scared ones who say no because they are all really scared for their job, but that doesn’t create great art… Be brave enough, if you want to talk to somebody at a studio just call them.” – Rose McGowan

“I do believe that films can have an actual impact on the world. Even if that’s just one person, that’s fantastic. I’m sure that 99.999% of them will just go in and hate it and just hate both of us. But if that .1% gets something different out of it, then fucking amazing.” – Daniel Radcliffe

Life on Set

“I can’t bear kissing scenes. I can’t do it because I get really flustered and embarrassed. And I forget the time and actor. There’s one moment where David Harewood would have to put my hair behind my ear, it took us ages because I kept giggling, ‘It’s David Harewood!’ And I was rubbish at it. I don’t know how people do it.” – Olivia Colman

Taraji P Henson in "Empire."

Taraji P. Henson in “Empire”

Chuck Hodes/FOX

“I love to work with props. I’ve never been afraid to work with props. I was Prop Mistress in college.” – Taraji P. Henson

“It quite frankly had a tremendous effect on all of us. All the actors and myself included. When it was over, I was like, ‘I literally need to detox from this for two weeks’ because it was just so heartbreaking.” – “The Walking Dead” executive producer Greg Nicotero, on shooting the show’s brutal season opener

“[‘Six Feet Under’] was difficult for us actors, I think. I think that the emotional challenges we faced. The writing was so good, but the emotional challenges we faced as performers, having to be in this place over and over and over again, was draining. It was exciting and challenging, but those seasons were hard. There was always a collective sigh of relief on the part of the cast at the end of each season. Like, ‘Okay, we get to let that go for a little while.’” – Peter Krause

“Directing to me is like parenting. You don’t want to overstructure. You don’t want to overly control because your kids deserve to surprise you and startle your expectations. And the most secure directors understand that.” – Bradley Whitford

Peter sarsgaard Magnificent Seven

Peter Sarsgaard in “The Magnificent Seven”

Sony Pictures

“I could have walked in in a G-string and stood on top of the podium and started doing Shakespeare and Antoine [Fuqua] would have filmed it and then maybe asked me what else I had. That’s the thing when working with Antoine – you’ve got that. It’s a really crazy, wild way to do a big movie. It’s like 52 card pick-up every day. If you’ve been doing enough movies like he has, and working with the same people, he’s got it dialed in. You know the shots are there, you know he’s creating something with you, he’s thinking on his feet. It’s incredible.” – Peter Sarsgaard

“I have strived on several occasions to make the music of my voice fit with the majesty of the music behind me, and I have not done it to my satisfaction. I don’t think I’m going to get another chance at it, but I’ve never been content with my interpretation of the ‘boldly go’ sort of thing.” – William Shatner

How Television Has Changed

“I think we can fairly say that the DVR’s reign is about to end.” – Alan Wurtzel

“There are too many mediocre, safe shows on TV.” – Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, on whether there’s “too much TV”

“When people talk about the state of network television, you have to ask yourself would Aaron Sorkin and the cast of ‘The West Wing’ be on broadcast TV? And I think you have your answer.” – Rob Lowe

The Grinder Rob Lowe Fox

Rob Lowe in “The Grinder”

Ray Mickshaw/Fox

“I think, in a funny way, the rhythm of television more accurately reflects how human beings live. What films are often trying to do is trying to tell a story in 90 minutes, a hundred minutes of some complete transformation in the central character’s life. Generally speaking, people’s lives are not transforming in a hundred minutes.” – Hugh Laurie

“When ‘Lost’ was up and running, you already started to hear, ‘Oh, this is a shaggy-dog story. They’re not going to be able to answer any of these mysteries.’ And so all these shows that came in the wake of ‘Lost’ — highly serialized, large ensembles — you’d start to see those showrunners at the upfronts, saying, ‘We have a five season plan. We’ve worked out all the mythology.’ And what I wanted to say to them was, ‘That’s really great, but, um, maybe you should worry about episodes one, two and three.’ Because if you get canceled after Episode 7, nobody cares what your plan was.” – Damon Lindelof

“I’m a bit older now, but some of the younger stuff, I just say, jeez, just end it all now! The world’s coming to an end, it’s all a bit bleak.” – Tracey Ullman, on the recent trend toward darker TV comedy

The Best Things Said to IndieWire in 2016 @IndieWire Artes & contextos 20e9b51c96aa9801000b58605620edc46b8d14a4769cedba94914946d38b65b3

Tracey Ullman


“They’re more into making elevator music than they are good product. I realized that the goal wasn’t to make something that people could be proud of or invest in, but something compatible to just go with the business model. I had to look at other avenues.” – David E. Kelley

“Life is very cinematic and it’s big and beautiful and ugly and messy. That’s what [“This is Us”] is about.” – Dan Fogelman

“It’s just as powerful to me when a little boy comes up to me and talks about Supergirl and thinks she’s just as cool as The Flash. It feels like it’s part of the revolution happening in general on television. As there are more shows, people are getting better at realizing there should be more shows about, and for, and by, everybody from all walks of life.” – Greg Berlanti

“From the time I signed on to ‘The Following’ things have already vastly changed in the entertainment world in general. It’s an adjustment for me. I started making movies in 1977, and I didn’t even think about the idea that I would ever be on a television show. Once I finished ‘Guiding Light,’ I was like, ‘I’m done with television!’ So to be on whatever you call it, a platform, it’s wild.” – Kevin Bacon

I Love Dick

Kevin Bacon in “I Love Dick”


“Am I going to be called ‘the reboot guy’? Yeah, probably. Is that bad? Maybe for some people. It’s not bad for me.” – “Hawaii Five-O” producer Peter Lenkov, on tackling “MacGyver”

“Being a game show host was very much akin to being a local affiliate weatherman – and no offense to local affiliate weathermen, but there’s a stereotype. But now everyone’s coming to sit at our table. I kind of paved the path, for black men specifically, the Anthony Andersons, the Steve Harveys, the Michael Strahans. That wasn’t looked upon as the coolest gig in the world. I think that flipped the paradigm a little bit.” – Wayne Brady

Big Lessons

“I wanted to make movies with people I know and trust that could matter to somebody.” – Adele Romanski

“It’s like ‘Knocked Up.’ At the end, they drive off, but people will say that’s a happy ending, and I’ll say, ‘I don’t know what happened the next morning.’ She could have booted him out before they woke up.” – Judd Apatow

The Best Things Said to IndieWire in 2016 @IndieWire Artes & contextos vinyl ray romano

Ray Romano in “Vinyl”

“She sent it to Martin Scorsese and the feedback was that Marty said, ‘He knows this guy.’ Not me, meaning the character. ‘He knows this guy. He’s in the running. Also, he’s never heard of you, Ray Romano. He’s never seen you.’ And I go, ‘Oh, so you mean he’s never watched the show or he’s never seen me? I get that.’ And my agent says, ‘Let me check,’ and he checks with Ellen Lewis and goes, ‘Has Marty never seen the show?’ And she goes, ‘No, never heard of him, ever.’

“And look, I’m not so pompous to think everybody has heard of me, but if you’re in the business maybe? But he’s Martin Scorsese, film genius. He doesn’t watch sitcoms. Truth was, he had never seen me ever, and it ended up being a blessing. Because once you see me as that character, it’s hard to see me as something else sometimes.” – Ray Romano

“Twenty years later, having the opportunity to walk through Mr. Darden’s shoes, the thing that was missed then — something that I acutely feel now — is that two people had their lives brutally taken away from them. And that shouldn’t occur as an afterthought. That should be the thing that is first and foremost in the consciousness of all Americans. These people, who could not defend themselves, were brutally murdered and according to Mr. Darden, they were brutally murdered by O.J. Simpson. So yes, my opinion [on O.J. Simpson] has changed.” – Sterling K. Brown


Sterling K. Brown as Randall in “This Is Us”


“The fun challenge of being an actor is that you do have to be confident when you go in rooms, and you do have to have thick skin because you get rejected so much. But you also have to balance that with being vulnerable and soft because when you’re playing a character, you have to play the humanity of that character. So it’s, ‘Oh, this is what I have to be.’ Here’s the business me versus ‘Oh, this is when I have to be vulnerable and soft.’” – Kether Donohue

“Any of the comedians that I adore play that fine line of both drama and comedy. As long as they’re fully committed, then it could be a funny moment, it could be a dramatic moment. You sort of just stay open to that possibility. That’s when it’s really fun.” – Tatiana Maslany

Tatiana Maslany in "Orphan Black."

Tatiana Maslany in “Orphan Black”


“One of the things that will make you happy every day is when you do something for someone else. That’s it. Guarantee you feel like a million bucks. Anytime you help someone in a small way or a big way.” – Viola Davis

“That’s part of the difficulty of being human, is we don’t all see things the same way. We don’t all have the same level of empathy. We don’t all have the same moral code necessarily or draw the lines at the same places. I was mortified when I figured out once you catch a Pokemon, you make it fight! Those cute little creatures are going to go fight each other later… I was joking with my friend, ‘You should start a Pokemon sanctuary where they don’t have to fight. They can just graze off the land and be free and be happy and cuddled and you can braid their hair.’ Then again, I’m not sure that would be a very successful video game. What does that say about us? – Lisa Joy

“Marijuana is like the bridge to the gap. It’s the one line that can create peace around the whole globe. It’s the one line that creates communication with people who don’t know how to communicate. It’s the one line of understanding where you have like minds who aren’t violent, who are on peace. So for me, if this was more involved in the world there’d be less violence, there’d be fewer tragic events that happen because the tragedies that happen are never associated with this. [Marijuana] can make the world a better place.” – Snoop Dogg

“There is something about the head of state, the emblematic totemic head of state — when something goes wrong in that space, it has an effect on the character of the people, in some shape or form. It’s like a parent. 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.” – Peter Morgan

"Jane the Virgin"

“Jane the Virgin”

Michael Desmond/The CW

“You do not live in this world alone. It really blows my mind when celebrities or anyone with any amount of social status or power doesn’t use it to make things brighter. If everyone did that it would be more of a shiny place.” – Gina Rodriguez

The Tough Stuff

“There are heroes all around us, whether it’s cops or nurses or firemen or people that are in the armed services. To a lot of people, they don’t want that job. They just want to know that there’s somebody that’s doing that job.” – Jeph Loeb

“Of course Trayvon Martin haunts us all. My thing about that was showing that heroes can wear hoodies too. From the standpoint of seeing that fact that somebody saw him as being suspect because he had a hoodie on, we’re flipping that and saying, ‘Look, heroes come from everywhere. Yes, heroes, black men in hoodies can also be heroic.’ And so rather than thinking that somebody is a suspect, they could be coming to save you too.” – Cheo Hodari Coker

“I owe my entire television career to him.” – James Burrows on the late Grant Tinker

The Best Things Said to IndieWire in 2016 @IndieWire Artes & contextos screen shot 2016 09 20 at 2 59 34 pm

“Surviving Compton”

“This is no joke. I would never want anyone to live this life. I’m watching myself, when I watched them portray me and Dr. Dre and it touched me in different way… it was a very eye-opening experience. I didn’t see it that way [at the time]. I thought it was just normal for me.” – Michel’le

“There were no winners here and there continue to be no winners.” – “Making A Murderer” filmmaker Laura Ricciardi

“Broken people trying to repair their lives, I can relate to that. I know a lot of people that can relate to the comedy in the repair business of a person’s life. I think we’re all in the process of doing a little mending.” – Chuck Lorre

“In an age where everyone knows everything about everyone, you never knew everything about him. He kept you curious. But for someone so unique, he seemed incredibly approachable. He was so fucking incredibly talented. Everything about him: style, choreography, attitude, and the most undeniable musical chops you ever heard in your life.” – Former MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath, on Prince

“Well, 1969 was a pretty horrible year. Right? It was the death of the dream. The Beatles broke up, and in ‘1968] Martin Luther King was killed, Bobby Kennedy was killed. All the joy and exhilaration of the ‘60s… we hippies, we freaks, we always thought the apotheosis of that was Altamont where there were deaths at a rock concert. And the Hell’s Angels were hired to be security and then people ended up getting killed. It was Woodstock turned on its head… That was also the hippie dream dying. So that’s the moment that we chose to see that our newsroom was beginning to become aware.” – Lynda Obst

The Weird Stuff

“I was backstage at a Bruno Mars concert and they said, ‘Do you want to meet him?’ He saw me, runs down the hall, throws his arms around me and hugs me. I said, ‘Oh, my God. Do you know who I am?’ And he goes, ‘You raised me.’ It’s like, that was weird.” – Marc Summers


Marc Summers in “Double Dare”


“Honestly it seems like a big magic trick that we predicted this, but it wasn’t really a magic trick, it was just being a big baseball fan and knowing what they were doing.” – “Parks and Recreation” executive producer Mike Schur on how the show accurately predicted a 2016 Cubs World Series win

“If you try to explain to someone, ‘Here’s what happened in the finale of “The Leftovers,”’ you sound insane.” – Damon Lindelof

“Every time I drink hot and cold, I really feel it. That one I’ll agree with [the dentist] on. It doesn’t mean that I’ll stop. But I’ll agree with him.” – David Blaine

“I always say this when I go on any talk show: I’m going to go out there in a snowsuit. I’m so sick of wearing a dress and being freezing cold. I can’t even concentrate. What if you just went on David Letterman wearing a ski suit? No woman’s ever done that. You always go out there trying to look kind of sassy.” – Sarah Paulson

Fred Armisen in "Documentary Now!"

Fred Armisen in “Documentary Now!”